Made In The U.S.A.

Mystery Shrimps

In Adventures on February 12, 2009 at 6:11 am

1.30.09: The triumph of the squash was tempered a bit as I stared at the hand-packed baggie of peel-n-eat shrimp I had just tossed into the cart. Almost like a serve-yourself candy bin, the seafood deparment at Dierbergs had a serve-yourself bin o’ shrimp. They looked delightful. I thought they’d be the perfect compliment to spicy Superbowl chili. Sure enough, they were.

But after they hit the cart, it occurred to me: I had no idea where they were from. I scoured the display and there was no mention of anything. Not even the word “gulf” that so many other shrimp were adjectivized by. That led me to believe they definitely were not gulf, i.e. at least potentially American-caught, shrimp according to what I will from this moment refer to as Sawalich’s Law (I thought of it, so I get to name it), which states that a product not labeled prominently as Made In The USA is in fact in no way Made In The USA because anything and everything that is Made In The USA is proudly sold as Made In The USA—be it socks or tires or shoes or suits.

Any other pre-packaged item would have gone right back on the shelf and I’d have moved on. But this was as if I had licked the shrimp already; serving oneself has the effect of rendering them non-returnable even if one hasn’t touched said shrimp. So I muddled on, knowing in my heart of hearts that these unverifiable shrimp were probably from a third world shrimp sweatshop. At $6.99 a pound they’d almost have to be.

But man, they were tasty.

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