4100 Northpoint Blvd.
Baltimore, Maryland 21222

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A Look at the History of Shrimp

A Look at the History of Shrimp

Did you know that shrimp is one of the most popular choices for seafood in the US?

Did you know that shrimp is one of the most popular choices for seafood in the US? The US harvests about 650 million pounds of shrimp each year, and imports another 200 million pounds per year. That’s a higher demand for shrimp than any other country! But what is it that makes this nutritious seafood so special to Americans? After all, it’s a popular ingredient in many appetizers, entrees, salads, and chowders across the country. Here’s a short look at its  culinary history.

What’s In a Name?

Shrimp is the most popular shellfish in the US, but many Americans might not consider where the name “shrimp” actually comes from when enjoying their shrimp cocktail, chowder, scampi, and more. The word “shrimp” as we know it comes from the Middle English word shrimpe, which references the small crustaceans and also means “pygmy.” 

A Historically Nutritious Diet

In the year 1280, the explorer Marco Polo wrote about the prevalence of shrimp in Chinese marketplaces during his travels, noting how vital seafood seemed to be in peoples’ diets. Shrimp and other seafood were primary protein sources in the Chinese diet, with some of the earliest known records of seafood’s popularity dating to the 7th century. Today, seafood is still a significant part of Chinese cuisine, with shrimp among the most popular protein choices in many staple dishes.

Harvesting in the US

While we have many early records of shrimp being enjoyed by people all around the world, the collection of shrimp in the US can be dated back to the 17th century. During this time, people in the Louisiana bayou would use seines up to 2,000 feet in circumference to collect shrimp for harvest. Mechanized shrimping was popularized after 1917, but this long history of shrimping in the Southern US has led to some of our most iconic American seafood dishes, such as shrimp and grits, gumbo, fried shrimp, and more to become an essential and popular part of American cuisine. For all the fantastic ways there are to enjoy shrimp in your appetizers, salads, sandwiches, main dishes, and more, it’s no wonder that shrimp has become the most popular shellfish in the US!


Costas Inn has been a Baltimore tradition since 1971. You may recognize our restaurant, which was recently featured on the Food Network with Michael Symon on Burgers, Brew, and ‘Que! We were also voted the 2015 #1 Baltimore Seafood Restaurant by USA Today, as well as #1 Crab Restaurant 2014 in the Baltimore Business Journal. You may have also spotted Costas Inn during one of our 9 appearances on the Today Show or heard one of our many interviews on WJZ TV Channel 13 with Ron Matz and Marty Bass.

You can enjoy our famous crab cakes in-house or order them online for any time eating. We also provide some of the best seafood catering in the Baltimore area! You can also get your fill from Costas even when you’re not in our dining room: follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube!


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    Online gift cards make a great gift that can be redeemed for any products available at costasinn.com only. Not redeemable at the restaurant.

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    A 10.95 charge will be applied for next day delivery on Gift Certificates. If you desire regular shipping via USPS, please call Pete at 410-477-1975.  

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    One 5 oz. Maryland Jumbo Lump Crab Cake  Garnish and roll not included

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    A Costas tradition since 1971: 5 ounces of all Jumbo Lump crabmeat made with Costas seafood spices. A local favorite!

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    8 oz. Maryland Jumbo Lump Crab Cake

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Costas Inn
5 stars - based on 699 reviews
4100 Northpoint Blvd. Baltimore , Maryland
410-477-1975 URL of Map Categories: Seafood Price Range: $$ Takes Reservations: yes
Costas Inn
5 stars - based on 695 reviews
4100 North Point Boulevard Baltimore , Maryland 21222
(410) 477-1975 URL of Map Categories: Seafood & Crabs Price Range: $$ Takes Reservations: yes