Shrimp Tour Season is Here!
Story and Photos by Eryn Reddell Wingert
“Honestly, I never knew that Texas had shrimp!”Janette Baertsch
Janette Baertsch’s upfront declaration made the recent visit to Brownsville’s Texas Gold wild-caught Gulf shrimp all the more intriguing.
Baertsch is originally from the Texas Hill Country. She and her husband, Orin, moved from San Diego to the Rio Grande Valley about two years ago to be closer to family. Before taking part in a recent group tour, Baertsch thought shrimp was primarily imported from Mexico.
The engaging, in-depth tour of Texas Gold is the latest addition to Tours by Welcome Home RGV’s line-up (after a hiatus since 2016).
And the reviews are in. “The owner was so personable, and boy did he teach us some things!” says Baertsch. Baertsch is referring to co-vice-president Greg Londrie, who, along with his brother and co-VP, Chris, and Leonard Leyva, the Texas Gold boat guide, offered detailed insight into various aspects of the shrimping industry.
Topics addressed: the length of the shrimping season, how often you can re-freeze shrimp, and how to tell wild-caught from farm-raised shrimp. (For the record, there’s no such thing as “fresh.” According to Greg, it’s all fresh-frozen, considering the time it takes to venture out, catch and store, haul back, and process.)
“That’s why [Tours by] Welcome Home has been so fun,” Baertsch shares. “It’s like exploring my home state all over again!”
The junket includes a deep dive into the company’s history and the current state of the industry, a tour of a shrimping vessel, and the manual labor involved. It’s a hard business, Leyva explains. “I have yet to meet somebody that says, ‘I want to go shrimping for 45 days,’” referencing the extreme conditions and intense labor involved, including hauling in nets and sitting on stools–only about four inches off the deck–to process each catch.
The tour culminates in how the shrimp is processed–including how to easily devein a shrimp–plus a generous sampling of the end result.
Now, who’s hungry for shrimp? Shrimp recipes will be featured in this publication. For information on organizing a group tour, visit welcomehomergv.com or call 956-687-5115.
Book this tour!
Texas Gold Shrimp Boat Tour
All About Wild Caught Gulf Shrimp
Monday – Thursday at 9:00 am & 2:00 pm (January 15 – February 29)
Step on board an actual shrimp boat, learn about the cleaning process, participate in a peeling contest, and taste the merchandise!From: $30.00Read more