On May 28, the annual B.C. Spot Prawn Festival will return to False Creek’s Fisherman’s Wharf.
The Chef’s Table Society of British Columbia has announced that the annual BC Spot Prawn Festival will return to False Creek’s Fisherman’s Wharf on May 28. There will be two ticketed brunch services at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., as well as tickets for a fresh bowl of prawn bisque.
Prawn is a colloquial term for small aquatic crustaceans with an exoskeleton and ten legs (decapods), some of which are edible.
The term prawn refers to large swimming crustaceans or shrimp, particularly those with commercial significance in the fishing industry, and is most commonly used in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Commonwealth nations. Shrimp in this category are frequently members of the suborder Dendrobranchiata. The term is used less frequently in North America, usually for freshwater shrimp. The terms shrimp and prawn have no scientific meaning. The way they are used has evolved over time, and the terms are almost interchangeable in modern usage.
The terms shrimp and prawn originated in the United Kingdom. Shrimp is a common name for smaller species, particularly those that are dorsoventrally depressed (wider than deep) and have a shorter rostrum. Prawn is never used to describe very small animals. It refers to the majority of the larger forms, especially those that are laterally compressed (deeper than wide) and have a long rostrum. The terms, however, are not used consistently. Prawns are larger, reaching up to 12 inches in length, and are caught by trapping and trawling.” In Canada, the terms are frequently used interchangeably, as they are in New Zealand (larger species are prawns, and smaller species are frequently shrimp), but there are regional variations. Prawn is almost exclusively used as a general term in the western provinces. South Africa and former British colonies in Asia appear to use English in general.
The 2023 British Columbia spot prawn season begins on May 15, and the sweet, juicy gems are only available for a limited time – typically 30 to 40 days.