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While the whole planet was watching the London Olympics, competitors gathered in Northern France last Sunday for a far different kind of event: the eighth annual Shrimp Shelling World Competition in Leffrinckoucke, a little village near Dunkerque, some 300 km north of Paris.
Launched in 2005 with about 20 local contenders, the competition grew to 120 this year, including some from as far away as Russia, Taiwan and Mexico. The goal is to shell as many North Sea grey shrimp in 10 minutes.
“You aim for the third segment, pull, hold down the head and out comes the whole shrimp,” said the local mayor, who founded the light-hearted contest, adding that the technique requires “dexterity and intense practice. It’s ideal to start around five years old, like with gymnastics.” 😉
And the winner was: Nicole Vanzinghel, a fisherman’s daughter, who won the title for the 6th time, with 150 grams (5.3 ounces) of clean shrimps.
Try some of our recipes featuring shrimp: