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Red Sicilian Prawns: A fake???

Updated: May 12, 2020

The red Sicilian prawns "Mazzara", are victim of a huge fake market, it is estimated that the Italian market is 80% made up of South East African product, mostly from Mozambique.

The history

The Sicilian prawns became famous in the 40's when a large fleet of fisherman boats was sailing from "Mazzara" in sicily, and arriving sometimes till the Ocean.

In fact the Sicilian prawns are called so, because the market is in sicily, but actually they live all over the African coast.

The war to the fishermen

In recent times Libya prohibited the fishing of the prawns within their waters, this lowered down enormously the quantity. however, the most of the really "Sicilian" prawns come from Tunis and Morocco.

As reported by "The Cucina Italiana" the best Italian cooking magazine:

80% of the Red prawns in Italy are from Mozambique!

as well as white truffle coming even from China, olive oil from middle east, also the red prawns have a huge fake market.

The carabineros prawns from Mozambique are identical to the Mediterranean deep water prawns (Sicilian) so how to understand if real or fake??

How to understand if real or fake?

Well, it is almost impossible.

  • The taste is obviously different, but only experts can understand.

  • the color is the same

  • Mozambique prawns are little larger

But is really up to know the real source.

Pictures of both Sicilian red prawns and Mozambique scarlet carabineros.

So what to eat????

As far as basically in many restaurants we are paying huge bills for fake prawns, until we aren't sure of the origin.

I suggest you to try The mantis prawns and Rock Lobsters, in Italy considered the best for pasta sauces.


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©2020 by Ermanno Lelli, F&B Consulting

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