Sugpo vs suaje: The difference is not just the size
For Pinoys, the difference between sugpo (prawn) and suahe (shrimp) is simple: it’s in the size. Prawns are big and shrimps are small.
Apparently, there’s more to it than just the size.
“Prawn isn’t just British for shrimp,” says Foodandwine.com. “The two sea creatures, while similar in flavour and deliciousness, have their differences.”
According to the website, they have three other differences:
– A shrimp has claws on two of its five pairs of legs while prawns have claws on three sets of legs.
– Prawns release their eggs in water while shrimps incubate their eggs on the underside of their bellies.
– Prawns have branching gills while shrimps have plate-like gills.
Australia’s Museum Victoria says Australians have pretty much the same idea as Pinoys in differentiating prawns from shrimps albeit its description is a lot more visual.
“Australians think of prawns as large animals seen in the fish shop or on the menu in a restaurant.
To them shrimps are smaller, the little pink things on the top of pizzas or maybe the small quick translucent creatures in rock pools,” Museum Victoria says.
The museum says you can also tell a shrimp from a prawn based on how the segments of the abdomen overlap.
In shrimps, the sides of the second segment overlap both the one before and the one after.
In prawns, the sides of all segments overlap the segment behind it. Prawns are penaeids and shrims are carideans.
It does not end there.
Museum Victoria says “A shrimp in the USA is a prawn in Australia.”
Apparently, harvest from a large fishery for penaeids in southern USA is more popularly referred to as shrimps.