How to tell the difference between a shrimp and a prawn

Shrimp are the darling of coastal kitchens but can be found on menus just about everywhere. Whether it’s shrimp tacos, shrimp scampi, or shrimp cocktail, Americans devour nearly 4.5 pounds of the delicious crustaceans every year. But are we always sure what we’re eating? Come to think of it, maybe our neighbor’s shrimp boil last summer included prawns. What actually is the difference between the two? Let’s settle this culinary question for good. What’s the difference between shrimp and prawns? Shrimp and prawns have a lot in common, but they are, in fact, entirely different animals. Both shrimp and prawns are decapods, meaning that they have 10 legs and a thin external skeleton, but that’s where the similarities end. Shrimp (of the sub-order Pleocyemata, also belonging to crayfish, lobsters, and crabs) are typically smaller in size and live mostly in saltwater. They have claws on two of their legs and a…