ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – New Mexico shrimp? It doesn’t come from the Rio Grande, but it is raised in New Mexico and now you can taste it at an Albuquerque restaurant.
Ragin’ Shrimp in Nob Hill serves up about 70 pounds of shrimp each week.
“We knew that being here in a desert was going to raise eyebrows as to how you’re going to serve shrimp and be here in Albuquerque,” said Nicholas Nellos, owner of Ragin’ Shrimp.
Nellos said the restaurant has been doing it for 18 years, getting shrimp primarily from Brownsville, Texas on the Gulf of Mexico.
However, a few months ago, they decided to try something new: shrimp raised right here in the desert of New Mexico.
New Mexico State University has been experimenting for years, raising shrimp on cottonseed meal in a special lab.
Nellos said he was skeptical until he saw it himself.
“When I got the first batch, I was just amazed. First and foremost, just the scent—not an odor, it is a scent,” Nellos said. “You’re eating a better diet, you’re going to end up being much healthier and that’s what’s happening.”
Ragin’ Shrimp has bought two batches over the last few months.
The batches from NMSU have been 10-15 pounds. Nellos said the restaurant can go through that in about a day or two.
“Need to get more money, develop a facility that’s larger with more pools and then you can stagger your harvests so you’re always growing shrimp and you’ve got a harvest on a regular basis,” Nellos said.
Something he is hopeful is in the near future.
Nellos said he posts it on Facebook when he does get shipments of New Mexico raised shrimp and gives customers the option if they’d like to try it instead of the Texas variety.