Food | The Reconnoisseur

A secret source of the finest potted shrimps

Potted shrimps? Better than caviar, any day

A secret source of the finest potted shrimps

July 13 2010
Julian Allason

There is one item that is rarely off the menu in the gentlemen’s clubs of St James’s. And its occasional absence from The Ivy restaurant’s carte generates mutinous rumblings. Potted shrimps. I’d trade them for caviar any day. Yet they are surprisingly difficult to buy inland. Now I have discovered a source guarded by connoisseurs.

James Peet comes from three generations of fishermen and had himself been catching shrimps for eight years when he established Southport Potted Shrimps in 1980. Now he offers the little brown beauties by mail. Tiny they are, laboriously peeled by skilled fingers, cooked in butter and spices, weighed into pots, chilled, capped with a thin layer of butter, frozen and shipped to you in insulated packing. No further cause for mutiny at The Ivy. QED.

Six pots by first-class post, £14.64. Six pots by special delivery, £18.

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