The state has a fishing production of 43 thousand tons per year and its fish and shellfish are unmatched in taste and quality.
Lagoon shrimp, sea shrimp, catfish, sea bass, red snapper, and amberjack are some of the treasures that still exist in the waters of Tamaulipas and more than 10,000 families depend on their extraction.
According to data from the state Fisheries Secretariat, Tamaulipas has an annual production of 43 thousand tons of fishery products, which places the entity, prior to the pandemic, in the 13th national place when about 10 years ago it was in position number 6.
The value of commercial fishing in the state is 1,600 million pesos a year, however, due to illegal activity, a loss of up to 480 million pesos is estimated, which represents 40% of the general amount.
Insecurity and pandemic affected businesses
The Secretariat of Fisheries details that before the insecurity hit the Tamaulipas territory there were more than 60 open fishing farms, where catfish and shrimp were mainly planted, of which today only half are in operation.
The director of Aquaculture and Fisheries in Tamaulipas, José de Jesús Montagner Mendoza, points out that with the improvement in the perception of security, there are currently 20 to 30 investors interested in shrimp production.
The shrimp fleet in the Gulf of Mexico is made up of 180 vessels that go to sea. Here, shrimp farmers from southern Tamaulipas
“The pandemic has affected everyone, aquaculture is a very important project that has already laid the foundations for growth, there are also a greater number of investors, public security has been a bastion for investors to favor investing,” he reports. .
He specifies that in the northern zone of Tamaulipas it is intended to resume the sowing of the oyster, while in the south it is sought to produce shrimp.
“They are seeing the result in security – they are investing; the businessman is very careful, they are in the first stage of production”, he indicates.
According to the state official, it is expected that in 2023 and 2024 a production of 3,000 tons per year will take place, while last years was close to 2,000.
The restaurant “El Porvenir” will celebrate its first centenary in 2023 and is considered one of the most emblematic places in Tampico, its chef Ángel García points out that the shrimp and fish caught in the state stand out for their flavor and freshness.
He assures that in his gastronomic tour of the world he has not found a flavor similar to that of the shrimp that is fished on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, at least in South America and Europe.
Ángel García, chef of “El Porvenir” in Tampico | Jose Luis Tapia
“Here in Tamaulipas nobody has anything to do with product quality, here you can get a fresh sea bass that was slaughtered this morning, fresher than that, what do you want? red snapper, amberjack, mouthpiece, snapper, ”she lists.
“ Fish from Tamaulipas are full stop, the shrimp from here has a lot to do with water, the mother lagoon is salty,” he adds.
This variety of fishery products created the high level of gastronomy in southern Tamaulipas, which attracts diners from anywhere in the world.
“Everything that is Huasteca, there is a lot of influence from all over the world; here is the Chinese colony, the Italian one, the English colony, the Spanish one, not to mention, the Lebanese and all with a great kitchen” emphasizes chef García.
Shrimp in honor of La Quina
To speak of Tamaulipas is to evoke fishing, salt and fresh water products, although it is also to speak of the port, history, politics, and of course, the late oil leader, Joaquín Hernández Galicia “La Quina, this mixture is found in the kitchen of “El Porvenir” with shrimp Don Joaquín.
“The Don Joaquín shrimp comes out because my dad likes huitlacoche a lot and since it is dark in color, he prepared it with shrimp and my dad says well. Don Joaquín, chapapote, petroleum, and Pemex was Don Joaquín, ”he recalled.
They were highly requested shrimp by “La Quina”
This pitch-black dish emerged in the 1970s and is currently on the menu at this restaurant where even the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has ordered them.
“ `La Quina´ asked for them very often, whenever he came he asked for them. You have to break paradigms”, says the chef.
Crab a la Frank
Unlike the Don Joaquín shrimp, the state’s fishing wealth and the creativity of “El Porvenir“ gave birth to the Frank-style crab, a delight.
“My dad, Ángel, is also the creator of the Frank style crab, most of the restaurant’s famous dishes, they belong to my dad; everything that was the backbone belongs to my dad and my grandfather”, recalls Ángel García.
“The Frank-style crab was a kitchen error, he talked about making a crab salad, he saw other ingredients there and to see what it tastes like, he realized it was good and said, what did we put on it? That’s how this dish was born,” he recounts.
Chef Ángel García, who has offered a tour of the gastronomy of Tamaulipas around the world, valued the importance of taking advantage of what Tamaulipas waters offer.
“In Tampico, because of the oil industry, everyone gets together and begins to play with French, Spanish, Chinese techniques with local ingredients and that is how they create a gastronomy; In my opinion, Tampico in Tamaulipas is one of the most complete and complex regions in Mexico”, he concludes.