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Belgian wins shrimp peeling championship for third year in a row

16:54 12/08/2021

Katty Vanmassenhove (pictured right) has done it again: The pre-school teacher from Wenduine on the coast has won the shrimp peeling world championship. In fact, she has won it for the third time in a row – and broken her record.

Anyone who has ever peeled one of those little grey shrimp for which the North Sea coast is known will realise that it is not a speedy task. Yet Vanmassenhove peeled 116 grams (about 126 shrimps) in just 10 minutes. That’s one gram more than in 2019 and four grams more than in 2018, when she took the championship for the first time. (The event did not take place last year.)

The annual world championship shrimp peeling competition takes place on the northern coast of France. It asks contestants to peel as many of those little shrimps as they can in 10 minutes. The total shrimps peeled by all contestants are carefully checked to make sure there are no shells left, then are weighed, and the winner is announced.

Vanmassenhove is the daughter of restaurant owners in Wenduine, part of De Haan on the Belgian coast. She learned to peel shrimp as a kid, and still helps out in the restaurant once in a while. But, this being a French contest, it was a surprise when a Belgian won three years ago.

“It was exciting to defend my title,” she told VRT. “The first time, people thought it was just luck, and even the second time that I had a good day. I really felt like I had to defend my title this time around. People expected more from me, so it was a bit more stressful than the other years.”

Photo: Katty Vanmassenhove and the host of the event, Jean-Marc Raschia


Written by Lisa Bradshaw