Deveining is the removal of the gastrointestinal tract of a shrimp, a common part of preparing them for human consumption. The digestive tract is a dark band running from the head to the tail of the animal, where the spine would be if they were vertebrates. In females, the reproductive canal is also in the same area.
Removing the vein is not essential, as it is not poisonous and is mostly tasteless. Deveining does slightly change the flavour and makes it more consistent. Shrimp also sometimes consume small amounts of sand by accident and the vein thus might be gritty.
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