Scampi

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Nephrops norvegicus
Scampi served
Scampi in picante tomato sauce

Scampi, also called Dublin Bay Prawn, or Norway Lobster, (Nephrops norvegicus), is an edible lobster of the order Decapoda (class Crustacea).[1] It is widespread in the Mediterranean and northeastern Atlantic, from North Africa to Norway and Iceland, and is a gastronomic delicacy. Scampi is now the only extant species in the genus Nephrops, after several other species were moved to the closely related genus Metanephrops.

Shrimp Scampi is a food that includes various culinary preparations of certain crustaceans,[2] such as Metanephrops, as well as shrimp or prawns. Shrimp Scampi preparation styles vary regionally. The United Kingdom legally defines scampi specifically as Nephrops norvegicus,[3] Monkfish tail was sometimes illegally used and sold as scampi in the United Kingdom in the past[4] contravening the Fish Labelling (Amendment) England Regulation 2005 and Schedule 1 of the Food Labelling Regulations 1996.

Name[edit]

Scampi is the Italian plural of scampo, Nephrops norvegicus. In English, scampi is used as singular, plural, or uncountable. The Italian word may be derived from the Greek καμπή kampē ("bending" or "winding").[5] Years after,[when?] scampi became scarce. Due to scarcity, Italy, Greece, the United Kingdom and Spain would often substitute shrimp in scampi when required.

Nephrops norvegicus[edit]

Scampi, or Langoustines or Norway lobsters – Nephrops norvegicus – are roughly the size of a large crayfish and fished from silty bottom regions of the open Atlantic Ocean, and parts of the Mediterranean. The fleshy tail of the Norway lobster is closer in both taste and texture to lobster and crayfish than prawn or shrimp.

Norway lobster are also known as Dublin Bay prawns,[6] though the term "prawn" can be confusing since it is sometimes used to describe several varieties of shellfish: the first group includes members of the lobster family such as scampi (langoustine in French and cigala in Spanish), while the second takes in large shrimp, particularly those that live in fresh water. However, in terms of biological classification, lobsters like scampi are of a different family from prawns/shrimp.[citation needed]

The food labelling laws (in Britain, for example) define "scampi" as Nephrops norvegicus.[7]

Preparation methods[edit]

British scampi with chips
American scampi in garlic butter

According to Larousse Gastronomique, langoustine are delicate and need to be poached only for a few seconds in court-bouillon. When very fresh they have a slightly sweet flavour that is lost when they are frozen. They can be eaten plain, accompanied by melted butter.

In Britain the shelled tail meat is generally referred to as "scampi tails" or "wholetail scampi", although cheaper "re-formed scampi" can contain other parts together with other fish. It is served fried in batter or breadcrumbs and usually with chips and tartare sauce. It is widely available in supermarkets and restaurants, considered pub or snack food although factors reducing Scottish fishing catches generally (such as bad weather) can affect its availability.[8]

In the United States, "shrimp scampi" is the menu name for shrimp in Italian-American cuisine (the actual word for "shrimp" in Italian is gambero or gamberetto, plural gamberi or gamberetti[9]). "Scampi" by itself, is a dish of Nephrops norvegicus served in garlic butter, dry white wine, and parmesan cheese, either with bread, or over pasta or rice, although sometimes just the shrimp alone. Most variants of the "shrimp scampi" come on pasta.[citation needed] The word "shrimp scampi" is construed as a style of preparation, and with variants such as "chicken scampi", "lobster scampi" and "scallop scampi". Lidia Bastianich: "In the United States, shrimps are available, not scampi, so the early immigrants prepared the shrimp they found in the scampi style they remembered."

As an alternative seafood[edit]

Owing to the decline of fish stocks, British chefs including Heston Blumenthal and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall launched a "Fish Fight" campaign in 2010, attempting to raise awareness of alternative seafoods.[10] They championed scampi and other lesser-known seafood dishes as a more sustainable source of protein.

National Shrimp Scampi Day[edit]

In the United States, National Shrimp Scampi Day occurs annually on April 29.[11][12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Scampi LOBSTER". britannica.com. ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  2. ^ "scampi - definition of scampi in English from the Oxford dictionary". Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  3. ^ "The Food Labelling Regulations 1996". www.legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  4. ^ "Monkfish". www.mjseafood.com. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  5. ^ Online Etymological Dictionary s.v. scampi
  6. ^ "Norway lobster - definition of Norway lobster in English from the Oxford dictionary". Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  7. ^ UK fish labelling regulations
  8. ^ "Scampi shortage means popular pub snack could be off the menu this summer". Daily Mail. 13 June 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
  9. ^ Reynolds, Barbara. The Concise Cambridge Italian Dictionary, Cambridge University Press, 1975
  10. ^ http://www.fishfight.net/story.html
  11. ^ "What's Cooking: Shrimp Scampi Day". fox10phoenix.com. 26 April 2013. Archived from the original on 29 April 2015. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  12. ^ "National Shrimp Scampi Day". food.com. Retrieved 29 April 2015.

Further reading[edit]