Fresh scampi at a fish market
Here's Why We Should All Stop Saying 'Shrimp Scampi' Out Loud
By Elaina Friedman
If you find yourself at a seafood restaurant in the company of a studious gastronome, they will likely correct you if the words “shrimp scampi” come out of your mouth. While it’s widely held that scampi is a particular style of cooking shrimp, scampi is not a shrimp at all.
Many recipes would have you believe that scampi refers to shrimp sautéed in garlic, white wine, and butter, but this Italian American dish only has scampi and no shrimp. While scampi may look like shrimp with its beady eyes and long antenna, they are actually a unique crustacean species called a langoustine, which more closely resembles a lobster.
Scampis are larger than prawns and tend to stick to places like Iceland, Morocco, parts of the Mediterranean, the Norwegian coast, and the U.K, and they can also be called a Dublin Bay Prawn, langoustine, or Norway Lobster. Of course, there is no rule against replacing scampi with shrimp in this dish, and in that case, you may refer to it as scampi-style shrimp.