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Although most people think of shrimp when they hear about scampi recipes, the original use of the Italian word referring to a preparation method of the langoustine or Norwegian lobster, which is generally skinnier and smaller than the American lobster. Since jumbo shrimp has a culinary semblance to langoustine, Mediterranean chefs across Europe eventually applied the scampi culinary technique to other shellfish.

The original scampi method of preparing shellfish consists of briefly poaching the catch in a broth made with vegetables, spices, and wine or vinegar. The poaching should not last too long for langoustine, but shrimp and American lobster will require longer periods of cooking. Dipping the seafood in melted butter is a preferred serving method, but many cooks use the melted butter as a base for sauteing.

Italian-American Scampi and White Wine

The scampi dishes on the menus of most Italian restaurants in the United States are far more elaborate than the above-mentioned Mediterranean recipe. Shrimp scampi in the U.S. is a delicious pasta dish that can be prepared based on many variations. White cooking wine or vinegar are typical ingredients, but they are not mandatory.

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