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Scampi, prawns, shrimp, langoustines ...


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I realize that in the world of food, many words are used interchangeably. So my question is about which is which here ...

What is the distinction made between shrimp, prawns, scampi, and langoustines?

Is it all about size? origin?

Or are they simply variations on the same theme, so to speak? :rolleyes:

If sauteed in garlic, butter, and a bit of lemon juice, does it really matter? :wink:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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I was under the impression that langoustines (aka Dublin Bay Prawns) are the ones that have the little pincers. Prawns don't.

Scampi, as far as I am (was?) aware are the same as langoustines.

Shrimp I'm not sure about.

Si

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Scampi (Italian) and Langoustine (Franch) refer to the same species Nephrops norvegicus, also known as "Dublin Bay Prawns" or just prawns in parts of Scotland. Scampi are at the back, note the claws which distinguishes them from the Shrimp/Prawns.

Scampi don't occur in North American waters (or are not fished if they do), so "scampi" has evolved to mean a class of food preparation, rather then the animal itself.

In the UK a similar situation exists, the same species (and similar species) coated in industrial breadcrumbs and served in pubs and fish shops around the country are called "Scampi" (not matter how many), where as the whole beast is refered to as a "Langoustine". I would have thought that most people would know the relationship between the two, but ecently I found out that many of my British (and American) friends didn't realise that butter was made from cream...so who knows.

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Shrimp and Prawn are interchangeable terms, although there are geographic preferences for the use of the terms. "Shrimp" is used in the US English for all sizes of similar decapod crustaceans, where as in British English, shrimp would refer to the smaller species, prawns to the larger species.

Australians say use the British preferance.

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Scampi (Italian) and Langoustine (Franch) refer to the same species Nephrops norvegicus, also known as "Dublin Bay Prawns" or just prawns in parts of Scotland. Scampi are at the back, note the claws which distinguishes them from the Shrimp/Prawns.

Scampi don't occur in North American waters (or are not fished if they do), so "scampi" has evolved to mean a class of food preparation, rather then the animal itself.

Any idea if the crawfish/crayfish farmed or caught in US Gulf Coast states are related to the Dublin Bay Prawn?

Stephen Bunge

St Paul, MN

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Any idea if the crawfish/crayfish farmed or caught in US Gulf Coast states are related to the Dublin Bay Prawn?

According to Rogov crawfish are fresh water relatives of Langoustines, which are salt water creatures. This is new information for me, because I thought they were the same thing until now :raz:.

"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne." John Maynard Keynes

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"Shrimp" is used in the US English for all sizes of similar decapod crustaceans, where as in British English, shrimp would refer to the smaller species, prawns to the larger species.

Australians say use the British preferance.

I'm not so sure that that is true in the US - I've always taken prawn to refer to the larger species.

I have the impression that I picked up this usage on childhood trips to San Francisco in the early 1960s.

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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"Shrimp" is used in the US English for all sizes of similar decapod crustaceans, where as in British English, shrimp would refer to the smaller species, prawns to the larger species.

Australians say use the British preferance.

I'm not so sure that that is true in the US - I've always taken prawn to refer to the larger species.

I have the impression that I picked up this usage on childhood trips to San Francisco in the early 1960s.

That is interesting, I haven't heard an American use the term prawn very often. Do you think that this is an east v west coast thing?

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Scampi (Italian) and Langoustine (Franch) refer to the same species Nephrops norvegicus, also known as "Dublin Bay Prawns" or just prawns in parts of Scotland. Scampi are at the back, note the claws which distinguishes them from the Shrimp/Prawns.

Scampi don't occur in North American waters (or are not fished if they do), so "scampi" has evolved to mean a class of food preparation, rather then the animal itself.

Any idea if the crawfish/crayfish farmed or caught in US Gulf Coast states are related to the Dublin Bay Prawn?

Related, but not that closely. Also, there is a fresh v salt water difference and the flavours are very different. In Australia there are numerous different types of closely related fresh water crayfish and they taste quite different. N

Yabbies and Marron are very different in quantity of meat and flavour for instance.

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"Shrimp" is used in the US English for all sizes of similar decapod crustaceans, where as in British English, shrimp would refer to the smaller species, prawns to the larger species.

Australians say use the British preferance.

I'm not so sure that that is true in the US - I've always taken prawn to refer to the larger species.

I have the impression that I picked up this usage on childhood trips to San Francisco in the early 1960s.

That is interesting, I haven't heard an American use the term prawn very often. Do you think that this is an east v west coast thing?

I'd wondered if it was a case of regional usage. I grew up in the Midwest & never heard the word "prawn" until we made those trips out West. I remember being struck by it at the time since I was always intrigued by language and new words.

We made several trips to the Gulf Coast (Biloxi MS area) around the same time and I don't recall encountering "prawns" down there either, with all of the shrimp that we ate. Of course these are just hazy recollections from my very early teen years.

These days, "prawns" seem to appear frequently on East Coast menus, and the term is used to indicate the larger shrimps. I don't know whether that was true 40 years ago. I have the impression that it's still not a common vocabulary item in these parts, though; the signs at the fish counters which I frequent never seem to refer to prawns.

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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I've always gotten the sense that, at least in New York, "prawn" is used only as a sort of "fancy" way to write "shrimp." I do not expect a larger specimen merely because "prawn" is used. Also "prawn" is not part of my spoken vocabulary; they're all shrimps to me.

Langoustines and crawfish are definitely a different creature, as per the remarks of Adam and hwilson above.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Langoustines and crawfish are definitely a different creature, as per the remarks of Adam and hwilson above.

That's interesting. I didn't know langoustines looked so much like crawfish. Do they have "fat" like crawfish and is it used in the cooking? It's used in Cajun cooking, but gone are the days when you could buy a pack of tails with a little container of fat on the side. Today it's all mixed together, and if I remember there's not as much in the pack now as their was in that separate container.

Scorpio

You'll be surprised to find out that Congress is empowered to forcibly sublet your apartment for the summer.

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Langoustines and crawfish are definitely a different creature, as per the remarks of Adam and hwilson above.

That's interesting. I didn't know langoustines looked so much like crawfish. Do they have "fat" like crawfish and is it used in the cooking? It's used in Cajun cooking, but gone are the days when you could buy a pack of tails with a little container of fat on the side. Today it's all mixed together, and if I remember there's not as much in the pack now as their was in that separate container.

Langoustines don't really look like crayfish. They do resemble shrimp, but are flatter, and have a larger head-to-body ratio. I've only ever eaten them in Europe, and the amount of meat you pick out of them seems little by compare (if you're comparing them to shrimp of a similar size).

As far as I know, prawn is a British linguistic distinction - not common here in the US.

I've eaten (and loved) another crustacean not of these waters - in Japan, a creature known as a "squealer." Shrimplike meat, but they look something like a cross between a shrimp and a centipede. They make the coolest shimmery sounds as their shells click in the fisherman's baskets.

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Langoustines and crawfish are definitely a different creature, as per the remarks of Adam and hwilson above.

That's interesting. I didn't know langoustines looked so much like crawfish. Do they have "fat" like crawfish and is it used in the cooking? It's used in Cajun cooking, but gone are the days when you could buy a pack of tails with a little container of fat on the side. Today it's all mixed together, and if I remember there's not as much in the pack now as their was in that separate container.

Langoustines don't really look like crayfish. They do resemble shrimp, but are flatter, and have a larger head-to-body ratio. I've only ever eaten them in Europe, and the amount of meat you pick out of them seems little by compare (if you're comparing them to shrimp of a similar size).

As far as I know, prawn is a British linguistic distinction - not common here in the US.

I've eaten (and loved) another crustacean not of these waters - in Japan, a creature known as a "squealer." Shrimplike meat, but they look something like a cross between a shrimp and a centipede. They make the coolest shimmery sounds as their shells click in the fisherman's baskets.

H. du Bois:

The correct name is "Squilla or Mantis Shrimp" (Squilla Empusa) its cool clicking sounds give it another name of "Finger Cutter" because it you not VERY careful handling this species it's capable of cutting or gashing your finger badly when snapping it tail.

Very popular at Sushi places everywhere. It is also excellent cooked with garlic and butter, white wine similar to Scampi. Indigenous to most warm Pacific waters especially in coral reefs.

Irwin

I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

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I've always gotten the sense that, at least in New York, "prawn" is used only as a sort of "fancy" way to write "shrimp." I do not expect a larger specimen merely because "prawn" is used.

With regard to this area, my impressions may be skewed by the fact that every Chinese restaurant menu in Jersey seems to make a rigorous distinction between "prawns" and "shrimp" to indicate size.

I'm pretty sure that I've seen prawns on non-Asian menus also but I don't recall exactly where. "Scampi" is probably the more common term now that I think on it.

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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We (meaning my family!) seem to be at odds with everyone else. The incredibly sweet, very tiny shrimp-like creatures we call prawns. They are even labelled prawns in the package. They are only available here cooked and frozen with their heads on. I believe they are imported from China.

The remaining shrimp varieties that are almost always frozen and headless, we call shrimp.

Edited to fix typos.

Edited by Anna N (log)

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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I did a piece once on Nephrops Norvegicus (I think it means something like norwegian kidney-eyes - refering to the kidney like eyes). In my opinion they are closer to a small lobster than a shrimp, and I also prefer them to lobster. I always get into a discussion with co-workers when writing menues were they appear, because they have so many names! Some call them rock-lobster, wich in some parts of the world refers to the lobster-like creature that is missing the claws. I would call that a langustine, as I belive thats what theyre called in the Caribbean. Though Dublin bay prawn is fitting, I dont belive an Italian reading our menu would know what it is, nor would an avrage american....The latest I heard at work was that they are called norwegian lobster, but then what do we call the real norwegian lobster (thats bigger and of course better than the american ;P)? the people at work sorta roll their eyed at me...hehe

But seriously, I think its important to be precise on a menu.

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.The latest I heard at work was that they are called norwegian lobster, but then what do we call the real norwegian lobster (thats bigger and of course better than the american ;P)? the people at work sorta roll their eyed at me...hehe

But seriously, I think its important to be precise on a menu.

Norsk Hummer?

Norwegian lobster is a pretty old fashioned term for the bug, most people would recognise "Langoustine", "Scampi" would be better for the Italians, but confusing for everybody else.

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http://mbayaq.org/cr/cr_seafoodwatch/conte...hrimpReport.pdf

http://www.bartleby.com/65/sh/shrimp.html

http://oceanlink.island.net/ask/arthropoda.html

http://www.pnptc.org/shrimp.htm

http://hmsc.oregonstate.edu/projects/msap/...spotshrimp.html

Shrimp vs prawns

I am so confused :wacko:

It seems that both words are so interchanged even in the bus.

A shrimper told me on vancouver island that one has more legs and one is a vegetarian- can not remember which is which

there are different species

steve

Edited by stovetop (log)
Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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