Edible lobster (Nephrops norvegicus), widespread in the Mediterranean and northeastern Atlantic. It is sold as a delicacy over much of its range. Scampi live in burrows on soft sea bottoms at depths of 33 to 820 ft (10–250 m). They grow to about 8 in. (200 mm) long and weigh about 7 oz (200 g). The slender claws may be almost as long as the body. Most scampi are trawled, but some are caught in baited lobster pots.
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Scampi is the plural of scampo, the Italian name for the Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus), also known as the Dublin Bay prawn (especially in Ireland and the U.K.) and langoustine (the French name). The name is used loosely both in Italy and elsewhere, though in Britain, food labelling laws define "scampi" as Nephrops norvegicus.
In the United Kingdom, "scampi" refers to a dish of shelled tail meat, coated in breadcrumbs or batter, deep fried and often served with chips, peas and Tartar sauce. In the Southern Hemisphere, other species of lobster are used instead, such as Metanephrops challengeri.
In the USA, "scampi" is often the menu name for shrimp in Italian-American cuisine. The term "Scampi", by itself, is also the name of a dish of shrimp served in garlic butter and dry white wine, served either with bread, or over pasta. The word "scampi" is often construed as that style of preparation rather than an ingredient, with traditional scampi being described as "shrimp scampi", and variants such as "chicken scampi" also existing.