Sunday, February 28, 2010

Whatsa "Scampi"?

A couple of weeks ago I told Bill I was going to make chicken scampi for dinner. He said, "oh no you're not." He confirmed what I had thought- scampi means shrimp, and he doesn't do shrimp. I assured him that this recipe didn't have any shrimp in it and that he would like it. He did. So did I. Who doesn't like something with butter as the base ingredient, right?

But the scampi debate has been going and going in my head. Why did we both think scampi meant shrimp? Is it merely because the only scampi dish I have ever heard of is shrimp scampi? Maybe. I decided to let it go. Until tonight. I made the chicken scampi again, and again it was delicious. But again, my head wouldn't let go of the thought that scampi means shrimp.

So here I sit, 10:15 Sunday night researching about scampi...

Merrium-Webster says scampi is "a usually large shrimp; also : large shrimp prepared with a garlic-flavored sauce." There you have it, we were right. But a garlic-flavored sauce? Maybe this had garlic in it, but it certainly didn't overpower the dish. So I must do more research...

Wikipedia says scampi is a variety of lobster. It also says that in the UK it is a lobster tail that has been breaded, deep fried, and served with 'chips' and tartar sauce. (This would be very different than what we Americans think of as scampi) In the US it can be a term for a type of dish that is cooked in a garlic-butter sauce with white wine and served over pasta or rice with bread. But finally, it says The word "scampi" is often construed as that style of preparation rather than an ingredient, with that preparation being called "shrimp scampi", and with variants such as "chicken scampi". So we were wrong. Or we were wrong and right? Or nobody really knows what they're talking about. I don't know.

There is your scampi lesson for the day. Aren't you glad you got into my head today? Bill is because he won't listen to all of this. He said to me once, "do you ever think that maybe you over think things a little?" Well...YEAH! Duh. He should be grateful or he would be eating shrimp in a butter/garlic/white wine sauce and kissing garlic breath! My real question is this: do I continue to call this dish Chicken Scampi and let it continue to bother me (or let it go?! haha), or do I rename it something? And if I rename it, what should I call it? Frickin'-awesome-chicken-cooked-in-butter-with-garlic-but-no-wine? That seems a little long.

1 comment:

proud parents said...

Well, you wouldn't really call it "shrimp shrimp" now, would you? That's like saying Table Mesa. Wait a minute . . . there IS a Table Mesa!

Anyway, the other night I made what I dubbed "tri-colore tuna-tomato tettrazini". I have no idea what tettrazini is. Is it even a word? But it sounded how it tasted, which was yummy. So I'm sticking with it.

Boo-yah on your chicken scampi.