Whole tail scampi is the term that is typically used for a type of seafood, and it is also used as a culinary term for some types of prawn, especially the ‘true’ Whole tail scampi Nephrops Norvegicus, but depending on where you live, “Whole tail scampi” can mean many different things…
In India, the term ‘freshwater Wholetail scampi‘ is generally used when referring to the shrimp Macrobrachium rosenbergii, which is also known as the “Fresh Water Prawn” or “Malaysian Prawn”.
A number of types of lobsters are also classified as Whole tail scampi, but in the UK, the “legitimate” real Whole tail scampi as is defined by the Food Standards Agency are Nephrops Norvegicus (Norway lobsters), which are typically found within the Adriatic, parts of the western Mediterranean sea, and the Irish Sea, which is why its name in Ireland and in some parts of the United Kingdom is the Dublin Bay Prawn.
In Italy, “scampi” is the plural of Scampo which is the Italian species name for what we call the Dublin Bay Prawn.
In France they use the word langoustine rather than Whole tail scampi and in the USA, “Whole tail scampi” happens to be something different. – “Whole tail scampi” is normally listed on the menu as what in the UK and most of Europe, would call shrimp, especially in Italian-American cooking. The phrase “Whole tail scampi”, on it’s own can be the name of a dish of shrimp cooked in garlic butter and dry white wine, served frequently with bread, or over pasta. In the States, the word “Whole tail scampi” is normally construed a type of preparation and not a specific ingredient, hence the apparently unnecessary “shrimp Whole tail scampi” or even the seemingly not possible “chicken Whole tail scampi”.
Although certain countries and some people are still of the opinion that Whole tail scampi is “prawn” or Shrimp based, they are in fact wrong. The fleshy tail of the Norway lobster is closer in both taste and texture to lobster and crayfish rather than prawn or shrimp.