Langoustine, the very word itself, is a delightful mouthful that brings a sense of culinary adventure to mind. Pronounced “lan-goose-teen,” it rolls off the tongue with a hint of exotic allure. When the season for these delectable crustaceans arrives, I find myself irresistibly drawn to them. Their reputation for juiciness and rich flavor precedes them, making them a must-have in my seafood repertoire.
But here’s where the intrigue deepens: Langoustines are sometimes referred to as scampi. A term that can cause some confusion among seafood enthusiasts. It’s not uncommon for people to mistake them for shrimp or prawns. The reality, however, is that scampi belong to the lobster family, while prawns are closer relatives to shrimp. So, even within the realm of these delectable sea creatures, distinctions abound.
These prized langoustines thrive in the frigid waters of the North Sea, particularly along the west coast of Scotland in the Moray Firth and extending toward the pristine shores of Iceland. Norway, too, boasts a share of these treasures. Each locale imparts its unique characteristics to the langoustines, offering subtle variations in flavor and texture that tantalize the taste buds.
On a culinary journey further afield, you may encounter “gambas,” the giant deep-sea shrimp. Found in the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea, these formidable creatures lack the signature scissors-like claws of the langoustine but offer their own distinct pleasures on the palate.
Interestingly, depending on the linguistic backdrop, you might hear langoustines referred to as “langostino” when spoken by a Spanish connoisseur discussing scampi. The nuances of language add an extra layer of intrigue to these already fascinating crustaceans.
In the world of seafood, langoustines are a true gem, deserving of their celebrated place in gastronomy. Whether you savor them for their succulent meat, relish their unique flavors, or simply enjoy saying their name, langoustines are a delightful addition to any seafood lover’s table. Learn how to STEAM LANGOUSTINE!