How Italian Food impacted America


There are two forms of Scampi depending on the part of the world you are in. One form of scampi is a dish of large shrimp prepared with a garlic-flavored sauce, and the other is large shrimp that are often breaded and fried. Either definition is correct; it is just different ways to prepare this dish. The first definition is the American style version on scampi while the second defines the Italian version.




American style shrimp scampi

            According to, “shrimp scampi was first mentioned in the American cookbooks published in 1920”. In these cookbooks, the scampi was mentioned as a “dish cooked with shrimps which had been basted with olive oil, white wine, garlic and butter”. This dish is mostly consisted of shrimp while lobster, scallops and other shellfish could dominate other scampi. The American style scampi seems to be the most popular version, but this also may just be because I live in America and that is what is offered to me, making this is the style that I prefer and my choice to make as my meal. With scampi, the combinations are almost endless just as long as there is some type of pasta and some type of shellfish that is smothered in olive oil, wine, garlic, and butter. The American style scampi is very simple but also elegant at the same time.



The breaded and fried scampi version

            The breaded version of scampi, or the Italian style recipe “gained popularity in America after the World War II with the Tenakill Restaurant of New Jersey being the first to advertise the dish” ( After this, the Italian style of scampi became more popular is the United States and it started moving across the country. This style is still not as popular as the American style, but it’s just because it is a different way to prepare the meal. Honestly, it is a completely different meal. The American style is light and very juicy, while the Italian style is heavy and dry.



     Patsy’s Inn, one of the oldest italian restaurants in Denver.       

Italian food has a great impact on our American cuisine today since it immigrated over here in the 1920s. The reason why Italian food became so popular is because the restaurants that served pure Italian food also “always served their patrons homemade wine and grappa”. And who could not turn down free alcohol?! Travelers would come from all over to try this new food cuisine and in the end started to enjoy Italian food. This soon made this cuisine start spreading like rapid fire and now Italian restaurants are all over the place, ranging from fine dining to a quick bite.

            Both of these scampi seem like completely different meals, but in the end, they both consist of the same essential ingredients, but they are just prepared differently to obtain different tastes. 


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