The term prawn covers a multitude of varieties, many of them from warm foreign waters where they grow fast and often large. Even when unfrozen, these lack the flavour of our own, native fat juicy prawns.

Scampi is the Italian name for what we used to call Dublin Bay prawns, not in fact prawns at all but a tiny member of the lobster family. Just to confuse matters, what we call prawns the Americans call shrimps.

But our tiny shrimps are almost a national delicacy when potted in the traditional, Lancashire way with melted butter and spices. One authority suggests that to appreciate the flavour of potted shrimps, they should be gently warmed until the butter just begins to flow. I agree.

Accoding to the Marine Conservation Society you should buy Dublin Bay prawns in the months between December and August, Northern and Cold Water prawns between November and August.

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