Scungilli ventures from East Coast to local stores

Reader Lori Osmany is looking for scungilli, also commonly called conch. I decided to do a little research to determine the differences between the two, because some people insist that scungilli are strictly American, never eaten in Italy. Not true, it appears.

In Italy’s Neapolitan region, which historically has been relatively poor, the local scungiglio — scungilli in the plural, and a blanket term for the local sea snails — became a fairly popular food source. Neapolitan emigrants to the East Coast found similar uses for the local whelks, which they dubbed scungilli.

Conch is well-known in the Caribbean and subtropical parts of the United States, where it’s popular in chowder or simply served cracked.

There are some anatomical differences, but the easiest guideline is that whelks are found in cooler waters, conch in warmer. Since both are blanket terms, there’s a lot of gray area. Suffice it to say flavor and texture are similar.

For Osmany, Ann Brown faxed that she’s found canned scungilli at Siena Deli at 9500 W. Sahara Ave. and fresh, during the holidays, in the fish case at Glazier’s Food Marketplace, 8525 W. Warm Springs Road.

Libby Casolari emailed to say conch can be found at the International Marketplace, 5000 S. Decatur Blvd. …

For Bob Corsale, who’s looking for a restaurant that serves smoked turkey breast, Michael Losey wrote to recommend the Emerald Island Casino at 120 Market St. in Henderson, where he said the turkey is smoked in-house, along with ribs, chicken and hams. …

For Bette Stahl, who’s looking for veal breast to prepare at home, Bill Megill emailed that it’s available at Glazier’s. …

For Diane Homeier, who seeks a local source for Gonnella French rolls, Megill suggested Glazier’s as well. …

For Frank James, who’s looking for cut-up frying chickens, the Jensens at Village Meat & Wine, 5025 S. Eastern Ave., emailed that they carry free-range, antibiotic-free and hormone-free fryers and will cut them any way he likes. …

For Peter Vaughan, who’s looking for Boyland brand soft drinks, Alan B. Van Ees reported finding them at Total Wine & More at 501 N. Stephanie St., which he said carries “all types of ‘custom’ sodas.”

Reader requests

Ilse Root is looking for white American cheese, the slices individually wrapped. …

Paul Friday of Lake Havasu, Ariz., is looking for both sweet and regular Lebanon bologna, adding, “Seltzer’s is a popular brand, but any will do.” …

Charleen Lego is looking for some smokin’ ingredients — smoked paprika, smoked chili powder and smoked Gruyere — and also pure black and white truffle oil, without olive oil added. …

Dia Osborne is looking for a local retail source for fresh Blue Oasis shrimp, preferably in Henderson. Readers?

Submit information to Heidi Knapp Rinella, P.O. Box 70, Las Vegas, NV 89125-0070. You also can send faxes to 383-4676 or email her at hrinella@reviewjournal.com. Include your first and last names and, if emailing, put “Taste of the Town” in the subject line. Follow @HKRinella on Twitter.

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