What is Calamari & How To Consume It?


You may have come across the name Calamari on the seafood menu of many restaurants. Derived from the Italian squid, a Calamari usually refers to a battered deep-fried seafood appetizer usually served in restaurants and bars. 

Unlike other seafood, Calamari has a thin yet tough flesh, which, when cooked properly, can be converted into the most tender and delightful meat.

Calamari has traveled across many countries; in the united states, it is usually served as a battered appetizer; alongside the main dishes, it has been fried in china and Italy for years. Many countries, especially Greece, are filled with various other fillings like herbs and rice, and you will love the raw Calamari served in japan. 

Apart from these, the Spanish love this squid in soups, paella, pasta, and risotto; the Portuguese, on the other hand, use it with kebabs alongside peppers and onion. 

No matter where you go around the world, you’ll find a different style of Calamari being served, which makes this squid so amazing and delightful.

This article will tell you more about Calamari and its consumption in different ways. Stay tuned.

What is Calamari?

Over 300 types are found in the ocean, and this one means a squid. Only a few of these are squids are used in the culinary industry. 

In the US, Calamari is generally a fried, battered appetizer often served at bars and restaurants alongside main dishes.

The size of a squid varies from 1 inch to 8o inches long, but it becomes quite impossible to serve an 80-foot-long squid, so it is generally cut into pieces of around 12 inches.

Like acuttlefish and octopus, the squid has a protective mechanism and releases a dark ink into whatever it is in danger.

Where Do You Find Calamari?

Apart from the black sea, Calamari is found in almost all oceans, but very few of the 300 species are fit to be used for culinary purposes. Some of the most fished squids are European, the Atlantic, the reef, and the Japanese flying squid. 

Japan is known for half of the total consumption of Calamari across the globe; it is known as ika and is generally categorized in the same group as cuttlefish or koika.

How to Cook Calamari?

The idea of tentacles and shooting ink does not seem to be a good appetizer, but that does not affect its popularity as a delicious cuisine worldwide. However, it takes a lot of preparation to cook Calamari as a perfect dish.

Squids are generally cooked using hot and cold fast cooking methods. These include grillings, broiling, sauteing and deep-frying. You can even consume Calamari raw, and it is famous as one of the many types of sushi.

Some people like to cook it using the low and slow-braised method. One of the best recipes for cooking a squid is braising it in tomato garlic and white wine sauce. Calamari curry is another delicious dish served in different parts of the world.

How to buy Calamari?

Calamari can be bought in several forms. It can be canned, frozen, dried, and even pickled. Calamari is very good seafood, and along with its flesh, the black ink that it releases during danger is often used to color risotto and pasta and add a salty taste to them.

Squid tentacles are edible, the best-consumed part of the squid remains its body. It is either cut flat or sliced into rings, or even stuffed with ingredients like rice and herbs.

Whichever way it is cooked, Calamari is a delightful dish and is enjoyed by people all around the globe.

What Is The Taste Of Calamari?

Calamari has a thinner and milder flesh as compared to octopus and cuttlefish. It is more flavorful than other seafood like lobster or crab and is generally smooth and firm.

When cooked well, Calamari turns into the most delightful and tender meat ever, and it will beautifully soak up the flavors of other ingredients used in cooking. When cooked alone, Calamari is very chewy and bland in taste. 

Tips To Store Calamari

When storing seafood, it is generally advised not to freeze it for too long. However, Calamari freezes excellently so that it can purchase in the frozen form at most grocery stores. It is advised to put a fresh squid in a zip-top freezing bag.

Frozen Calamari can be stored for upto two months, and when it is cooked, it can last in the refrigerator for upto a few days. But it is best had immediately after it’s cooked/fried.

Popular Calamari Dish 

Fried Calamari 

Fried Calamari is one of the most popular ways Calamari is consumed all around the globe. And you’ll find it on almost every Italian-American restaurant menu.

It is generally breaded into flour, seasoned with flour, and then fried and served along with lemon wedges and marinara sauce.

Spanish Paella 

Spanish paella is a dish in which Calamari is cooked with garlic and saffron-scented rice. It is then mixed with  chorizo, chicken,and several other kinds of seafood. It is generally served along with various main courses.


One of the most popular dishes worldwide, cioppino is a seafood stew in which squid is generally added to increase its flavor. Fishers introduced the dish in California’s bay area around the late 19th century. 

Calamari is one of the most versatile seafood, and you can have it in many ways like fried, in a stew, or can be aof sushi. Try Calamari next time you see it on a restaurant’s menu. Please tell us how you like your squid, fried, stewed, or raw, in the comments below.