What is Calamari and What Does It Taste Like?

Fried Calamari
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Question: What is calamari?

What is calamari? Is it squid?

Answer: Calamari is indeed squid.

The squid is a mollusk related to the cuttlefish and octopus. It has ten tentacles, and like its cousin, the octopus, it also has a protective mechanism which releases a dark ink into the water when it senses danger.

The meat is firm and white with a mild, slightly sweet and almost nutty flavor. The squid ranges from one inch in size up to eighty feet, but the most common size for eating is less than twelve inches.

Although the tentacles are edible, the body is the prime section of meat which can be stuffed whole, cut into flat pieces, or sliced crosswise into perfect rings.

Squid lends itself to just about every cooking method imaginable and is often eaten raw in sushi dishes. Squid is available fresh, canned, frozen, dried and pickled.

Squid is also known as calamari, which is its Italian name. Since calamari seems to sound more palatable than squid, you'll most often see squid recipes listed as calamari on restaurant menus.

More about Squid and Calamari:

Squid Selection and Storage
Squid and Calamari Cooking Tips and Hints
How to Clean Squid and Harvest Squid Ink
How to Clean Squid - Photo Tutorial
• What is calamari? FAQ