Squid (food)

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"Calamari" redirects here. For other uses, see Calamari (disambiguation).

Squid is a popular food in many parts of the world.

In many of the languages around the Mediterranean sea, squid are referred to by a term related to the Italian "calamari" (singular "calamaro"), which in English has become a culinary name for Mediterranean dishes involving squid, especially fried squid (fried calamari).[1]

Fried squid[edit]

Fried calamares from Spain
Karaage of squid legs from Japan
Battered and fried baby squid, known as puntillitas - a popular tapas dish in Andalusia, Spain
Cantabrian Rabas - deep fried squid body rings and tentacles
Turkish Kalamar ve Tarator Sosu - fried squid body rings with tarator
분식집 오징어튀김
Korea style fried squid

Fried squid (fried calamari, calamari) is a dish in Mediterranean cuisine. It consists of batter-coated, deep fried squid, fried for less than two minutes to prevent toughness. It is served plain, with salt and lemon on the side.

In North America, it is a staple in seafood restaurants. It is served as an appetizer, garnished with parsley, or sprinkled with parmesan cheese. It is served with dips: peppercorn mayonnaise, tzatziki, or in the United States, marinara sauce, tartar sauce, or cocktail sauce. In Mexico it is served with Tabasco sauce or habanero. Other dips, such as ketchup, aioli, and olive oil are used. In the United States, government and industry worked together to popularize calamari consumption in the 1990s.[2]

In Lebanon, Syria and Turkey it is served with tarator, a sauce made using tahini. Like many seafood dishes, it may be served with a slice of lemon.

In South Africa, Australia and New Zealand fried calamari is popular in fish and chip shops; imitation calamari of white fish may also be used. When offered for sale as whole fresh animals, the term Calamari should only be used to describe the Northern and Southern Calamari (Sepioteuthis spp.), however once prepared as food it is common to apply the term calamari to any squid species and even cuttlefish.[citation needed]

Squid preparation[edit]

The body (mantle) can be stuffed whole, cut into flat pieces or sliced into rings. The arms, tentacles and ink are edible; the only parts of the squid that are not eaten are its beak and gladius (pen).


The word Calamari is the plural form of the Italian word for squid, Calamaro.

Also known as Kalamari (Greek), Kalamar (Turkish), Calmar (French), Kalmari (Finnish), Calamar (Spanish), the name derives from the Late Latin word calamarium for "ink pot", after the inky fluid that squid secrete.[1] Calamarium in turn derives from Greek kalamos (κάλαμος) meaning "reed," "tube" or "pen".[8]


Allergies to calamari are fairly common and can have severe consequences.[9] As with other molluscs, the allergen is probably tropomyosin.[10]


Imitation calamari[edit]

In episode 484: "Doppelgängers" of This American Life (January 3, 2014), Ira Glass reported on the serving of imitation calamari, actually made of pork bung (hog intestines and rectums), unbeknownst to customers.[11]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Media related to Squid (food) at Wikimedia Commons