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What is Calamari?

Calamari is on the menu of many Spanish restaurants. Read here “What is Calamari” and how to prepare them.

Spain has more than 60 islands and a coastline of more than 8.000 kilometers (almost 5.000 miles).

So, it is not surprising that Spanish cuisine features many mouth-watering seafood dishes.

Calamari is one of them that you can find on the menu of many Spanish restaurants. It is amongst others a trendy Spanish tapas food.

However, what exactly is Calamari?

What is Calamari?

What is Calamari squids1
Fresh, uncooked squids.

“Calamari” is the Italian word for squid (singular: calamaro).

The culinary term “Calamari” describes fried squid.

When you order calamari at a restaurant, the waiter will most probably serve small, deep-fried pieces of squid that look very similar to onion rings.

They have a sweet flavor and a nice crisp. The squid itself has a chewy texture that some people need some time to get used to.

Calamari is often garnished with fresh parsley and lemon. You can best enjoy them with a glass of white wine, for example, a Sauvignon Blanc.

Did you know?

There are more than 300 different species of squids living in our oceans. They can get between 30 and 60 centimeters (12 to 24 inches) long.

How to prepare Calamari?

When you want to prepare fresh squids, you first have to remove the head, cartilage, and innards.

Squids are either cooked very hot and quick (less than three minutes). Popular cooking methods are broiling, grilling, sautéing, and deep-frying.

Or they are cooked very long at low heat (more than three hours). You can simmer them, for example, in a tomato sauce, in white wine and garlic, or in curry.

You can also eat your squids raw, in the form of sushi, for example.

In Spanish cuisine, squids are often added to paella, salads, or prepared “al ajillo“.

What is Calamari squids1
Fried squids, served with fresh lemon. That’s what you get at most restaurants when you order the calamari.

How to store Calamari?

Squids are really easy to freeze. You can either buy them already frozen or freeze fresh squids on your own.

Just make sure that you wash them properly before freezing them, for example, in a zip-top freezer bag.

Well frozen, the squids last for several months. Cooked calamari can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days.

Deep-fried Calamari; however, tastes by far best if you eat them immediately.

Frequently asked questions about Calamari

What is Calamari?

“Calamari” is the Italian word for squid (singular: calamaro). The culinary term “Calamari” describes fried squid.

What does Calamari look like?

Calamari is actually a squid. They can vary in size, from just a few inches to up to 24 inches (a few centimeters up to 60 centimeters).

They have a protruding head, eight arms, and two longer tentacles. Squids often get confused with the octopus.

Is Calamari Octopus?

What is Calamari squids1

Calamari is actually a squid that often gets confused with octopus. So no, calamari is not an octopus.

What is Calamari made of?

Calamari is squid; however, the culinary term “Calamari” describes fried squid. So calamari is a fried squid.

What does Squid taste like?

Squids have a mild, slightly sweet taste and a chewy texture that many people need some time to get used to.

Is Calamari Squid or Octopus?

Calamari is squid, no octopus.

How many legs does a squid have?

A squid has in total eight legs and two longer tentacles.

Is calamari healthy to eat?

Squids contain many nutrients like proteins, zinc, vitamin B12, and selenium. The squid itself is thus healthy to eat.

However, many people eat their squids deep-fried which adds calories, fat, and sodium.

So, if calamari or squids are healthy to eat highly depends on how you prepare them.