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Calamari: The Versatile Seafood Delicacy

Calamari

Calamari, the Italian word for “squid” for those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of tasting it, is a delectable appetizer made of squid that is coated and deep-fried for an enticing crunchy taste.

History Of Calamari

Calamari has traditionally been a staple of Mediterranean cuisine. Calamari is still relished in Italy with a sprinkle of salt and a squeeze of lemon. Calamari rings are frequently served on kabobs with grilled veggies in Portugal, and calamari with aioli is a popular dish in Spain.

It wasn’t until the 1970s that calamari became popular in North America. During this time, squid was commonly used as bait by fishermen on the east coast. It made its way onto platters and tables across the United States thanks to Italian restaurants.  

Image Credit: kalhh from Pixabay 

Appearance Of Calamari

Squids have a projecting head with long tentacles. They might be as tiny as an inch long or grow up to 43 feet in length. The squid that you find on your dining table, however, are about 10 inches long. Squid have eight limbs and two longer tentacles in addition to their long head.

Image Credit: Miguelpereda from Pixabay 

Flavor Of Calamari

The meat has a mild, sweetish, almost nutty flavor and is sturdy and white. The texture of fried squid should be robust with a slight chew, but not rubbery. Overcooking the calamari leads to rubberiness, so a careful eye is essential to getting the texture right. 

Culinary Benefits Of Calamari

Calamari absorbs spices and flavors well when marinated, which means that they can be both flavorful and perfectly textured. The deep-fried variant is crispier on the outside while staying tender on the inside.

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Calamari belongs to Italy. So what better dish than Garlic Shrimp with Broccoli Pasta to celebrate this delightful Italian delicacy? This shrimp, broccoli, and pasta dish is easy enough to make on a weeknight with a basic garlic-butter sauce. Replace the shrimp with an equal amount of calamari.

Looking to take your calamari to Japan? Then this Shrimp Teriyaki is the perfect dish for you. Simply switch out the shrimp for your calamari for a complete meal, of succulent squid, crisp broccoli, and fluffy rice.

Do you need a meal that has fewer steps and takes even lesser ingredients? Try this recipe for Jerk Shrimp with Roast Vegetables by replacing the shrimp with calamari. The thinly sliced peppers and onions give the dish a sweet and savory flavor while the calamari brings the heat. 

Image Credit: Jason Goh from Pixabay 

Best Ways To Store Calamari

Store squid in the coldest area of your refrigerator or on a bed of ice after purchasing fresh or thawed squid. Store cooked squid in a firmly sealed container in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 days. 

Feature Image: martin miranda from Pixabay 

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