What Part of the Squid Is Calamari?

Last Updated on March 9, 2023 by Lauren Beck

Calamari is a popular seafood dish that has become a favorite among many people. While most people know that calamari is made from squid, they may not know exactly which part of the squid is used. 

In this article, we will explore what part of the squid is calamari, where it comes from, how it is made, and more.

What Part of the Squid Is Calamari?

The part of the squid that is used to make calamari are the rings or strips of the body. These are cut from the mantle, which is the main part of the squid’s body that encloses the internal organs. The mantle is typically tube-shaped and is the part of the squid that provides the most meat for consumption.

What is Calamari?

Calamari is a dish made from squid that has been breaded, fried, and served as an appetizer or main dish. The word “calamari” is derived from the Italian word for squid, which is “calamaro.” Calamari is a popular dish in many parts of the world, including Italy, Greece, Spain, and the United States.

Where Does Calamari Come From?

Calamari comes from various species of squid that are caught in different parts of the world. Squid can be found in both saltwater and freshwater, and they are caught using different methods such as trawling, jigging, and gillnetting. Some of the most popular squid species used for calamari include the European squid, the Japanese flying squid, and the Humboldt squid.

How Is Calamari Made?

Calamari is made by cleaning and preparing the squid, cutting it into rings or strips, and then breading and frying it. Some recipes may also include a marinade or seasoning before the breading process. Calamari can also be grilled, sautéed, or roasted.

What Is the Difference Between Squid and Calamari?

Squid and calamari are often used interchangeably, but there are some differences between the two. Calamari is a dish made from squid, but it specifically refers to the rings or strips of the squid that have been prepared and cooked. Squid, on the other hand, refers to the entire animal, including the body, tentacles, and fins.

What Does Calamari Look Like?

freshly cooked calamari

Calamari typically looks like breaded and fried rings or strips. The rings are typically about 1/2 inch in diameter and are made from the body of the squid. The strips are made from the body and tentacles of the squid and are usually longer and thinner than the rings.

Is Calamari Squid or Octopus?

Calamari is squid, not octopus. While both are mollusks with eight arms and two tentacles, squid have longer bodies and shorter arms than octopuses.

Where to Buy Calamari?

Calamari can be purchased at most seafood markets, grocery stores, and restaurants that serve seafood. It is also available online, but it is important to ensure that the calamari is fresh and has been stored properly during shipping.

How to Store Calamari?

Fresh calamari should be stored in the refrigerator and used within one to two days. If the calamari has been cooked, it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days. To freeze calamari, it should be stored in an airtight container or freezer bag and can be kept for up to three months.

How to Make Calamari?

Making calamari at home is relatively simple. Here is a basic recipe for fried calamari [1]:


  • 1 pound squid, cleaned and cut into rings
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for frying


  1. In a shallow dish, mix together the flour, cornmeal, salt, and black pepper.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Dredge the squid rings in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess.
  4. Place the squid rings in the hot oil and fry for 1-2 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.
  5. Remove the squid rings from the oil and place them on a paper towel to drain excess oil.
  6. Serve the fried calamari with lemon wedges and marinara sauce for dipping.

Most Popular Calamari Dishes

Calamari can be prepared and served in many ways, making it a versatile and popular seafood dish. Some of the most popular calamari dishes include:

  • Fried calamari: The classic way of preparing calamari, with a crispy breading and served with marinara sauce or aioli for dipping.
  • Calamari salad: Thinly sliced calamari served cold with a variety of vegetables, herbs, and a light dressing.
  • Grilled calamari: Calamari can be grilled whole or cut into pieces and served with a marinade or seasoning for added flavor.
  • Calamari pasta: Calamari can be added to pasta dishes, such as spaghetti or linguine, for a seafood twist on a classic dish.
  • Stuffed calamari: Calamari tubes can be stuffed with a mixture of breadcrumbs, herbs, and other seafood for a flavorful and hearty dish.


Calamari is a delicious and versatile seafood dish that is enjoyed all over the world. It is made from various species of squid, and the rings or strips are prepared by cleaning, breading, and frying the squid. While often used interchangeably, squid and calamari do have some differences, and calamari specifically refers to the prepared rings or strips. Calamari can be purchased fresh or frozen, and it is relatively easy to prepare at home in a variety of ways. Whether fried, grilled, or added to pasta dishes, calamari is a tasty and satisfying seafood option that is sure to please.


Lauren Beck
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