Squid – Interesting Facts

Cephalopod is the umbrella term that covers the likes of octopus, cuttlefish, squid and calamari, which are marine animals with only a head and arms or tentacles. Calamari and octopus are two of the most common cephalopods that appear on menus. Squid is healthy either boiled or grilled – 100 grams of squid contains 85 calories and 1.1 grams of fat. It is rich in unsaturated fat. Thanks to its mild taste, it goes well with a number of sauces and spices. Its tough consistency can be made softer if it is placed in the freezer shortly before preparing.

Food Facts Food Facts

Squid (calamari)

Class

cephalopod fish

Calories

85 kcal per 100 g

Nutrients

2.3 g carbohydrates, 0 g fibre, 1.1 g fat, 16 g protein per 100 g

Season

available year-round

Storage

freeze or ideally cook directly after purchase

Shelf life

to be eaten on the day of purchase

Squid – Special Characteristics

The squid belongs to the aquatic invertebrate cephalopod group in the molluscan class and is commonly grouped together with the likes of octopus and cuttlefish. There have been approximately 800 species of cephalopods identified to date but because only a small fraction of the deep sea has been explored, there may be more species than we are aware. Most cephalopods have between eight and ten arms. Squid, and most other cephalopods, have a black ink sac that they use to conceal themselves from a predator. The ink is edible and is often used to colour pasta and rice.

Squid is mostly eaten in the Mediterranean and in Asia. It can be found in all the world’s seas but is mostly caught in the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Indian Ocean. Fresh squid can be found in fish mongers or delicatessens and is recognisable by its white skin, which should be free from yellow spots.

Squid - Grill, Stew or Fry?

The first thing to do when preparing squid is to rinse it in water. Cut it into rings, strips or any other shape, watch out not to cut into the ink bag if it is still attached.

Squid is commonly seen in dishes and goes well with potatoes, salad and a number of sauces. Fried squid is not necessarily low in calories because of the batter or oil that it’s fried in. If eating squid not only for its taste but also its low-calorie properties, then it’s best to grill or stew it – these two ways of preparing the fish also retain the nutritional value of the squid. Quickly fried, boiled or stewed, squid is the ideal ingredient for salads. Grilled squid can also be seasoned with herbs, lemon juice and olive oil and eaten with garlic bread. Other recipes include fish soup or seafood spaghetti. 

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