As a 10-armed member of the Cephalopod class in the mollusk family, squid is related to both the octopus and calamari. Squid can range in size from one inch to the seldom seen 80-foot behemoth of the deep. Smaller squid are marketed in fresh, frozen, canned, sun-dried and pickled forms. They are very popular in Asian and Mediterranean cuisines and can be found in ethnic markets and some supermarkets. When buying fresh squid choose those that are small and whole with clear eyes and an ocean-fresh fragrance. They should be refrigerated, airtight, for no more than a day or two. Squid can be pan-fried, baked, boiled, stir-fried or coated with batter and deep-fried. The cooking time should always be short, since the texture becomes rubbery when overcooked. Squid is used raw by the Japanese in sushi dishes. The ink can be extracted from the ink sacs and used to color preparations like pasta or to flavor dishes such as calamares en su tinta ("squid in their ink"), a popular Spanish dish. Squid are rich in protein and phosphorus.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.