Pronunciation: [SKWIHD]

As a ten-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 1 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 panfried, 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. See also shellfish.

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.

Next Up

What Exactly Is Calamari?

Here's the deal on the golden-fried shared-app favorite.

"Fried" Calamari the Healthy Eats Way

Calamari is loaded with nutrients but it's usually served fried, which adds tons of fat and calories. Try Robin Miller's baked calamari and get the benefit, not the guilt.

Calamari Gets a Lighter, Summery Makeover

Learn how to make a stir fry with this week's Chopped Dinner Challenge basket ingredient, squid.

A Guide for Buying and Cooking Squid

A guide to buying and preparing squid or calamari.

Pan-Seared Calamari With Spicy Peanut Sauce

Restaurant-style calamari is typically breaded and fried which means it's loaded with calories and fat. Prepare it at home to get the health benefits, minus the excess fat.

Related Pages