Calamari is one of the most popular seafood dishes you can get. Many people around the country consume fried calamari as an appetizer. The texture and juiciness of this squid dish make it stand out from other popular appetizers and other seafood dishes overall. But because it’s such a common dish from such an unusual animal, we thought of some fun facts about calamari that would be interesting to tell people about.
From how it got its name to how it is eaten across the world, calamari is full of surprises.
Fun Facts About Calamari’s Name
The craziest thing we learned about calamari is that calamari and squid are two different sea creatures. Calamari is a smaller cephalopod, whereas squid species are famously large. They look so similar in appearance that their names have become interchangeable, with them both being called calamari in Europe, but there’s more to the name. In the United States, calamari means food made with squid. Between two specialties and two countries, calamari has the most confusing name among popular seafood.
It doesn’t end there. With an international history that starts in Europe and leads into America, there are a lot more interesting facts about calamari’s name. Here are some of our favorites.
- Calamari originates from Italy, so it should make sense that the name comes from the Italian word “calamaro.”
- “Calamaro” was originally Italian for “ink pot,” “pen case,” or “reed pen.” Since squids squirt ink, it makes sense that it would influence the name of the food made from squid.
Fun Facts About Calamari in Other States and Countries
Calamari is popular around the world, but some facts about where it’s most and least popular may shock you.
- Did you know that calamari is so popular in Rhode Island that the state harvests over 54% of all calamari in the Northeast United States?
- Fish and chips mean something different everywhere. In New Zealand, South Africa, and Australia, the dish of fish and chips includes fried calamari. But if french fries are the chips in Britain, and calamari is fried, is calamari the ‘fish’ or the ‘chips’ in Australia?
- In Korea, it’s popular to eat calamari raw, not fried, not sauteed, not in sushi, just raw.
- In countries like China and Japan, calamari is considered a snack. We wish we ate calamari like we eat pretzels and chips.
Fun Facts About Squid
Without squid, there would be no calamari to make them from. These fascinating sea creatures are unlike almost any other sea fish under the ocean when judged by appearance. They’ve inspired legends, nightmares, art, and more while also being one of the tastiest treats in the sea.
- There are over 300 different species of squid out in the world, but sadly, they are not all edible.
- The colossal squid is over 45 feet long, which is longer than the average bus. Sadly, they are poisonous. You cannot eat them.
- The colossal squid has the biggest eyes in the animal kingdom. You can’t eat those either.
- A squid’s tentacles and a squid’s arms are two different things. The arms don’t have suction cups.
- Many different species of squid have three different hearts. You can eat some of them.
- Squid have beaks, like birds.
- Squid have built-in contact lenses, so they never need glasses.
- When a squid blends into the environment, it doesn’t turn invisible. It actually turns red, which is a color that can’t be seen on the lower levels of the ocean, where many bigger species of squid live.
Tell Us Your Fun Facts About Calamari and Squid Over Dinner
Fried calamari is one of the most popular appetizers around the world, made from one of the most interesting animals in the world. We told you some of the most fun facts we could find out about calamari and squid. It’s only fair if you come and tell us some fun facts about calamari that you know. Make a reservation online today.