Calamari is one of the most popular menu items at Salerno’s Pizza. There are plenty of good reasons why, which we’ll explain. Calamari has become a family favorite for our Chicago and Bolingbrook customers.
But what is calamari? Why does it taste so good? How do people make it? We’ll answer these questions and more!
Calamari is the Italian word for squid. Seafood? Yes, many Mediterranean dishes have become staples in Italian restaurants, and calamari is one of them. You may not recognize calamari as squid thanks to its crispy batter coating! While the Italian dish is one of the best known, squid is a popular dish throughout the world, most prominently in Europe and Asia. Squid is enormously popular as a sushi topping in Japan.
In Spain, Italy, and Portugal, squid can be found as the protein served with pasta, rice, and soups as well as mixed with vegetables like peppers and onions. In Asia, you’ll find grilled, deep-fried, and stir-fried squid, sometimes even cooked whole!
For our calamari in Oak Park, we purchase from suppliers who process a select few squid species for culinary dishes. There are around 300 squid species in the world, but only around 10 are consumed by humans. Calamari comes from squid around a foot long that stay relatively close to the top level of the ocean, so don’t expect to eat a giant squid (anywhere from 12 to 80 feet long) as calamari anytime soon! That’s because giant squid dive more deeply into the oceans, so their body chemistry generally doesn’t taste good to humans.
Calamari has a mild flavor with a slightly sweet note, and its texture is slightly chewy. Because of its mild flavor, calamari forms the perfect base for sauces like marinara sauce or garlic aioli to add zip.
Unlike other seafood, calamari actually freezes well. You can store cooked calamari in the fridge for a few days as leftovers. If you want to freeze it, you can store calamari in the freezer for two months.
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