Squid, although a popular seafood around Mediterranean countries, has never enjoyed great demand in North America until recently. Still, in many small cities, and rural Canada, and the U.S.A, you will be hard pressed to find squid in fish stores, let alone on restaurant menus.
Squids are cephalopods, of which there are 300 species. All have eight arms arranged in pairs and two tentacles.
They are strong swimmers with complex digestive systems.
The majority of squids measure 60 centimetres, but giant squids, measuring up to 14 metres, have been caught; in 2008 one weighing 495 kilograms was captured in New Zealand.
Squid, now marketed with its Italian name calamari, is popular in Chinese, Greek, Turkish, Japanese, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, Korean, Indian, Vietnamese, and Philippine chefs.
It is abundant and can be processed easily after removing the “spine”, and skin. The tubular body can be stuffed with vegetables or other seafood, cut into rings, breaded and deep-fried, fried, stewed, marinated or grilled.
The tentacles of squid and ink are also edible, which Italian chefs to use to flavour risottos.
A total of close to 2 ½ a million metric tones of squid were caught in 2008. It is abundant and flavourful, if and when properly prepared.
Squid is rich in zinc, magnesium, copper, selenium, vitamin B12 and riboflavin.
Squid freezes well,
but fresh squid taste a lot better and more tender.