Seafood offers a thrilling culinary journey, especially when you’re faced with the delectable wonder that is calamari. Often served as a crispy appetiser or a succulent main dish, calamari has captured the hearts and palates of food enthusiasts worldwide.
Allow us to unravel the basics of calamari, from what it is to how to buy calamari and prepare it to perfection. As a quick piece of advice, buy calamari from Manettas to ensure you’re getting fresh, top-quality varieties.
Exploring the World of Calamari
Calamari is a culinary term that refers to a variety of squid species commonly enjoyed as a seafood delicacy. These cephalopods are known for their tender flesh and mild, slightly sweet flavour. Their versatile nature makes them a star ingredient in numerous dishes across different cuisines.
The Allure of Calamari Rings
One of the most popular ways to enjoy calamari is in the form of rings. These are thin slices of squid, often coated in a light, crispy batter and deep-fried to golden perfection. Calamari rings are a beloved appetiser in seafood restaurants, offering a delightful contrast between the crunchy exterior and the tender interior.
Buying Calamari: A Quest for Freshness
When it comes to purchasing calamari, freshness is paramount. Here are some tips on how to buy calamari:
- Check appearance – Fresh calamari should have a pale, creamy-white colour with a subtle shine. Avoid squid with any off-putting odours or discolourations.
- Texture matters – The flesh should feel firm to the touch and slightly springy. Soft or mushy calamari may not be as fresh.
- Whole or rings – Depending on your culinary plans, you can buy whole calamari to prepare from scratch or opt for pre-sliced rings for convenience.
- Frozen vs. fresh – While fresh calamari is excellent, high-quality frozen calamari can also provide exceptional results, ensuring year-round availability. For this, make sure to purchase from reputable online seafood sources like Manettas.
Calamari Cooking Techniques
Calamari’s versatility shines through in various cooking techniques. Here are some popular ways to prepare calamari:
- Fried calamari – Deep-frying calamari rings in a light batter is a classic and beloved preparation method. Serve with a squeeze of lemon and a side of marinara sauce for dipping.
- Grilled calamari – Grilling calamari imparts a smoky flavour and a delightful char. Marinate with olive oil, garlic and herbs for added depth of taste.
- Stuffed calamari – Create an exquisite dish by filling whole calamari tubes with a flavourful stuffing mix, then simmering them in a rich tomato sauce.
- Calamari salad – Calamari can be served cold in a refreshing salad, combined with fresh vegetables and a zesty dressing.
Pairing Calamari with Flavours
Calamari’s mild taste makes it a versatile canvas for various flavours. Consider these pairings:
- Citrus – The bright acidity of lemon or lime complements calamari’s sweetness.
- Garlic – A touch of garlic adds depth and aroma to calamari dishes.
- Chilli – A hint of chilli heat can elevate the dish, balancing the squid’s mildness.
- Fresh herbs – Basil, parsley and cilantro enhance the freshness of calamari.
Calamari: A Global Culinary Journey
From Mediterranean fried calamari to Asian stir-fried calamari with vegetables, this versatile ingredient transcends borders and cuisines. Exploring calamari dishes allows you to experience a diverse range of flavours and cooking styles, making it a beloved choice for seafood enthusiasts around the world.
As you embrace the world of calamari, you’ll discover a delightful world of flavours and textures. Whether you’re indulging in crispy calamari rings or savouring a stuffed calamari masterpiece, this seafood delicacy has the power to elevate your culinary journey.
Buy calamari with confidence, experiment with different preparations and let your taste buds go on a delectable adventure through the wonders of the deep blue sea. Enjoy every succulent bite and share the magic of calamari with your loved ones!