If you search "what is calamari" on Google, the definition given is "squid served as food." This definition is as simple as it gets, but the taste of calamari is anything but. Calamari originated in Italy, with the name directly translating to the Italian word for squid. It has gained popularity in North America fairly recently, and now appears on the menus of restaurants across the country. Calamari has a chewy texture, but the way it's prepared can create a multitude of different flavors, meaning there's no single way to explain what it tastes like. 

How Calamari Is Eaten

Calamari should be cooked in one of two ways: extremely quickly or for a long time. Anything in between will result in a rubbery dish that no one will enjoy eating. The most common way that calamari is prepared is by covering the squid in a batter and frying it. It's often served with lemon or with some sort of dipping sauce on the side. If you've seen calamari on a menu, this is probably the dish that comes to mind. However, calamari can also be grilled and enjoyed in pastas and soups. 

Easy Calamari Recipes

Even though most people enjoy calamari deep fried, there are many ways you can play with the texture and taste of squid.

1. Classic Fried Calamari 

I keep mentioning the common way of preparing calamari, so why don't you give it a try? With this quick and easy recipe, you can taste for yourself why this way of preparing squid is so popular in restaurants across the country.

2. Calamari Stewed with Tomatoes

This calamari recipe is more involved, but give it a try if you want to taste a more authentic Italian dish. Its many flavors will make you glad you branched out from the typically fried dish.

3. Sautéed Calamari with Parsley and Garlic

Don't have much time but still want the classy taste of squid? Try this quick sautéed calamari recipe. Though simple, the savory garlic and butter flavor makes this dish taste like you spent hours preparing it.

4. Marinated Grilled Calamari

This calamari recipe is more time consuming, but that hard work will yield the great natural flavors of squid. Grilling brings out a rich flavor, and using a marinade will make the simple squid taste extraordinary.

It's amazing how many dishes can be made from squid. Expand your taste for calamari and try these recipes that transform it into something so much more than a fried appetizer.