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Difference Between Squid and Calamari

squid-whiteSquid vs Calamari

Squids are molluscs, popular for the soft flesh and taste. It is very popular dish in many parts of the world. The cooking method of squid is quite different from the other regular sea foods. Calamari also is a popular sea food. Though many think squid and calamari are the same, both are different. Some even say that calamari is just the Italian word used for squid.

There are over 500 species of squids and these are found in varying shapes, sizes, and weights. Both Squids and Calamaris do not have external shells; instead have an ink sac as a defence mechanism. The ink sacs squirt out a thick dark ink which distracts the predators and gives the squid enough time to escape the scene. Certain squids are capable of changing body colours as well.

Calamari is the name representing the species of squids which have side fins running on the full length of the body. Squids have fins, but these run only for short distance on the sides of the body. Calamaris are similar to the squids in many respects, but are often more tender when compared to the other squids.

Squids are larger in size than Calamaris. When you see both, you can make out the difference easily. Squids have pointed small flaps on the narrow end of the bodies. These resemble arrows. A calamari has long triangular wing-like flaps on either sides of the body.

Calamari is best for frying, grilling, and stir frying dishes. As the flesh is tenderer, it gets cooked soon and is tastier. Squid is best when used for stuffing and stewing.

Two popular varieties of squids are Loligo Squid and Gould’s Squid. Among the Calamari, Southern Calamari and Northern Calamari are famous.

In some places, if squid refers to the creature, calamari refers to the cooked item. In short, Calamari is a cooked squid. But then if you are wondering about this difference in the name, it is because calamari sounds more palatable than squid. At different places, squid is known as Italian calamari. But in English, nowadays, the term Calamari refers to the Mediterranean dishes made from squid. Calamaris can be prepared in different styles ‘“ Hong Kong fried Calamari, Italian, Spanish, and even Chinese. In some parts of the world, baby squid used for cooking is known by the name Calamari.


1.Calamari has long triangular flaps on both sides of the body. Squid has pointed flaps which are smaller, at the narrow end of the body.
2.Squids are larger in size than Calamaris.
3.Calamari has side fins running along the whole length of the body on both the sides. In squids, the side fins are found only for a shorter length of the body on both the sides.
4.Calamari flesh is tenderer than that of squid.
5.Squid is best for stuffing and stewing, while Calamari is best for frying, stir frying, and grilling dishes.

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  1. Squid and Calamari have an internal transparent bone, Cuttlefish has a flesh coloured large bone which is encased in a membrane.

    The wings of Calamari and Squid taper the whole length of the body. A cuttlefish has two wings arrow shaped at the narrow end of the body.

    Please explain the difference between Cuttlefish, Squid & Calamari.

    • Calamaro is the italian word for squid. Calamari is plural, calamaro is singular. The difference above (and please stay in the same language) is the difference between squid and cuttlefish.

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