Also known as:

Squid: Atlantic long-finned squid, Atlantic short-finned squid, California/Pacific squid, calamari. The word Calamari is the plural form of the Italian word for squid, Calamaro. Also known as Kalamari, Kalamar (Greek/Turkish), Calmar (French), Galama or Calamares (Spanish), the name derives from the Latin word calamarium for "ink pot", after the inky fluid that squid secrete. Calamarium in turn derives from Greek kalamos meaning "reed," "tube" or "pen".
Cuttlefish: sepia.


Waters: Squid is found in the waters of both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Cuttlefish is not available in North America except when imported from Europe, where it is as common as squid.

Like the octopus, the squid and cuttlefish are both cephalopods (meaning head-legs they all have ink sacs for squirting when in danger). Unlike the octopus, they have ten tentacles instead of eight. Squid range in size from one inch to 80 feet. The body of the cuttlefish is similar to that of the squid except that it is usually larger and fatter. It also has a larger ink sac than the squid or the octopus, containing a much darker ink. The bodies of both are white covered in a translucent, purplish mottled skin.

Cuttlefish and squid are sold either cleaned or uncleaned. Cleaned, they are bright white and firm, with their tentacles usually intact and attached. Uncleaned, they have a purple-tinged thin skin covering their bodies, which should be removed. (link to page on cleaning squid. Squid have firm, tender meat that turns chewy only when overcooked.

Best Cooking:

Squid and cuttlefish can be eaten raw, pan-fried, baked, stewed, stir-fried or battered and deep-fried (the calamari which most of us are familiar with). Cooking time should be closely watched as squid and cuttlefish turn rubbery and too chewy when overcooked. The ink of squid and cuttlefish are also used to color pasta or used in a sauce to accompany seafood (squid/cuttlefish or other types).

Buying Tips:

Squid and cuttlefish should smell of the ocean. They should be shiny and firm. It's best to buy smaller squid and cuttlefish as the larger varieties may be tougher. If possible, ask your fishmonger to clean them and remove their innards for you.

Nutrition Value:

Squid, 3 oz. (85g) (raw)
Calories: 78
Protein: 13.2g
Carbohydrate: 2.62g
Total Fat: 1.2g
Fiber: 0.0g
Excellent source* of: Selenium (38mcg), Riboflavin (0.35), and Vitamin B12 (1.1mcg)

When fried, squid (mixed species) provides 0.642 grams of omega-3 fatty acids, derived from EPA** (0.162g), DHA*** (0.38g), and ALA**** (0.1g), per 100 grams of squid (mixed species).

*Foods that are an “excellent source” of a particular nutrient provide 20% or more of the Recommended Daily Value. Foods that are a “good source” of a particular nutrient provide between 10 and 20% of the Recommended Daily Value.
**EPA - Eicosapentaenoic Acid
***DHA - Docosahexaenoic Acid
****ALA - Alpha Lipoic Acid

Substitutes for Squid/Cuttlefish:

One for the other.

Squid/Cuttlefish recipes

Print Article about Squid/Cuttlefish   Print Article

Free Fish & Seafood Recipes

^ Back to Top