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Calamari - rings or tentacles?

Me, I'm a tentacles guy - after all, how many foods with tentacles are out there? Gotta take the opportunity to eat 'em when you can!

Obviously I'm a bit on the bored side this afternoon...

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  1. I like a good mix. If an order comes out and it's just rings, you know someone in the kitchen just opened up a big frozen bag. Also, tentacles pick up more dipping sauce.

    My kids are six and they already love fried squid -- especially the tentacles! I think they might even try baby octopus now too. We saw some at the asian market and they were intrigued.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Bob W

      I also vote for a mix, that way you get the best of both!

      1. re: tzurriz

        Yes, both!

        But, ever since seeing some random Discovery show on octopuses (spell check sez yes, I say, really, not octupi?) that make little sparkle-y gardens to entice a mate... I'll stick to squid. (OK, plus, I just don't care for octopus.)

      2. Tentacles all the way!

        1. Gotta be tentacles! Best flavor.

          1. I think the tentacles (we call them the spiders) are usually the most tender part, plus, as Bob W said, they soak up more of the aioli/pepper sauce/ginger sauce/whatever.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Isolda

              My feelings too, I like that they're more tender. Although it's interesting some of the other posters describe them as more crispy than the rings.

            2. my fiance used to be grossed out by the tentacles, then i got her to try them and now i wish i hadn't. I had them all to myself for awhile. . .

              1. Love the tentacles, they seem to become these nice crunchy bits of goodness.

                1. I love both, but really favor tentacles. I used to slurp them up slowly to gross my daughter out when she was little. Happy memory, though not terribly dignified behavior.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: mcf

                    that is absolutely hilarious

                    1. re: howlin

                      Especially with red sauce, Hallowe'en worthy. :-)

                  2. Tentacles all the way. yumm...you just gave me an idea for dinner...

                    1. I like a good mix of both.

                      1. Tentacles! I think they have a better, crispier texture. If I could have a basket of 100% tentacles, I would go for it.

                        1. IMO:
                          Fried it doesn't matter.
                          Grilled or sauteed or braised - tentacles.

                          1. Rings only. I keep thinking that the tentacles might awaken and wrap themselves around a molar and start pulling....*shudder*.

                            1. Definitely a fan of both. And I not only enjoy them fried, but LOVE them quickly sauteed in extra-virgin olive oil & then tossed with a spicy tomato sauce over linquini.

                              But it always has to be the whole shebang - not just the body rings. I won't buy them any other way. I particularly like when the tiny little baby ones are available - the bodies can be enjoyed whole & the tentacles are oh so tender!

                              I find it funny that years ago one NEVER found squid for sale in the fish markets unless it was an ethnic neighborhood. Growing up on Long Island, NY, you only found squid in the fish tackle places being sold for bait. No one actually ate them. Now there's barely a restaurant menu around that doesn't offer them - lol!! In fact, this past weekend, my husband & I were down in Charlottesville, VA, & were perusing all the posted dinner menus at the fancy-schmancy restaurants in the historic walking mall. We were laughing at the fact that every single menu (about 8 or so) had fried squid as an appetizer - every single one with a different dipping sauce. From trash to treasure in a span of 30-40 years or so - lol!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Breezychow

                                that is funny.

                                my wife's grandmother (passed 10 years ago at the age of 90+) used to go to catalina with the family to go fishing. we would all use the squid as "bait", while she would cook it up. hers was usually better.

                              2. both, but only on a rare occasion due to the extremely high cholesterol.

                                1. Looks like I shouldn't be sharing a table with Chowhounds if we're ordering calamari in a family style place- we'll all be jockeying for some tentacle action! Put me down for those bad boys as well; texturally they're preferable to me, and the first thing I go for in that situation.

                                    1. re: mimolette

                                      I like both, however I tend to avoid eating the tentacles as a single mass (at least not without splitting them in half) due to some experiances where I bit into a mass (usually one in a marinated calimari salad, only to find out someone had forgotten to remove the beak. I tend to check the inside of the rings as well, in case someone forgot to take the pen out, though that's more along the lines of an annoyance (it's about as hard as a shrimp shell) wherase the beak (if its a big squid) can really hurt if you bite down on it.

                                      1. re: mimolette

                                        Flying squid? ;-)

                                        Of course, that brings to mind another another binary food option: chicken wings, flats or drumettes? I'll go for all flats every time! More tasty skin, more tender meat, plus the pleasure of deconstruction.

                                        1. re: BobB

                                          Flats for the pleasure of deconstruction, but drumettes are easier to dip into whatever sauce is served with the wings.

                                          I am, of course, a sucker for sauces...

                                        2. Yes! I'll take them all, con gusto.

                                          1. When I was growing up it was all about the tentacles. Now I prefer the rings, even though I still love both!

                                              1. Both! I do love the tentacles fried, but only as long as there isn't a mass of uncooked coating stuck inside.

                                                1. I'm deeply disappointed if the tentacles aren't included.

                                                  1. Tentacles are the best! I'll even try to distract my husband by offering him a choice large ring morsel (think "Lady and the Tramp" and the meatball) while I grab a few tentacles. :)