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Calamari - rings or tentacles?

BobB Nov 15, 2010 01:15 PM

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...

  1. Bob W Nov 15, 2010 01:27 PM

    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
      tzurriz Nov 15, 2010 02:01 PM

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

      1. re: tzurriz
        shanagain Nov 15, 2010 10:19 PM

        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. re: Bob W
        yfunk3 Nov 15, 2010 06:39 PM

        Both! Gimme gimme gimme! :o)

      3. c
        cath Nov 15, 2010 01:40 PM

        Tentacles all the way!

        1. c
          catspercapita Nov 15, 2010 01:50 PM

          Gotta be tentacles! Best flavor.

          1. i
            Isolda Nov 15, 2010 02:07 PM

            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
              teemo Nov 17, 2010 05:59 PM

              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. j
              j8715 Nov 15, 2010 03:45 PM

              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. Jannae Nov 15, 2010 06:42 PM

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

                1. mcf Nov 16, 2010 05:53 AM

                  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
                    howlin Nov 17, 2010 08:24 PM

                    that is absolutely hilarious

                    1. re: howlin
                      mcf Nov 18, 2010 05:40 AM

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

                  2. Monica Nov 16, 2010 06:02 AM

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

                    1. mels Nov 16, 2010 06:59 AM

                      I like a good mix of both.

                      1. LaPomme Nov 16, 2010 09:54 AM

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

                        1. g
                          gordeaux Nov 16, 2010 10:36 AM

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

                          1. s
                            SherBel Nov 16, 2010 12:44 PM

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

                            1. b
                              Breezychow Nov 16, 2010 12:57 PM

                              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
                                justanotherpenguin Nov 16, 2010 08:01 PM

                                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. b
                                Buffy Despres Nov 16, 2010 01:08 PM

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

                                1. TongoRad Nov 16, 2010 01:10 PM

                                  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. m
                                    mimolette Nov 16, 2010 01:11 PM

                                    Wings of course

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: mimolette
                                      jumpingmonk Nov 16, 2010 04:13 PM

                                      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: jumpingmonk
                                        EWSflash Nov 16, 2010 04:58 PM

                                        Wow- don't blame ya there.

                                      2. re: mimolette
                                        BobB Nov 17, 2010 05:20 AM

                                        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
                                          yfunk3 Nov 17, 2010 05:32 AM

                                          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...

                                          1. re: BobB
                                            mimolette Nov 17, 2010 07:56 PM

                                            lol, no, you know, the fins

                                        2. EWSflash Nov 16, 2010 04:58 PM

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

                                          1. PegS Nov 16, 2010 08:43 PM

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

                                            1. flourgirl Nov 17, 2010 05:24 AM


                                              1. a
                                                akq Nov 17, 2010 06:23 PM

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

                                                1. hill food Nov 17, 2010 10:29 PM

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

                                                  1. DuchessNukem Nov 18, 2010 03:10 AM

                                                    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. :)

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