Squid are fishery products widely distributed throughout the planet, very similar to squid but classified by modern systematics in a totally different way.

There are many genera and species of squid, but the so-called “European” one (despite also being present in the north-eastern Atlantic Ocean) is included in the Phylum of Molluscs , Class Cephalopods, Order Teuthida, family Loliginidae, Genus Loligo , Species vulgaris . The binomial nomenclature of European squid is therefore Loligo vulgaris .
Obviously, European squid are NOT the only edible ones; in fact, there are many others, even belonging to different Family, Subfamily, Genus and Species. An example is that of Dosidicus gigas (also called “red devil”), one of the most voracious marine creatures studied by scientists; these specimens reach exponentially larger dimensions than the European ones and their fishing is a considerable source of livelihood in Chile, Mexico and Peru. Another well-known species of squid is the Alloteuthis media (or squid) widespread both in the Mediterranean and in the north-eastern Atlantic.
The giant squid is NOT among the squids subject to ordinary fishing.


Squids possess all the characteristics of cephalopod molluscs. They have a head equipped with a brain , eyes, a “beak” mouth and tentacles; this is linked to a sac-like body which contains a shell and protects the organs responsible for digestion and reproduction .
The body of the squid is conical, equipped with a feather or gladius of transparent chitin, thin and long; externally there are two triangular-shaped lateral fins. The upper skin pigment varies from pink to reddish-purple (which fades following death) with dark dots, while the lower one is light. The head is equipped with 10 tentacles (2 of which are long, essential for hunting) equipped with suckers.
The European squid does not exceed half a meter in length and weighs about half a kilo.

Habitat, reproduction and fishing of squid

Squid live on different types of seabeds, generally rocky, sandy or covered with seagrass; the bathymetry is variable but these animals require rather low temperatures. During reproduction (generally winter and/or spring, depending on the area) they rise closer to the coast and are easier to catch. For the rest of the year, the squid stay at almost abysmal depths. The only areas in which squid are always found, even near the coast (probably due to the nature of the currents, the availability of food, the temperature of the water and the shape of the seabed) are some stretches of the larger islands. Squids have predominantly nocturnal habits; in the hours of darkness they hunt and rise further to the surface.
Squids feed on fish, crustaceans and other molluscs. They are excellent predators and some even engage in cannibalism.
Squid fishing can be done in different ways; the amateur one is mainly summed up in bottom fishing and slow trolling. As far as professional fishing is concerned, however, the most fruitful is certainly the technique with towed or trawling nets during the reproduction period.

European squid VS squid: differences

In addition to the enormous difference in size for adult specimens (the squid can reach and exceed 10kg in weight), there are some morphological differences between squid and squid that are rather difficult to grasp.
Small discrepancies are identifiable in: color, fins and feather or gladius. While the squid is darker and is characterized by large triangular membranes which, from mid-body, reach the top of the trunk, the squid is lighter and has much shorter ones which only cover the end at the top. The feather or gladius of the squid is thinner than that of the squid, especially in the central portion.

Squid gastronomy

Squid are fishery products with notable gastronomic value. Baby squid ( Alloteuthis media ) constitute the species which, by definition, remains small in size and is particularly suitable for frying ; alternatively, young specimens of Loligo vulgaris are also suitable for the same purpose. Fried squid, contrary to what many say, do not have to be cooked whole. Certainly, the accuracy in cleaning is not comparable to that of larger squid; however, removing the feather or gladius and the eyes represents the best method to obtain a good culinary result. The pen or sword has a decidedly unpleasant tactile impact when chewed, while the eyes and viscera, when cooked , tend to break, releasing the melanin from the ink; the result is a fried food with a black color and a slightly crunchy consistency.
The larger squid, however, must be carefully deprived of the mouth, the eyes, often also the skin covering the body and the viscera; the latter can be easily removed by separating the head from the trunk and emptying the cone. Once cleaned, the squid are used: for boiling for cold seafood salads , for incorporation into accompanying sauces for first courses ( pasta and polenta ), for the formulation of risottos , for the packaging of soups, etc. Calamari is excellent plain, with tomato sauce or with other bases such as parsley , rocket and basil pesto .

Nutritional characteristics

Squid are low-energy foods of animal origin, making them ideal in the context of a low-calorie diet .
Calories are mainly provided by proteins with a high biological value , fats are lacking and cholesterol is within the average values. Glucid traces are highlighted which do not significantly affect the total energy of the food . Fiber is NOT present.
From a saline point of view, there is no shortage of: sodium , potassium , calcium and phosphorus ; as regards vitamins , however, the Niacin content ( vit. PP ) is appreciable and some retinol equivalents (vit. A) emerge.
Squid are therefore also suitable for diets against metabolic diseases , whether they affect the lipid profile or the glycemic balance or that of blood pressure .

Nutritional values

Nutritional composition of Calamari – Reference values ​​of the INRAN Food Composition Tables


Squid, fresh Squid, frozen
Edible part 65.0% 59.0%
Waterfall 80.0g 84.2g
Proteins 12.6g 13.1g
Prevalent amino acids
Limiting amino acid
Lipids TOT 1.7g 1.5g
Saturated fatty acids 0.85mg – mg
Monounsaturated fatty acids 0.46mg – mg
Polyunsaturated fatty acids 0.40mg – mg
Cholesterol 64.0mg 63.0mg
TOT carbohydrates 0.6g 0.6g
Glycogen 0.0g 0.0g
Soluble sugars 0.6g 0.6g
Dietary fibre 0.0g 0.0g
Soluble fiber 0.0g 0.0g
Insoluble fibre 0.0g 0.0g
Power 68.0kcal 68.0kcal
Sodium 185.0mg 185.0mg
Potassium 145.0mg 145.0mg
Iron 0.2mg 0.2mg
Soccer 144.0mg 130.0mg
Phosphorus 189.0mg 170.0mg
Thiamine 0.07mg 0.05mg
Riboflavin 0.16mg 0.02mg
Niacin 1.20mg 2.10mg
Vitamin A 75.0 µg 75.0 µg
C vitamin tr tr
Vitamin E – mg – mg