Difference Between Squid and Calamari

Squid vs Calamari

It could be easily confused, especially in referring when it comes to squid and calamari. In brief, squid becomes calamari after being processed in a cuisine. Therefore, it is possible for any average person to commit a mistake in referring about squids or calamari. This article intends to discuss the difference between these two steps of squids. First, the characteristics and then, the differences are explored about squids and calamari in this article.


Squids are small to extra large marine animals, in general, and are cephalopods belong to the Order: Teuthida, in particular. Squids have different sizes, and most of them are not more than 60 cm in body length, but the giant squids could be longer than 13 metres. There are more than 300 species of them, and they are exclusively marine animals living in open seas. Their exceptional swimming ability is noticeable, and on top of that, some species can even fly out of water for small distances. Squids have a distinct head, bilaterally symmetrical body, a mantle, and distinct arms projecting from one place (head). Their body structure is similar to that of cuttlefish, and it has two long tentacles with eight arms arranged in pairs. The main body mass of the squids is enclosed inside their mantle except for the tentacles and arms. The underside of their body is lighter than the upper sides. Usually, squids can camouflage using their chromatophores on the skin; those enable to change the skin colour according to the environment. In addition, they have ink expulsion system, which helps to hide themselves from predators.


Calamari is the food processed out of squids. In other words, calamari is the culinary reference for the squids. Therefore, calamari is also known as squid in many places of the world, and the term calamari has an Italian origin. When squid is processed through frying, calamari is made, especially in Mediterranean dishes. Calamari is one of the highly popular dishes of the world, especially in Europe and North America. Usually, calamari or fried calamari has a coat of batter with special ingredients to increase the taste, and it is a deep fried food. The usual shape of calamari is circular, and it is an expensive food in the restaurants.

What is the difference between Squid and Calamari?

• Squid is a live cephalopod animal belong to the Order: Teuthida, but calamari is the flesh of squid that is prepared to eat.

• Squid has its characteristic body shape with the mantle and arms with tentacles, but calamari are ring shaped.

• Squid is an animal found in the natural environment of marine water, whereas calamari is a food variety found in cuisines.

• Squid is a biologists’ and anglers’ attraction, whereas calamari is a general peoples’ attraction.