Wednesday, October 2, 2013


One of my enduring favorite foods is calamari. Despite the furor over pig unmentionables as possible substitutes, I persevere: the perfect dish of calamari is out there, and I will find it. So far, at least to the best of my knowledge, I have not ingested pork you-know-what's, it's all been the real thing.
While in Southeast Asia this summer, I found calamari only in slices in sauce, and that doesn't count. I want unadorned, not smoshed over with sauce and vegetables and atop rice. No, when I say calamari, I mean fried rings and tentacles. Mixed. Frankly, a whole bowl of baby tentacles makes me feel like a mass murderer...

Here in America, we have this habit of serving calamari with a small dish of marinara, even a diavolo, sauce for dipping. I don't know which culinary genius thought that up, but for me it doesn't work. The punch of marinara overwhelms the calamari. I had a light lemon-butter sauce the other day at Acropolis, in St. Pete Florida, and it was absolutely prefect. See photo for an up-close view. The waitress brought a whole dish of lemon slices, thick slices, to squeeze over. Some places you have to beg for a thin wedge, so this service was delightful. You can check them out at
Too often calamari is hidden inside a veritable muffin of breading. When I find one that's respectful of the main ingredient, it's a thrill. When it's fried at the right temperature (and that's a whole other post), and for the right amount of time, then I have the perfect meal. As long as there's plenty of lemon. To date, the dish pictured in this post has been a favorite. I am sure there are others, and I am looking for them. Stay tuned!

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