8 Difference between Squid and Calamari (With Table)

Squid and calamari are popular seafood around the world. The soft flesh and taste are mouthwatering. Both squid and calamari are aquatic creatures that look slightly similar.

So, what is the main difference between squid and calamari? A squid is small to a large marine creature that belongs to the cephalopods class while calamari is a cooked squid.

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Comparison Table between Squid and Calamari

Basic Terms Squid Calamari
Description It is small to the large aquatic animal that belongs to cephalopods. It is food processed out of the squid.
Camouflage Some species tend to change body-color Do not exhibit body color change
Size Larger Smaller
Flaps Have a pointed small flap on the narrow end of their bodies Have a triangular wing-like flap on either side of the body
Cooking Style Stuffing and stewing Grilling and frying
Type Loligo Squid and Gould’s Squid Southern Calamari and Northern Calamari
Flesh Less tender More tender
Anatomy Have a mantle and eight arms with tentacles Have a ring shape

What Is a Squid?

A squid is a head-footed animal that belongs to the cephalopods class. The body size of squid tends to vary from small to extra-large. They dwell in the open ocean.

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There are about 300 species of squids and they mainly live in marine water. The symmetrical body enables them to have exceptional swimming capability.

Besides that, squids have a mantle and eight arms with tentacles. They catch prey then pierce to inject venom to paralyze them.

The upper side of the squid is heavier than the lower side. They usually change their skin color to hide from predators.


What Is a Calamari?

Calamari is a culinary term for squid. This simply means that calamari is cooked squids. The name has Italian origin. Calamari is a common Mediterranean dish.

However, they are said to have triangular wing-like flaps on either side of the body. They are cooked by grilling and frying. They tend to have tender flesh.

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Main Differences between Squid and Calamari In Point Form

  1. Squids are larger while calamari are smaller
  2. Calamari have more tender flesh while squids have less tender flesh
  3. Squids are head-footed aquatic creatures whereas calamari are cooked squids
  4. Squids tend to camouflage to hide from predators while calamari do not exhibit a color change
  5. Squids are cooked by stewing and stuffing while calamari by frying and grilling
  6. Squids have pointed flaps while calamari have triangular wing-like flaps
  7. Squids have a mantle and eight arms with tentacles while calamari has a ring shape
  8. Types of squids are Loligo Squid and Gould’s Squid whereas types of calamari are Southern Calamari and Northern Calamari.
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Similarities between Squid and Calamari

  1. Both are popular seafood
  2. Both do not have an external shell
  3. Both have ink sac for defense mechanism

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is Calamari A Squid or An Octopus?

Calamari is a type of food made from a certain species of squid. Therefore, calamari tends to taste differently from octopus when served.

  • Is Calamari Healthy To Eat?

Yes. Calamari is loaded with lots of nutrients such as premium proteins, fats, and calories. The nutrients are proven to be quite healthy for human consumption despite calamari being fried.

  • Is Squid Ink Pasta Healthy?

Absolutely. The ink sac is packed with antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. This is quite beneficial when it comes to boosting the immune system.

  • Is Calamari Good For Weight Loss?

No. Calamari is served when fried. This means it has tons of fats and calories. You are looking to lose weight then stay away from fried calamari.

  • Is Squid Bad For High Blood Pressure?
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Yes. Squids have the highest amount of cholesterol and sodium. These ingredients have a reputation for increasing blood pressure and also cause heart diseases.

Read More: Difference between Squid and Octopus

Comparison Video


Squid is a head-footed animal that belongs to the class of cephalopods whereas calamari is food processed out of squids. Also, the flesh of calamari is tenderer than that of squid. However, both have an ink sac for defense mechanism and catching of the prey.

More Sources and References

  1. Calamari. The Spruce Eats
  2. Squid. Britannica