Calamari has Italian origins, but that doesn’t stop it from being a staple in many Greek restaurants. The question is, which came first? Did the Greeks adopt this dish from the Italians or did the Italians adopt it from them? Or perhaps both cultures adopted it from somewhere else? Let’s take a look at the facts and decide for ourselves. This article will explore some of these questions as we dive into whether calamari is an Italian dish or a Greek one.
Is Calamari Italian?
Calamari is Italian. It comes from the word Calamaro, which means ‘Baby Squid’ in Italian. Baby Squid is known as Calamari in Italy and also in many other countries. So, Calamari is actually Italian and is a dish very popular in Italy.
The Etymology Of Calamari
1. Although the etymology of the word “calamari” is not in dispute, there are two theories regarding where it comes from. The first theory, and the one that is most commonly accepted, is that the word “calamari” comes from the Italian word “calamarone” which means “squid” in Italian. This makes sense because calamari is squid, and they are eaten by Italians. The other theory is that calamari was actually first eaten by Greeks and their name was actually derived from Greek.
2. There has been some debate about whether calamari came from Greece or Italy. The Greeks claimed that calamari originated in Greece, but Italians claim that calamari originated in Italy. It seems like a pretty even match-up at first glance; however, when you look at the facts you will see that there is overwhelming evidence in favor of calamari being an Italian dish.
3. The first piece of evidence that calamari originated in Italy is that the word “calamari” itself is derived from the Italian word “calamarone”. The word “calamarone” means “squid” in Italian and is derived from the Latin words “calamus” and “Briones” which mean squid. This proves that calamari was eaten by Italians before they were eaten by the Greeks.
4. The second piece of evidence to support this claim is that the ancient Greek epic poem, Odyssey, written by Homer, was not even written until around 800 B.C., more than 1,500 years after the Romans had already established a civilization. This means that even if the ancient Greeks enjoyed eating calamari then, it would have been impossible for them to have invented it because they didn’t even have it.
5. Squids are thought to have been around since the Jurassic period, which means they’ve been around a while. Although they were eaten since ancient times in the Mediterranean, they were not in widespread use in the Western world until the 19th century. Before this, the squid was not fished nor were they consumed to any great extent. This was due to two reasons: first, the squid was largely exploited and eaten in the Mediterranean region, and second, the methods for preserving squid were not efficient enough to allow for large-scale harvesting.
6. The first real cultivation of squid in Western societies began in the late 19th century when methods of preservation were developed. This allowed the squid bait and squid fishing industries to flourish, and carets (squid-like creatures) were then put to good use as a source of protein for humans. This created a new demand for squid and caused their popularity to spread.
Where Is Calamari From?
- Squid has a long history in the Mediterranean, especially in Italy and Greece, where they have been a part of their diet for centuries. It is believed that in the Mediterranean, the squid was first fished around the 10th century B.C.E. In ancient Rome, the squid was consumed as a delicacy, perhaps even as a replacement for the luxurious and now-rare sturgeon, which was served during Roman feasts.
- Squids were also valued in ancient Greece. The Greek poet Homer mentions “squid” in his Odyssey and suggests that it was an important foodstuff, perhaps eaten during religious festivals. Squids were also consumed in ancient China, although not as a delicacy there.
- The history of calamari is not a long one, but it has been around since at least the 15th century. The first records of squid being used as food were in 1405 on the Ionian islands. This was also the first time that “Calamar” was used to refer to squid, and it was likely because it was an adaptation of the Greek word “Calamos” which means “squid”.
- However, it wasn’t until the 19th century that calamari really started to gain popularity in Europe and America. This happened when methods for preserving squid were developed and then improved upon, allowing for large-scale fishing for them and their efficient distribution throughout Europe and America. As a result, this also led to increased consumption of calamari among people from these regions as well.
How Was Calamari Adopted By Italy And Greece?
1. Calamari Is Consumed As A Celebratory Meal
Calamari is one of the dishes eaten on New Year’s Day in Italy as it’s supposed to bring good luck and prosperity. The dish is also eaten on Easter and Christmas in Greece. In these countries and regions, squid is eaten both fried and stewed. Other popular ways of cooking the species include boiling it in wine or lemon and grilling it with herbs and other spices. Squid is also eaten in other parts of the world, but nowhere else is it a part of the New Year’s or Christmas tradition. It is believed that these festive meals date all the way back to Roman times. Back then, the squid was believed to have magical curative properties and was served at large banquets as a celebratory meal. People believed that eating squid on New Year’s would protect them from evil spirits and other dangers for the coming year. Eating squid on Christmas was supposed to bring good luck for the whole year.
2. Squid Is Breaded And Fried
Squid is a popular ingredient in Italian and Spanish cuisine, where it is fried in a light batter and served with a sauce, often tomato-based. This variant of fried squid is known as calamari fritti, and it is one of the most common ways squid is eaten in Italy. Squid is also commonly fried in Greece, where it is usually served with tzatziki sauce, or in a garlic and wine sauce. In Portugal, squid is fried along with potatoes and vegetables. In other parts of the world, fried squid is usually served as an appetizer or snack, although it can be eaten as a main course too.
3. Squid Ink Is Used As An Ingredient In Other Dishes
Squid ink is very commonly used in Spanish and Portuguese cuisine – You’re likely to find it in black paella, risotto, or pasta, even though it’s not very clear when you’re looking at the label. Squid ink is also commonly used in Italian and French cuisine, where it is added to sauces and used in pasta dishes like pasta all amatriciana or pasta with fish sauce. In Italy, squid ink is used to make a dark and rich sauce called “All’Aquoscura”, which is served with pasta. In France, it’s used to make a sauce called “Bouillabaisse”. Squid ink has a strong, inky taste and it is often used as a food coloring agent because of its intense black color. In the past, it was believed that the ink had healing properties, but nowadays it’s just used as an ingredient in cooking.
4. Octopus Is Grilled And Served Whole
Octopus is widely consumed in Spain you can find locations like this on Gmapros, Portugal, and Japan, where it is sometimes served whole, grilled, or steamed. In Italy, octopus is most commonly used as a fish sauce, while in Greece it is served in stews or with potatoes. Octopus is usually eaten boiled or baked and is also commonly served as sushi. In most parts of the world, octopus is consumed as a sandwich topping, pizza topping, or in a salad, but rarely as a full meal.
5. Mussels Are Eaten In Pasta Dishes
Mussels are a common ingredient in many Italian and Spanish pasta dishes, where they are served in a tomato-based sauce. In Portugal, mussels are served with rice. Mussels are also eaten in France and Belgium, where they are served in a cream-based sauce. In Sweden, they are served with cream sauce and diced potatoes.
Squid is a delicacy and is eaten in many cultures. Calamari is a popular and well-known dish, although it is also referred to as “squid”. While it is clear that squid was eaten in ancient Greece and Italy, there is some debate as to which culture the dish came from and when it became popular. The squid was eaten in ancient Greece and was a popular food throughout the Mediterranean region, including Italy.