Halloween is just around the corner and I though it was a good time to explain the difference between the Calamari Squid, Cuttlefish and Octopus, often used for creepy Halloween recipes.
There is a lot of confusion on what is a squid, what part of a squid is calamari, what is squid ink pasta and where the black ink comes from.
So I decided to dedicate this post to clarify some of these mysteries.
Last year for Halloween I published the recipe Pasta with Black Ink Squid, as typically called in English (from google Adword statistic)
However this past summer, while translating seafood names in English Italian and French, I realized that the name was not in fact correct.
So I took a closer look at the 3 cephalopods used in cooking and differentiated them from each others.
Octopus (Eng.), Poulpe (Fr.), Polpo (It.)
The easiest to recognize from the others as it has long tentacles and a round short head.
Squid (Eng.), Calmar (Fr.), Calamaro (It.)
They have long bodies, short tentacles and reddish bright colour.
Cuttlefish (Eng.), Seiche (Fr.), Seppie (It.)
Cuttlefish are white-ish, have a rounder head and a tick bone inside their body, which is commonly used as calcium-rich dietary supplements for caged canaries.
Here is a video on how to clean the cuttlefish, .....and guess what?
And there is the Black Ink bag!
This is what the ink sacs look like, and if you are using the fresh ink from a Cuttlefish, you need to be very careful for the risk of stains.
Cuttlefish are very different from Squid, but why it is called Squid Ink while it is actually from the cuttlefish, I don’t know !!
In Italian is called Nero di Seppia, in French Encre de seiche...
...in Spanish Tinta de Calamar, like Calmar (Fr.), Calamaro (It.), Squid (Eng.) ?!?!
Can this be the reason why in English is called squid ink?