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Bait Squid for Calamari

miss_rachmiss_rach Senior MemberTampaPosts: 177 Deckhand
I don't make Calamari but a guy that I work with knows I fish and asked me if you can use regular squid (that we use for bait) to deep fry for Calamari. I didn't know but figured someone on here would.....any help? If not what type of "squid" does he need to purchase? And what is the difference between the bait type and the type used for Calamari?

Cheers!

Replies

  • hossmosshossmoss Senior Member Orange Park, FLPosts: 1,335 Officer
    Make sure the package does not say "NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION"

    After that, I guess it's up to you.

    Please pass the Pepto...


    CHEAP BAIT! Try our NE FL Bait Co-op: http://northeastfloridabaitcoop.com/

    2012 Cape Horn 31T with twin Yamaha F300s

  • hossmosshossmoss Senior Member Orange Park, FLPosts: 1,335 Officer
    Really, it depends on how the squid was handled. If it was handled, frozen, stored etc. according to food standards, you will still have to clean it properly. But I wouldn't eat it except in an emergency. Too many variables.

    But, basically, squid is squid.


    CHEAP BAIT! Try our NE FL Bait Co-op: http://northeastfloridabaitcoop.com/

    2012 Cape Horn 31T with twin Yamaha F300s

  • miss_rachmiss_rach Senior Member TampaPosts: 177 Deckhand
    squid is squid...thats what I'm thinking too. Since I've never purchased "food grade" squid but have eaten calamari just not sure if its a different type of squid..I sure do'nt look any different from what I'm putting my hook as what's deep fried sitting on a table waiting to eat.
  • hossmosshossmoss Senior Member Orange Park, FLPosts: 1,335 Officer
    "Calamari" is just the plural form of "calamaro"... the Italian word for squid.

    It sounds, and sells better that way.

    If your bait "calamari" has been properly cared for all the way from catching to table, it should be fine to eat. However, always check the label to make sure it is not unsafe for human consumption.


    CHEAP BAIT! Try our NE FL Bait Co-op: http://northeastfloridabaitcoop.com/

    2012 Cape Horn 31T with twin Yamaha F300s

  • hossmosshossmoss Senior Member Orange Park, FLPosts: 1,335 Officer
    Do you know how to clean them?


    CHEAP BAIT! Try our NE FL Bait Co-op: http://northeastfloridabaitcoop.com/

    2012 Cape Horn 31T with twin Yamaha F300s

  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Moderator Ytic AmanapPosts: 8,913 Moderator
    A while back in a pinch I bought a box of cigar minnows at walmart and it had "Nutition Facts" on it...

    Go figure.

    As far as frying bait squid... I'm not wild about the idea. There's a reason most bait squid is purple... it's called heat. I'm sure there is some out there sold as bait that is fit for consumption, but I'd rather not take the chance. Talk to somebody that runs a restaurant and ask them where they buy their 30# slabs of squid for serving.
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • ledslinger29ledslinger29 Senior Member Posts: 837 Officer
    A while back in a pinch I bought a box of cigar minnows at walmart and it had "Nutition Facts" on it...

    Go figure.

    As far as frying bait squid... I'm not wild about the idea. There's a reason most bait squid is purple... it's called heat. I'm sure there is some out there sold as bait that is fit for consumption, but I'd rather not take the chance. Talk to somebody that runs a restaurant and ask them where they buy their 30# slabs of squid for serving.

    X2
  • Catch.22Catch.22 Senior Member Posts: 160 Officer
    Just make sure it's fully cooked and you'll be fine...
  • bigyellowtunabigyellowtuna Senior Member Posts: 250 Deckhand
    Don't do it. Everytime I use squid for bait, I get infections around my nails. The bait package says not for human consumption -- it is probably not handled properly and is littered with bacteria. Buy squid from Publix or grocery store if you want to eat it.
  • troutman561troutman561 Senior Member Land O' LakesPosts: 575 Officer
    The squid I have used in the past had nutrition facts on the box. I still would be weary of eating the stuff from the bait shop even if it was human food. The freezers stink.
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Senior Member Stuart, Fla., Veracruz, Mx.Posts: 2,283 Captain
    My experience is that the squid you buy in 5 lb. boxes, IS (or was originally) for human consumption. In fact, I think I have eaten some, back in my Key West days. Back then, a box cost almost nothing, so it was no big deal if it didn't taste right....but I don't recall ever having a problem. My favorite squid thing was to skin them, fry the tentacles with a tempura type batter. The bodies I would stuff with a variety of things in a thick cream sauce, from crabmeat, to shrimp, to leftover permit from the grill the night before. Top with marinara sauce (or more cream sauce....stay with the theme!) and some good slices of mozz and just bake until it all got hot....about 20 minutes. Don't want to overcook squid.

    Edit: Back to the OP's original question, I would say "yes and no" What you want to really avoid, are signs of "multiple handling." This means that if your squid comes in a 5 lb. box, then chances are that it has only been frozen once and never thawed. A one pound package might mean that a larger quantity has been thawed (again) and repackaged to a smaller size. My advice would be to open a box and see what the little buggers look like. If there is a lot of frost inside, then chances are that at least a partial thawing has taken place and/or that the bait is older. Don't worry about the purple color....that's normal with dead squid. When you take the skin off, they will be white.
    .......Rick
  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Moderator Ytic AmanapPosts: 8,913 Moderator
    Yeah, some squid do turn purple after death and that color does come off with skinning.

    However, I've seen bait squid with purple / opaque / gray flesh. No thanks. When I skin a fresh squid the flesh is almost translucent and colorless. I've got a picture somewhere of me trying some up. I'll do some digging tonight and post... Looks nothing like any bait squid I've ever seen, and that included three years of decking on a head boat through high school and into college. :-)

    EDIT:

    Last spring I caught a couple pounds a few times after work on little squid jigs. Pictured below is one of the nicer specimens (in terms of size), but a fairly typical color.

    After that is picture of rings post-skinning and the final product. Suffice it to say, I've never seen any bait squid that looked quite like this, even after skinning it... which out of curiosity I have done before. I will also say that frying your own is NOTHING like what you'll EVER get a restaurant. Granted, I'll order me some restaurant squid, but the difference between hand caught fresh and netted frozen is indescribable... two entirely different dishes. Fresh is incredibly tender and mild... a true joy to eat!

    squid2.jpg

    squid3.jpg

    squid4.jpg
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • PCFisherPCFisher Senior Member Crestview, FLPosts: 269 Officer
    ^^^Looks good. I use to catch squid off the docks over to the Tyndall Yacht Club, but have heard of anyone catching them over here (Destin area)
    Tod
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Senior Member Stuart, Fla., Veracruz, Mx.Posts: 2,283 Captain
    PCFisher wrote: »
    ^^^Looks good. I use to catch squid off the docks over to the Tyndall Yacht Club, but have heard of anyone catching them over here (Destin area)

    Double X 2. When I saw that plate of fried squid, my salivary glands pumped so hard, it hurt!
    .......Rick
  • nbseafrognbseafrog Senior Member Ft Lauderdale, FLPosts: 521 Officer
    Here's another way to catch squid...




    On this day, all of those squids came out of a single tuna. Sometimes ya gotta catch a LOT of tuna to get enough squid for a meal but it's worth it. Just wish I could find a good use for all those tuna after pulling the squids out...
    Catch 'em up!

    Nick
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