Calamari rings are a type of dish made using squid, and they can be prepared in a number of different ways. The rings of calamari come from the body of the squid, also called the mantle, which is cut across the length of the body. One of the most common preparations for calamari rings is coating the rings in flour, though sometimes batter is used instead, and then lightly frying them until crispy and cooked through. Calamari rings can also be prepared by baking them, often in a shallow dish with some oil and seasoning or a few vegetables for flavor.
The name “calamari rings” comes from the shape of the animal from which this food derives. “Calamari” is the plural form of calamaro, which is Italian for squid. The ring shape comes from the body or mantle of the squid, which is essentially a tube shape capped at one end with the top of the squid and at the other end with the tentacles. When only the body of the squid is used, it can be cut across its length into rings that can be served with the tentacles or used alone.
One of the most common and popular preparations for calamari rings involves battering or coating them in flour and then frying them in hot oil. The rings can be prepared in a number of different ways, though, including marinating the rings overnight before use. These marinated rings can then be dredged in flour — they are usually wet enough to not require buttermilk or egg — and then deep fried. The calamari rings are typically fried at very high temperature for only one or two minutes, which is long enough to get the batter or flour crispy and to cook the calamari without making it tough.
Calamari rings can also be prepared by baking them in a dish. This usually involves cutting the body of the calamari into rings, which can then be tossed together with oil and other flavors. Diced or sliced shallots and garlic can be added to this mixture, as well as flavors and seasonings like salt, pepper, lemon juice, white wine, and parsley. The calamari rings and the rest of the mixture can then be poured into a shallow baking dish and baked in a hot oven until the rings cook through and the flavors meld together.