Squid is a highly sought-after seafood species that can be found in countless cuisines. It is easy to prepare and can be eaten in a number of ways.
In Korea, squid is often roasted over charcoal and served as a popular banchan (side dish). It also is made into jeotgal (salted seafood), which is fermented for a month.
Overview of Squid as a Food Source
Squid is a cephalopod mollusk that is often eaten raw, steamed, fried or as sashimi. It has a delicate, savory taste and a chewy texture that makes it popular for many dishes.
Squids have a soft body with no vertebrae that they use for swimming and hunting in the ocean. They have two large eyes, eight arms and tentacles and a beak-like mouth with suckers to catch prey.
They are fast-swimming predators that hunt fish, shrimp and other small marine animals but also are themselves prey for larger squids, albatrosses, sperm whales and sharks.
They have a variety of interesting ways to avoid predators such as hiding and stalking prey in the water, utilizing bioluminescent organs or producing ink to distract their enemies. A squid can squirt out a cloud of ink that will illuminate the area around them for up to 10 minutes giving them time to escape if they feel threatened.
Culinary Uses and Traditional Dishes Featuring Squid
Squid is used in a variety of culinary dishes. It can be served raw, grilled, batter-coated, or stewed in gravy.
It is also a popular ingredient in pasta and risotto. Squid ink is an excellent way to add dramatic color and a hint of sea flavor to these dishes.
One of the most classic and delicious squid dishes is chipirones en su tinta, a Spanish dish originating from the Basque region. It is made by searing and poaching whole baby squid in a puree of sauteed vegetables, garlic, and white wine that are tinted with squid or cuttlefish ink.
Availability and Market Trends of Squid Consumption
Squid is available on the market in many different countries around the world. However, it is important to note that availability varies greatly by region and season.
Squid can be eaten raw or cooked in a variety of ways, including in soups, stews, and salads. In addition, it can be used to make cosmetics and other products.
The availability of Squid is subject to change over time, due to factors such as seasonality and the influx of new species in the wild. This is also a factor that can influence the demand for this food source.
In addition to changing availability, the market for Squid is undergoing significant changes. Some of these changes are related to the impact of COVID-19 and shifting consumer habits.
Health Benefits and Concerns
Squid is a protein-rich food that provides essential nutrients, such as B-12, potassium, iron and phosphorus. It is also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids.
A 4-ounce serving of squid offers 30 percent of your daily value for zinc, which helps with immune function and wound healing. It also has high levels of phosphorous, which promotes kidney function and detoxification.
Its low fat content makes it an ideal choice for those on a high-protein diet or following a ketogenic lifestyle. It is also low in calories, despite its high protein content.
Squid is a safe and affordable seafood that contains very low mercury levels. The average level based on 36 commercially available samples was 0.024 ppm (parts per million)(5).
Sustainability Issues Surrounding the Harvesting and Consumption of Squid
Squid are an important food source for many marine species, including sperm whales and other creatures that depend on their nutrient-rich diet. Without squid, these animals would face a much more difficult time surviving and could be at risk for starvation or even death.
The squid fishery has historically faced numerous challenges associated with a high cost of entry, incompatible vessels and gear, inflexible permitting based on historical participation in the fishery, and limited offloading, storage, and processing infrastructure (Chambers 2016