Fresh squid, drenched in batter and deep-fried for an addictive mix of crisp coating and succulent seafood – nothing quite captures Mediterranean cuisine like calamari.
Whether you fancy nibbling these crunchy delights with a glass of wine, enjoying as an al fresco appetiser or subbing in as part of a tapas feast, calamari always hits the spot. And for those times, let Intertapa, Bruc 33 Tapas and Patapas bring the rings to you.
Squid is one of our heroes of the sea – and variations of these fast, fresh and hugely popular golden clusters pop up across the globe. From Japan and China to Australia and Slovenia – and of course here in the Mediterranean – everyone has been getting in on the calamari fun.
But it's here in Spain that you'll find some of the best – we're the real calamari kings. After all, it's the tapas bar that is the dish's true home. You'll find bowls heaped with crispy goodness, singing with sun and sea across the country, with a few variations – Calamares fritos, Calamares a la Romano, or Rabas in regions such as Cantabria.
Despite their simple nature, prepping calamari takes time, precision and a whole lot of skill. After it's pieced up, it's dusted with a flour or batter mix, deep fried for a few minutes – squid really doesn't appreciate overcooking – and served up piping hot. Heaped in a bowl and traditionally seasoned and drizzled with a squeeze of lemon, this is a dish that lets the fish do all the talking.
You might also find your crispy wonders plated up with a zingy tartar sauce, aioli or a creamy tzatziki number.
If you're after calamari in its classic form, head to Patapas. Their classy take on Calamares a la Romana is one of their most popular dishes – and it's easy to see why. Served up golden with your choice of other small plates, it's just Spain on a plate. They also keep things traditional over at Intertapa, with their take adding on a simple wedge of lemon.
If you're after a few more options, Bruc 33 Tapas is the place for you. Here you'll find the trademark Calamares de Playa a la Romana, alongside grilled baby squid for a different take on the classic.
For a tantalising taste of the Med, grab a catch of crispy calamari where on Deliveroo.