Posts Tagged calamari

Jun 5 2017

Flashback, Phil Bowhay: A fish story, with calamari on the side

(Vern Fisher – Monterey Herald file)


Back in the good old days we fished for food and fun, and had plenty of both. During World War II, when most good things to eat were rationed, we did just fine with clams, abalone and crab. Our Monterey friends fed the world with sardines, squid, and anchovies, and anything else scooped from the ocean with those beautiful purse seiners. First, second or third generation from the “old country,” they were born knowing how to fish.

What a treat now to talk to some of the old timers that worked all the way from the Bering Sea to Central America. No wonder King Crab is so expensive.

They mended their nets on Wharf 1 and 2, but mostly on Fisherman’s Flat across from Tarpy’s. Back then it was Cadematori’s, and Cadematori’s used to be on Pacific Street, but that’s another story.

You don’t have to scratch very deep to find a Billeci, Lucido, Ferante. Anastasi, Aliotio or a dozen others to tell you stories about themselves or their folks. It helps if their name ends in a vowel. One very good thing is that knowing how to cook has been passed down and happily shared. Try Favaloro’s in Pacific Grove. I’m an expert on calamari and theirs is the best on the Peninsula.

There was always a kid or two in Pacific Grove walking down to Lovers Point, a beat up rod in one hand and gunny sack in the other. (These burlap bags were passed along from father to son. They smelled of old fish and were kept outside.)

At the P.G. pier we would rent a skiff from Sprague, complete with a big granite rock anchor, and a piece of wood for cutting bait, all for four bits. Row out a half mile or so, lines in the water, and usually wind up with a sack of sand dabs. If we drifted over a rocky bottom, maybe a lingcod. Then sometimes a sliver smelt, and even a salmon!

Great sport off Wharf 2 when the mackerel were running. Didn’t even have bait the hook. We didn’t really appreciate mackerel in those days and one fish per rose bush worked out just right. Since then, with fewer mackerel around, we find they are delicious. Olive oil, garlic and tomato sauce.

And then there’s time Dad went out with Tom and a couple of other guys, hoping for salmon. Caught a big shark instead. Good luck since there was a big demand for shark liver. This shark was unhappy with the situation and knocked Tom on his butt.

Dad, for some unknown reason, had a pistol with him, and shot the shark in the head. This further upset the shark which then, still thrashing, puked. Further description unnecessary, but with some difficulty, shark over the side, liver be damned. Further enhancing the experience was the bullet hole in the bottom of the boat. Some days are like that.

And one more thing, the calamari at the Beach House, perfect. Then there’s Marty’s Special at Abalonettis …

“Good grief,” they shout, “Stop him!”

Oct 9 2012

Fishermen Cash In On Giant Demand For Squid


Seeing more restaurants offer calamari on their menus brings a huge smile to Neil Guglielmo’s face.

The rising popularity of the marine delicacy has helped Guglielmo and fishermen like him in Ventura County rake in more revenue, especially within the past few years.

Owner of the Captain Squid company and captain of the 70-foot squid fishing boat the Trionfo, which unloads its catch in the Port of Hueneme five days a week, Guglielmo said the past few seasons have been some of the most profitable years he has seen in his more than 50 years of fishing.

“The past couple of years have been phenomenal for squid fishing and so far, we’re doing really good,” Guglielmo said. “A few years ago, we would come back with our catch and fish market (officials) would tell us they already had enough. Nowadays, they get mad when we don’t go out.”

Fishermen throughout the nation saw some of their highest catch numbers in years in 2011. According to a recent report released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. seafood catch logged a 17-year high last year.

Read full story here

Jul 11 2011

Thinking calamari? Smoke it

Calamariphoto © 2008 Robin | more info (via: Wylio)

What you might find interesting about this calamari recipe from Michael Sargent is the grill.

There are a growing number of people who are buying the Big Green Egg for their backyard grilling and becoming fanatical about its qualities. Sargent often gives cooking demonstrations using the Big Green Egg at Foster’s Grill Store on Eastern Avenue.

Calamari is the Italian name for squid, and the squid is a mollusk that is related to cuttlefish and octopus. They range in size from an inch or so up to 80 feet, but the most common size for eating is less than 12 inches. The meat is white and firm with a mild, sweet and what some describe as a nutty flavor. Although you can eat the tentacles, the main body is the prime section of meat. It can be stuffed whole, cut into flat pieces, or sliced crosswise into perfect rings. Here only the main body part is used.

This is a simple recipe that takes no time to prep or cook. The thin slices look wonderful as they curl atop a bed of spring mix greens. And the flavor of the delicate calamari comes through without being overpowered by the usual ingredients or preparations, drowning the creature in bread crumbs and hot oil, or smothering it in peppers.

Click here for the Grilled Calamari recipe.