Cephalopod mollusks are prized for their abundance and the quality of their meat. They are divided into decapods (Decabranchia) and octopods (Octobranchia).
Squid belong to the first category. They are mollusks with elongated, cylindrical bodies that appear to have been flattened, formed by heads located close to their tentacles as well as mantles that contain tissues and life systems. They have triangular lateral fins and there is a crown near their mouths featuring eight tentacles of equal length as well as two that are longer; their shells are internal, reduced in size, and have a feather-like shape.
Squid are thought to be the fastest sea invertebrates and are carnivores that eat everything from small larvae found in plankton to fish such as sardines, anchovies and mackerel. In turn they serve as food for tuna, barrels, sierras, mackerels, sharks, sea lions and dolphins.
The species harvested along Mexico’s coast are long-finned squid (Loligo pealei) and giant squid (Dosidicus gigas) that can measure from 1 to 1.5 meters. Squid fisheries extend from the US/Mexico border to Chile, but Baja California and the North Pacific are Mexico’s largest giant squid producers.
Fishing can take place year round, but the best giant squid specimens are obtained from spring to summer, and the season can last until early autumn. In the case of long-finned squid, the season runs from May to June.
Both types contain proteins such as albumin, B-complex vitamins and minerals such as phosphorus.
In marketplaces giant squid mantle, fresh or frozen, is sold; Mexicans prepare it by removing its membrane, and always serve it cooked; cut into filets it can be breaded and fried, or grilled; shredded, squid is an ingredient in stews with sauces or marinades; cubed, it is used in seafood cocktails, ceviche or salpicón; squid can be ground to make croquettes, meatballs or patties, etc.
Long-finned squid is available whole, fresh, frozen or canned (in brine or in ink). Mexicans enjoy squid in ink, known as calamares en su tinta; or as an ingredient in rice or pasta dishes; stuffed; or breaded and fried, to name just a few preparations.


Chilapitas with squid salpicón