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California Market Squid: Bait Fish For Dinner

California Market Squid: Bait Fish For Dinner

Raise your hand if you love ordering fried calamari at your local bar! We know we do. But recently, it’s come to our attention that this beloved happy hour special has traveled so much farther than we thought to make it onto our plates.


Where's Your Squid Usually From?


Most restaurant grade squid - even when eaten in California restaurants - comes from the Atlantic Ocean, not the Pacific. Atlantic Longfin squid come mostly from old fisheries in Rhode Island and make their way onto plates all over the world. These squid are larger than their Pacific counterpart, and part of a hyper-industrialized market where they're sold by the ton as steaks, tubes, and rings. Eating California Market Squid keeps our food local, supports California fishermen, and cuts countless food miles out of the equation. We also prefer the taste of these smaller squid, and hope you do, too!


Why Eat Bait Fish?


California Market squid are beloved globally. They're actually one of the largest fishery exports California has to offer, typically sold as bait for other fisheries. Instead of relegating them as bait for the rest of the world's fish, we like to see their food miles shortened by keeping them right here on California plates.


Squid and Sustainability


Market Squid are caught with little to no bycatch. They live for less than a year so they repopulate quickly. These Pacific Coast squid are also highly regulated, as they are great indicators for a number of other species from fish to birds! Also, fishermen can get more bang for their buck when squid are sold locally as food, instead of globally as cheap bait.





Why do we Sell Frozen Squid?


If someone tells you they are selling you fresh squid they're probably lying, or at least misinformed!  Squid has a shelf life of just a few short days and needs to be kept in ice cold salt water. The best way to get fresh local fish is IQF - Individually Quick Frozen. In other words, frozen by people who know what they're doing right on the boat or dock. Even if you're buying locally, fresh squid is typically kept in a slush of icy, inky water. It's far cleaner and healthier to go with a frozen product, kept at a consistent temperature.


Eat More Bait Fish!


With Kitchen Catch, you can try a local underloved seafood every single week. We love showing people how to get their hands on some of California's greatest seafood delicacies. Stop by one of our farmers market locations this week or email to reserve a share.