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August 15, 2012

By Trish Weaver

Research & Collections

There are two things that come immediately to mind when I hear the phrase squid preparation: fishing and calamari. I happen to enjoy both immensely. Squid are commonly used as bait for fishing and though there are lots of ways to “prepare” the squid, cutting it into strips seems most efficient. When it comes to making calamari “preparing” the squid can be quite involved, depending on the recipe you are using. But whether you are cutting squid as bait or making calamari there is one step that is common to both…REMOVE THE PEN! Otherwise your bait won’t flutter enticingly through the water and your calamari will be crunchy in ways no one will applaud you for. Preparing fossil squid is a whole other kettle of fish.

Fossil squid generally have their tasty soft-tissues already removed, either by predators or through diagenesis. What’s left is the pen. The goal in preparing…

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