Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Best Thing I Ever Ate: Appetizer

Calamari Fritti
Tutto Italia
Disney World's Epcot Italy Pavilion
Orlando, FL

So obviously this is one of my favorite restaurants if you have read my cannelloni al forno post.  Fried calamari may look very simple, but it is very difficult to cook well.  The breading either comes off and is soggy or the calamari is chewy and tough or there is just no flavor.  These are cooked perfectly.  A good amount come in each order (It fed my starving family of four) but honestly you could never have enough of these delicious bites.  Each calamari or squid is cut into ringlets that are the perfect size.  I do have to say it makes me sad that they don't serve the tentacles because I personally love them, but maybe it freaks out some Disney guests. So back to the calamari.  They are absolutely fried to perfection with the perfect amount of crust on the outside.  The crust is flavored with herbs and spices, I am assuming things like basil and parsley and other italian ingredients.  The crust is the perfect golden brown and is so crispy.  The calamari itself is so tender and juicy.  Not even a little bit tough.  Now they serve these calamari with a classic marinara sauce that has at least 2 tablespoons of crushed red pepper flakes on top.  My parents said it was delicious, but since I hate tomato sauce I leave it off of the calamari.  For me the best topping for these calamari is a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.  Now what is the most annoying thing about squeezing fresh lemon juice?  The seeds of course.  But this restaurant has thought of everything.  They wrap the lemon in a yellow cheesecloth that catches all of the seeds but allows the juice to go right through.  Pretty cool right?  And has soon as that lemon juice hits the hot calamari it starts to glisten a little.  You sink your teeth in and you hear the amazing crunch.  Then you taste that tender calamari and you know this is one of the best appetizers you have ever eaten.

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