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NEW: Will Calamari Be Rhode Island’s Official Appetizer?

Thursday, February 28, 2013


It's delicious, but is should it be the official appetizer of the state of Rhode Island?

Rhode Island State Representative Joseph M. McNamara thinks Rhode Island-style calamari needs a publicity boost--so he's filing a bill to make it the state's "Official Appetizer." Which Rhode Island currently does not have.

McNamara noticed the appearance of "Rhode Island-style calamari" on the menu at a New Hampshire restaurant lately. (“Rhode Island style” means the crispy fried rings and tentacles are tossed with thin loops of pickled hot peppers.)

For Rhode Island's best calamari, go here. 

“Some much of what we hear or read about Rhode Island is negative,” McNamara said. “We need to start promoting the good and wonderful things about our state. And while squid may make some people squeamish, we should be boasting about the fact that Rhode Island is the east coast capital of squid, and that our style of preparing it is being used by chef across the country. Even Guy Fieri has a recipe for it.”

Making it official

To promote the fact that the fishing, hospitality and tourism industries are crucial to the economy of the state and the fact that Rhode Island has some of the finest restaurants in the nation, Representative McNamara has introduced legislation to declare calamari the “official state appetizer.”

If approved, calamari would join the ranks of other “official” Rhode Island items such as coffee milk as the official state drink, the Rhode Island greening apple as the official state fruit, and the quahog as the official state shell.

“For those who might say this is frivolous,” said Representative McNamara, “I can only say that it’s important for our state to boast about its strengths, to market its many positives."

The legislation, 2013-H 5654, has been referred to the House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare. It is co-sponsored by Rep. Teresa Tanzi (D-Dist. 34, Narragansett, South Kingstown), Rep. Donna M. Walsh (D-Dist. 36, Charlestown, New Shoreham, South Kingstown, Westerly), Rep. Deborah Ruggiero (D-Dist. 74, Jamestown, Middletown) and Rep. Gregory J. Costantino (D-Dist. 44, Lincoln, Johnston, Smithfield).


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