Rhode Island’s Official Appetizer – Calamari

If you love calamari – and let’s face it, who doesn’t? – the fourth annual Rhode Island Calamari Festival is your chance to sample the offerings from 10 restaurants, vote on your favorites and celebrate the Galilee fishing fleet that makes it all happen.

Held just outside the Coast Guard House from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 8, the Rhode Island Calamari Festival marks the fourth anniversary of calamari being named the Ocean State’s official appetizer. The event was marked by then-Gov. Lincoln Chafee signing the legislation at Galilee, home to over 100 vessels that can land more than 20 million pounds of squid in a year.

Here at the Coast Guard House, we pride ourselves on preparing seafood that’s locally harvested and super fresh, and Galilee delivers. It’s now the No. 1 port for longfin squid on the entire East Coast.

In light the huge economic impact of squid and the amazing culinary results from Galilee’s haul, the Coast Guard House fully supported making calamari the Official Rhode Island State Appetizer. Some say calamari is as linked to Rhode Island as potatoes are to Idaho. Plus, we get a kick out of the fact that Rhode Island is the only state to add appetizer to its official list of state songs, trees, flowers and birds. Weird? Yes. Proud of that? You bet.