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The Surprising Sauce That Made Me Want Two Orders Of This Calamari



Some unexpected fruit combinations give this dish great flavor.

Okay, I’ll be honest – when I walked into Blue Island Oyster Bar & Seafood in Cherry Creek, Colorado, a beautiful neighborhood just outside of Denver. I was slightly bemused at the idea of Oysters in Colorado. I’ll admit, my skepticism isn’t warranted – I mean, this is 2019 – they don’t arrive on horseback. Turns out they were fresh and absolutely delicious. There, I’ve said it. Delicious and I’d order them again.


In fact, every damn. thing. I. ate. was. delicious. But my true delight came in the form of an appetizer recommended by the server.When we asked what was good and the server said ‘the fried calamari.’


Again, I was a little skeptical. How special can the calamari be? (When did I become such a cynic? I’m calling a therapist shortly.) The reality is, in most places fried calamari is pretty basic. Dip ’em in batter and deep fry, serve with lemon and marinara sauce. Zzz.

Once again, I was wrong.

I never expected to taste my favorite fried Calamari in Cherry Creek Colorado! But I did. It’s got flavors I’ll be trying in my own cooking as well.

The dish is presented innocently enough on the menu – simply ‘fried calamari’ – it bears no catchy interpretation of the name. (But perhaps it should,) because it’s draped in a thai chili sauce, orange slices, chopped apples and sesame seeds. Sliced red chili pepper finishes the garnish.

Don’t underestimate how the flavors of thai chili sauce, apples and oranges completely transform this dish!

And to be clear, this is not a dipping sauce, this is a sauce that is smothered over every piece. Perfection!

This fried calamari, a dish already known for its delicious, fried salty goodness, immediately packs a surprising splash of thai heat, combined with the sweetness of glazed orange, and the unique crunch and flavor of diced apple. Just enough heat to say hello but not send you running, just the right amount of sweetness to balance with the salty.

If you’re in Denver, this restaurant is worth the trip. The craft cocktails were ranged from unique to classic, the oysters tasted fresh from the sea, and the entrees were fantastic. (I had a lobster salad that had , Bibb lettuce, Campari tomatoes, lemon and avocado that was bursting with shellfish.)

But this site is about the snacks. Back to the calamari. If you can get there, it’s a must. If you can’t try playing with these variations yourself! If you check this place, tell them Snackist sent you!

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