Calamari is now Rhode Island’s official state appetizer. At the signing ceremony, Governor Lincoln Chaffee said this bill is an important way to support Rhode Island’s fishing industry, despite the pushback he got for it.
“And I said to myself, you know [despite] all the cynicism about, ‘Why are you doing this with an appetizer when there are so many more important things to do?’ I went back to Rep. McNamara and Sen. Sosnowski and I said, ‘Let’s get that calamari bill. The fisherman want it!’”
A House committee is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a bill that would make calamari the official state appetizer. If this sounds familiar it’s because last year similar legislation grabbed headlines then died in the General Assembly.
The whole thing started when Rep. Joseph McNamara spotted “Rhode Island calamari” on the menu at a fancy restaurant in New Hampshire. To his thinking, if calamari became the official appetizer then that just might put the state’s name on menus across the country.