PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) -- It's no secret that most Rhode Islanders love their calamari, but a local state Representative is pushing to make the crispy fried squid the state's official pre-dinner snack.
Rep. Joseph McNamara (D - Dist. 19, Warwick) has introduced legislation to declare calamari as the Ocean State's "official appetizer." The reasoning behind his proposal is to increase tourism.
"We need to start promoting the good and wonderful things about our state," McNamara said. "And while squid makes 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 chefs across the country. Even Guy Fieri has a recipe for it."
McNamara stressed the importance of a statewide seafood marketing campaign, siting a Cornell University study that found that 72 percent of Rhode Island fishermen would benefit from such an effort.
If approved, calamari will join other 'official' Rhode Island trivia tidbits, 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.
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