One day in advance: Slice the bodies into rings. Put them in a zip lock bag with the tentacles and pour the buttermilk over them. Squeeze the air out of the bag and put it in the refrigerator over night. There are enzymes in the buttermilk that will break down the squid and tenderize it.
When you are ready to serve: Heat oil to 350 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Whisk the flour and spices together in a shallow pan.
Drop the squid into the flour mixture. Toss to coat with flour. Set them aside on your lined sheet pan. Repeat with the rest of the squid until it’s all been dredged in flour.
Fry the calamari in hot oil
Pour about 3 inches of oil into a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Set it on the stove over high heat. While the oil is heating, line a sheet pan with paper towels. Set it aside.
The oil is ready when you dip a piece of calamari into the oil and bubbles form around it immediately. Fry the calamari in batches. Don’t overcrowd the pot. Stir them around with a slotted spoon as they fry, turning them over so they cook on both sides. They’ll take about 3 to 5 minutes to fry, depending on size, thickness, etc. When they are beautifully golden brown, remove them from the oil. Drain them well over the pot. Then transfer them to your paper-lined pan. Sprinkle with plenty of kosher salt and chopped parsley. Serve with lemon wedges or a side of tomato basil dipping sauce.
* Time saving tip for parties: prepare the calamari in advance and freeze them on a cookie sheet. Once they are frozen, put them in a zip log freezer bag until ready to use. They can go right from freezer to the fryer.