Sunday, November 1, 2009

Tasty Tentacles?

Coiled octopus arms, covered with suckers, neatly packaged in plastic trays in the supermarket, still have the power to shock me even after more than four years living in Japan. I guess there are plenty of people who see them, think "Wouldn't that be nice to have for dinner?" and take them home to chop up for stew or the grill. Though I did eat octopus on several occasions back in Kyoto, it was always chopped up by someone else, and often blanketed in batter or sauce, and I never got brave enough to deal with these fat, rubbery tentacles myself. I mean, it's not that hard to see why these guys ended up on the "not kosher" list, is it? At least they're dead ... which is not always the case in certain restaurants, so I hear.

Most supermarkets only carry the standard sized purple-and-white arms at the top, but if you shop at a more upscale place like Precce in Midtown, you can choose from a variety of cephalopod species and sizes. I guess there are some people who especially like the big suction cups, while others will take their suckers small, thanks.

Confession: though I never bought an octopus, I did once buy a squid, much like the one staring out at you from the picture. It was circa the autumn of 2003, I believe, and having just seen a Japanese cooking show on how to gut and slice them, I wanted to give it a try. I won't go into the gory details, but there was black ink involved and a horrendous stench in my drain for days afterward. Now just looking at this picture gives me the creeps. Uugghh... !

No comments:

Post a Comment