Thursday, August 6, 2009

Grilled Octopus?!

It took me a few minutes to figure out how a discussion of King Kong (1933) led to my wondering how you'd grill an octopus. There's a fairly short connection - but right now I'm writing about what to do with an octopus and a grill.

My ancestors, by and large, came from northwestern Europe, where people knew about octopi, but didn't eat them: at least, not as a rule. I've never eaten octopus myself, and understand it can be a bit on the rubbery side.

But that doesn't keep me from being curious.

In other parts of the world, it's a different story. In Greece, htapothi is part of the menu now and again; Hawaii it's called he'e; and in Japan, tako. And, although the local species aren't the same, those are all names for that eight-armed creature with an impolite stare.

I found the names of a few ways to fix octopus, not all of which involve grilling: Takoyaki, I've been told, is fried, not grilled - and there is oil involved. Still, if I read the recipe right (by no means a sure bet), the process takes place - or could take place - on a conventional outdoor grill.

Polipo is apparently a Hawaiian preparation for grilled octopus: but I didn't find a reliable-looking recipe.

Htapothi sti Skhara, now, is grilled. After it's boiled.

I haven't tried any of these preparations: and aren't likely to. You'll find quite a few critters swimming in the lakes and rivers of Minnesota: but octopus isn't one of them. Besides, I'm not sure how fresh the things would be, if I had any shipped in.

If you're as clueless about octopus as I am - maybe even if you're not - check out: The page gives names for "octopus" in several languages; what regions generally supply them are (the closest is about 2,000 miles from my front door); and how to choose, store, and prepare octopus; and the 'flavor affinities.' There's also a reasonable-looking recipe for grilled octopus there.

Almost-related post:

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