Sea Monsters (in Eng, Fr & It) and The Halloween Mystery

tattler-1_3_1Halloween is just around the corner and while the children are preparing for scary monsters with candies, I like to be scared by sea monster and Black Squid Ink.

Right? Wrong !

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Last year for Halloween I published the recipe Pasta with Black Ink Squid, as typically called in English (from google Adword statistic)

However this past summer, while translating seafood names in English Italian and French, I realized that the name was not in fact correct.

So I took a closer look at the 3 cephalopods used in cooking and differentiated them from each others.

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Octopus (Eng.), Poulpe (Fr.), Polpo (It.)

The easiest to recognize from the others as it has long tentacles and a round short head.

 

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My favourite way of cooking the octopus is Warm Octopus “Legs” and Potato Salad

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Squid (Eng.), Calmar (Fr.), Calamaro (It.)

They have long bodies, short tentacles and reddish bright colour.

Here is a video on how to clean it:

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I like squids grilled and served over a fresh salad like: Radicchio Salad with Grilled Squid.

But where is the Black Ink Squid?

 

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Cuttlefish (Eng.), Seiche (Fr.), Seppie (It.)

And there is the Black Ink bag! 

Cuttlefish are very different from Squid, but why it is called Squid Ink while it is actually from the cuttlefish, I don’t know !!

In Italian is called Nero di Seppia, in French Encre de seiche...

...in Spanish Tinta de Calamar, like Calmar (Fr.), Calamaro (It.), Squid (Eng.) ?!?!

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If someone can answer this mystery, please let me know in the comment box below.

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Cuttlefish are white-ish, have a rounder head and a tick bone inside their body, which is commonly used as calcium-rich dietary supplements for caged canaries

 

This is what the ink sacs look like, and if you are using the fresh ink from a Cuttlefish, you need to be very careful for the risk of stains.

 

 

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To make the sauce you need to stir-fry some onions and garlic.

 

Add the cuttlefish,

 

 

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And a few table spoons of tomato sauce or tomato extract to give some colour.

 

Before adding the ink, it is best to wear some plastic gloves.

Pierce the ink bag with a pin, making sure the ink does not squirt out of the pan.

 

 

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Once the sauce is ready you can serve it with pasta or rice.

For a Risotto with black ink, just follow the instruction on how to make the perfect risotto and add the sauce to the rice for the last 3 minutes of cooking.

For the pasta, you will find the recipe below

 

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