This class of seafood, which has many great uses in the kitchen, is very popular and an important part of Italian seafood cooking traditions. It is perfect for delicious preparations: grilled, stuffed, au-gratin, stewed, and fried. They are delicious even raw if well prepared and marinated.
There may be some confusion among similar species such as octopus and curled octopus (moscardini), or the squid and Mediterranean flying squid. Their resemblances may be deceiving. For example, an octopus will need lengthy cooking time, while a baby octopus may taste like rubber if it is cooked for the same amount of time! No need to worry for we will always be at your disposal if you need any assistance.
With our suggestions and recipes, you will be able to serve authentic and traditional Italian dishes that will savor and preserve all of its magnificent benefits of simple and healthy cuisine. A few main raw ingredients and quick cooking are all you will need to magnify its original and tasty flavors.
Octopus of Mediterranean Sea
It can be prepared in a variety of ways and even eaten raw or fried. But the most traditional way is to serve it as a salad with potatoes.
The octopus is a very common mollusc. It has eight tentacles of equal length with two rows of suckers per tentacle. It differs from the baby octopus which has only one row of suckers.
Curled octopus of Mediterranean Sea
The curled octopus is very similar to the most famous octopus. It preferably grows in the Mediterranean Sea, in particular, in Italy. The smallest type named the “fragolino” is considered truly tender and delicious. Its flesh is extremely rich in vitamins and proteins but also in minerals that are considered healthy. It may be cooked both boiled and fried.
Squid of Mediterranean sea
There are presently 375 species of squids in the world, but without any doubt, the Mediterranean squid is considered one of the most appreciated species thanks to its unique and delicate flesh. It can be served as an appetizer, first or main course, fried or grilled. It can also be found in pasta sauces, seafood risotto, stuffed with eggs and Parmigiano cheese, oven baked or stewed in tomato sauce.
Baby squid of Mediterranean sea
The natural habitat of this mollusc is in the western Mediterranean waters, particularly, in the Strait of Sicily. It can be fished all year round, but autumn is its most prolific period. The recipe most used in Italy for this delicacy is definitely the delicious fried baby squid. The baby squid is breaded in flour, cooked in plenty of hot olive oil and just seasoned with salt and lemon juice.
Mediterranean Flying Squid
The Mediterranean flying squid is a very close relative of the Mediterranean squids, but with several differences. The flesh has a little more consistency in texture, but it is also quite appreciated, especially when stewed or stuffed and baked. The health benefits are absolutely equal to those of squids, and it has a flavor that is a bit on the sweeter side.
Cuttlefish of Mediterranean Sea
The cuttlefish lives in waters that are not very deep and prefers those that are more sandy or muddy. They can even be found where seagrass meadows are present. Before being cooked, the squid must be deprived of its inner “bone”, eyes, mouth and ink sac. The cuttlefish ink, called “cuttlefish black”, is used to flavor and color famous Italian first-course dishes such as risotto or spaghetti with cuttlefish ink.
baby Cuttlefish of Mediterranean Sea
As understandable, “baby” means tender and delicate. It is what the baby cuttlefish of Mediterranean sea are. Tasty and unique they can be eaten boiled, gently dressed with extra virgin olive oil and lemon, or fried with salt and lemon. With its very low fat and richness in protein and minerals, they can absolutely be considered health food.