A Love Affair with Squid

Squid dish

I love Cephalopods – not as pets but as one of the most delicious fish to devour. I think I’m correct in saying that this is the family pecking order

  • Pulpo/Octopus
  • Choco/ Cuttlefish
  • Calamar/Squid
  • Chiperones/ hmmmm – smaller squid?
  • Puntillitas/ mini squid

They all have ink to fire at predators to blur their getaway path. They all have tentacles. All, apart from Pulpo, have a backbone. The backbone of the choco is found on beaches and makes its way into birdcages to enhance a well groomed beak. They all have that fabulous chewy texture (only like rubber bands if cooked badly). They all play their own roll in Spanish cuisine. For example, there are some things you would do with Pulpo that you would never do with  a Chiperon.  Cephalopods contain zero fat and are actually a very healthy fish to eat. It depends what you then do with them.

When you come cooking in Spain at Annie B’s we tend to eat more cephalopods out than we prepare in the kitchen. Whole deepfried Puntallitas alongside a glass of chilled Fino or Manzanilla is divine. My favourite Pallea ingredients are Chorizo and Calamar/Chocos

So with the arrival of the Spring sunshine and lunch at the beach – my eyes immediately light up with the thought of Calamar a la plancha (squid cooked on a hot plate) and a massive copa of Vino Rosado (rosé wine). I’m afraid when it comes to squid, my beloved Sherry falls into 2nd place.

Over the last few days I have had 2 sublime cephalopod experiences – one being the Calamar a la Plancha on the beach and the other being an incredible Carpaccio de Pulpo.

The Calamar at Casa Francisco, on Fontanilla Beach in Conil was exceptional. Cooked to utter perfection, when the tentacles become caramelized and almost crispy. It was served in such a cute way  – check the pic.  Loved it!

The Pulpo Carpaccio was in Osteria Pastrani an Italian restaurant in Málaga. It was exceptional, served with an emulsion of Erizos (sea urchins).