Adventures in the kitchen

I’m realizing that when it comes to cooking different types of meat and fish, I’m not as adventurous as I’d like to think I am.  Travel has made me even more connected to my food and has made me a more adventurous eater. I’m sure I ate my fill of goat meat all the while, not knowing what I was eating during my travels in East Africa. Those types of things happen in Africa. I recently tried snails in Marrakesh, Morocco thanks to the insistence of fellow tourists who likely saw the curiosity on my face while I did the ” I don’t want to try it” dance.

I tried them.

Had the texture of mushrooms and that’s all I could think of to gulp it down.

Now I can Check Snails of the list. 

Spain allows  plenty of opportunities to try new foods and different parts of an animal.  It’s common to find rabbits at the grocery stores and pig ears and pig heads at local markets. I have yet to cook rabbit and I’m certainly not tempted to cook a pig ears, let alone try them but I’m fascinated by the variety of meats available. Despite being slightly grossed out, my curiosity often wins-Try anything once, right? Intrigued and appreciative of the fact that in Spain, you’re connected to your food.

So when a friend excitedly told me she was going to make pulpo, octopus, savory pie, I was eager to watch the process but didn’t want to be a hands-on assistant chef. Thankfully she’s more adventurous in the kitchen than me and wanted to do it all herself.  I was happy to play photographer.

The adventure began at the grocery store.

What octopus to buy and how much do they weigh?

 This one weighed under a 1kilo- under 2.2 pounds and cost less than 6.50 Euros. Not bad!

Come buy your Octopus!

Come buy your Octopus!

Time to rinse the octopus. I was happy not to touch Mr. Slimy…

How can you tell the gender of an octopus? Do you know?

I don’t.

Rinsing Mr. Octopus

Rinsing Mr. Octopus

Time to cook him but first he needs a full length photo!

Ow. Stop pinching my head! Put me down, put me down!

Ow. Stop pinching my head! Put me down, put me down!

So pretty, eh?

Time to cook the Mr. octopus

Time to cook the Mr. octopus

Nah, I say, looks strange. Like science fiction or something.

I'm purple when I'm cooked!

I’m purple when I’m cooked!

So pretty when it’s cooked. But even stranger looking, right?

I was happy I didn’t have to touch him.

And then it was time to cut him up in pieces!

Cutting up Mr. Octopus!

Cutting up Mr. Octopus!

And we wondered if he was overcooked. It’s tricky cooking an octopus because you have to get the timing right. Overcooked and it’s chewy.

Octopus chopped into pieces!

Octopus chopped into pieces!

And then the finished product. So delicious.  And it was not chewy. Cooked just right. Because since I cook Octopus and eat it at restaurants all the time, I’m now the resident expert.

Beautiful Pulpo savory pie

Beautiful Pulpo savory pie

Nah. Just kidding.

Pulpo is very common throughout Spain with Pulpo a la Gallego being a popular dish from Galicia.

Are you adventurous in the kitchen? Have you recently tried cooking something a little different than your used to?

I’m curious, leave a comment below.

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13 thoughts on “Adventures in the kitchen

  1. Pingback: How successful was I? A recap on my goals in Basque Country | Roamingtheworld

  2. Pingback: Strange foods: Eating Oricios « Roamingtheworld

  3. I love octopus!! Especially the deep fried kind in Málaga. Curious enough, I was not a big fan of the paprika with olive oil octopus in Galicia.

    • Haven’t really had much of the Galician style Octupus because I just wasn’t as adventurous in Andalucia. Heck, I ordered snails in Sevilla and then didn’t touch them because well, I sucking out the slimy bugger just didn’t seem appetizing! ha

  4. Being now based in China is quite tricky…Most often I don’t know what I am eating and to be honest…I prefer not to know.
    But I think Japan was most impressive for me…The delicate way they chop the ingredients, the bento boxes…Sometimes I wonder if what I was eating was meat, fish or vegetable…
    Again, I was happy in my ignorance 😉

    • Noelfly, If I were you, I’d feel the same. I wouldn’t want to know either. Tell me later, so I can bask in the glory that I “ate that” but don’t tell me before! ha.

  5. I hate cooking, but love eating 😉 Octopus is one of my faves, I often order that when eating out. I’m quite happy to try new things, although there is a line. A friend of mine sent me a pic once of him eating a fried cockroach… count me out, please!

    I must confess I get quite irritated at times with people (mostly with folk from the UK and the US) who won’t eat anything that’s not chicken, turkey, beef, pork or lamb, and only certain cuts of these. I can understand that the texture of octopus may not be to everyone’s liking, but what’s wrong with rabbit or deer? When they visit me in Spain, I just order a round of assorted tapas, and it turns out that they do actually like all that stuff, it’s just some weird culturally conditioned prejudice.
    So, what’s next on your cooking adventures list???

    • Octopus is something I didn’t try until Spain. It’s EVERYWHERE here!

      I knwo what you mean about many UK and USA folks having preconceived notions about food and not being willing to try new things. I have to admit, as I get older, I feel less adventurous but I still give it a try!

  6. I get squeamish even when I have to cook a burger or chicken breast, so super impressed you went out of most people’s comfort zone and went for the octopus!

    • I can relate. Lately, I’ve been feeling weird around cooking a whole chicken. I’ve done it twice but all I could think of was a live chicken…

      Octopus is quite tasty…

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