The octupus: from the sea to our tables

Not only does the octupus often feature on the fish menus of Italian restaurants, but it is also found elsewhere. This is due to its easy availability, its tastiness as well as its versatility in the kitchen.

To enhance its taste, all you need to do is take some precautions during the cooking process and pair the octopus with ingredients that do not overpower its unique flavor. Because of its nutritional properties, also suitable for low-calorie diets, experts suggest including a portion of octopus in our weekly diet. Throughout this article we will analyse its health benefits, also thanks to the collaboration of Dr. Domitilla Grasso, a biologist and nutritionist.

 

The beneficial properties of octopus

Besides being a highly intelligent animal, the octopus is tasty and healthy. It contains mineral salts (calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus), which are useful for both the bones and the mind; moreover, it provides a good dose of vitamins, including vitamin C, which is excellent to boost our immune system, especially when the weather changes due to the alternating seasons.

Thanks to its low-fat content and protein intake, it is also recommended in low-calorie diets. As it contains, compared to other large fish, lower concentrations of methylmercury, a substance which is toxic to our body, you can also consume a large portion of it.

 

Some tips to best enjoy it

If we buy fresh octopus, it is always advisable to freeze it before cooking since, thanks to the variation in temperature, its fibres can break more easily. It can be cooked both in a pressure cooker or in a saucepan, in which a vegetable broth has been previously prepared with aromatic herbs, such as wild fennel; its taste will be even richer.

To check the state of the cooking process, just insert a toothpick into the part between the head and the tentacles: if it comes out easily, then the octopus is ready. Once cooked, it can be eaten simply with the addition of a drizzle of oil and lemon, or used as an ingredient for other recipes.
Thanks to its intense yet delicate flavor, it can be combined with different ingredients as well as accompanying sauces, and can also make an excellent filling for tasty sandwiches.

At Il Piccolo Mondo Restaurant, where the quality of the raw materials is always guaranteed, you can enjoy a delicious octopus salad with potatoes, green beans and pesto, or try the octopus in other delicious variations occasionally proposed by the chef, such as octopus with couscous of pulses and seasonal vegetables.