ITALIAN RECIPES TRADITIONAL AND CREATIVE
The description and the Italian recipes of the cephalopods
The cuttlefish (seppia): description and Italian names
The European or common cuttlefish reaches a maximum mantle length of 17 in (45 cm) . The mantle (main body area above the eyes) houses the cuttlebone, reproductive organs, and digestive organs. A pair of flat fins span the entire length of the mantle, and they undulate rapidly when the cuttlefish swim. The head is located at the base of the mantle, with two large eyes on either side and a beaklike jaw in the centre. The jaws are encircled by eight pairs of arms and two longer tentacles that can be retracted completely into the body. Adults can be recognized by the white lines branching from the base of the flared third arms.
The basic coloring of the common cuttlefish varies, although it typically displays a mottled black or brown color. Cuttlefish (Sepiida) are in an Order of cephalopods that possess an internal shell called the cuttlebone. The cuttlebone is made of calcium carbonate and plays a dominant role in these cephalopods buoyancy; it is divided into tiny chambers in which the cuttlefish can fill or empty of gas, depending on its needs
The name Sepia refers to the type of ink it houses within its body. This ink is used to deceive large predators when they try to attack the cuttlefish. When a predator is near, the ink is shot out into the water to confuse the predator, while the cuttlefish swims to safety.
This ink is very appreciated due its strong sea flavor and used for many recipes as rice, spaghetti and also for coloring the egg pasta. It can be taken either from the fresh fish or purchased preserved in small bags. If fresh, must be taken directly from the fish. In fact it deteriorates very soon, so it is inadvisable to by separate from fish.
The greater is their size the softer is their meat. So prefer always the greatest cuttlefishes, either frozen or fresh. It is suitable for many cookings : stuffed, stewed, grilled…the most important is a quick cooking, in this manner you avoid the meats to harden.
For cleansing remove the bone, sand, ink bag, the eyes and the jaw.
The Italian cuttlefishes step-by-step photographed recipes proposed by Italian Homemade Cooking
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