Kraken Wise: Squid Rocks

No question about it: Squid and octopus are in. On a whirlwind visit to New York late last year, Gut Check partook of octopus dishes at four different restaurants on four consecutive nights. Last week, right here in blogland, our featured chef of the week Grace Dinsmoor of Modesto shared her recipe for pulpo a la gallega.

Last week we bought a new book called Kraken: The Curious, Exciting, and Slightly Disturbing Science of Squid, by Wendy Williams, and this morning we saw a television commercial that just might have rocked our personal boat right on past the tipping point:

Are we picking up what this bazillion-dollar ad campaign is putting down?

If you drink the Kraken Black Spiced Rum, a humongous tentacled sea creature will ooze up to your barstool and the last word out of your rum-sticky mouth will be "AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!" Strange way to market a product you want people to drink, or maybe that's just us.

Cephalopodomania is just dandy as far as Gut Check is concerned, though we'll pass on the Kraken-Coke and the Kraken depth charge, et al. Of course, we're no fool; we've read enough about our oceans and the creatures therein to realize that a bounty of squid in particular constitutes a sort of reverse canary-in-a-coal-mine, in that as more and more of our planet's fishier fish fall prey to fishier-fish overfishing, species farther down the food chain (like squid) will flourish. Some say that if we don't mend our fishin' ways, soon there'll be nothing to eat but jellyfish.

As glass-half-empty a gourmand as Gut Check is, we're choosing to view this particular glass, at this particular time, as half full -- though we'd prefer that it hold something other than sweet spiced rum.

So here's a squid recipe to try this weekend. If the storms hold off around dinnertime, make it on the grill...

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