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October 28, 2011

As if there weren’t already enough things I like about octopus, I learned yesterday, when admiring a Picasso platter with an octopus on it that the Catalan word for octopus is “pop.”

(As opposed to the Castilian “pulpo.”)

For a late dinner we stopped at a tapas place, signified by an octopus, in the old part of town. Lots of fried things, fried big round things with mashed potatoes and meat inside served with a mountain of mayonnaise and chili / garlic sauce (yes please), or croquettas in the finger shape, or tiny fried ones with tuna. We were so eager for vegetables that we ordered onion rings. One of the only non-fried things at this particular place was a huge giant tub of very large octopus — POP.

It was off to the side, though, and not on particularly good display.

I asked for some of the huge octopus and the waiter moved to give me some fried calamari instead, from a tray right in front of us, but I wanted the braised octopus. “It’s just boiled,” he said. But he relented and brought it warm on a wooden plate with olive oil and little chips of salt and an egregious quantity of paprika. We ate it with toothpicks and the bread with the tomato smashed onto it which is served with everything here.

Mmm, pop. Lucky.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Michelle permalink
    October 28, 2011 5:22 am

    Things are looking up in Spain!! Goodbye mystery ham, hello friendly octopus.

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