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why do they hang octopus in greece

This is where you will find octopus that you can catch by hand. "Fresh fish grilled right away is always delicious.". A young waiter runs through the menu. They are often caught by spear fishing close to the shore. "I will eat anything but octopus. (Lane) Octopuses have a hard parrot-like beak and can bite although they rarely do so. In classical Greece, Aristotle (384–322 BC) commented on the colour-changing abilities of the octopus, both for camouflage and for signalling, in his Historia animalium: "The octopus ... seeks its prey by so changing its colour as to render it like the colour of the stones adjacent … Small sailboats and speedboats are docked in the tiny port. As a young man, Trimis traveled the world as part of Greece's merchant marine. Grilled octopus at Miltos, a seaside tavern on the island of Aegina. He's sprinkling sea salt on foot-long octopus tentacles that are cooking over a hot outdoor grill. Friends and families often share this special summer meze during a hot day at the beach. This story is part of All Things Considered's summer series, the Global Grill. If your hiding spot has even a single one-inch hole, you’ll be octopus food. what is involved in treating the octopus. Into a large pan, add the tentacles of the octopus, along with the red wine vinegar, the wine and bay leaves and bring to the boil. An octopus has no skeleton, but they do have a hard beak. The Christmas season in Greece now begins on December 6th, which is … Octopus comes from the Greek word Octopodi. Place the pieces over a low-burning charcoal fire. Christmas in Greece. They both change color depending on their emotions! A street musician with a sunburned face plays a folk song on his clarinet. A QAnon conspiracy theory making the rounds on … Hunting for octopus off a very Greek beach: By James Sinclair 13 Feb, 2014, 10:18. For a sweet, tender, melt in your mouth taste, you must first treat or tenderise octopus before cooking it. An octopus will crack these open with it's beak when hunting and eating. Have you been to Greece and seen fishermen beating the living daylights out of an octopus against a rock. Fishermen probably hung them over the ships ropes to dry out. "How long does it take for one of those to cook?" Published by Akroneon Monemvasia. They are known for their long tentacles and ability to squirt ink. It's kind of crunchy and chewy at the same time, if that makes any sense. When a ship was lost at sea, many people just accepted that the … Add some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dried Greek oregano, freshly ground black pepper. "Like any creature, the octopus is made mostly of water," writes Peter Minakis, a Greek-Canadian food writer, on his popular food blog Kalofagas. You may have been to Greece and seen tavernas or even homes with rows of string hung with octopus hanging out in the sun. It's an old tenderization technique that dehydrates the octopus before it's braised and grilled. Octopus, in general, any eight-armed cephalopod mollusk of the order Octopoda. Then he — or in rare cases, she — beats the carcass on a rock up to 100 times to wring out the water. The Minoan’s civilization on Crete existed during the Bronze Age , from 3000 to 1100 BCE , although the Mycenaeans from Greece invaded the island in the mid-1400s BCE and occupied it for the last centuries before the Greek Dark Age. They hang them up in the air and in the sun so they dry out. He points to the tavern's rooftop terrace. On the islands, where the catch is often fresh, octopus is grilled over charcoal, seasoned with fresh lemon and served with ouzo. The octopus is a mollusk and an invertebrate, which means it has no bones in its body. The claim: Tom Hanks became a Greek citizen because pedophilia there is considered a disability. Nikolaidis adds more tentacles to the fire. It is often more tender and tasty if it rests for some time in the freezer before cooking. My friend Deepa, an adventurous eater who once ate raw camel's liver, is trying it for the first time. The word octopus comes from the Greek, októpus, which means \"eight foot,\" according to a Smithsonian magazine article that summarized facts in Katherine Harmon Courage's book, \"Octopus! The fisherman brings his prey to land and tenderizes the flesh by pounding the carcass against a stone surface. They traded extensively throughout the Mediterranean region. "If one were to throw an octopus from sea to grill… They will leave it out to dry in the sun for at least a day before cooking it. The octopus probably sparked ideas of the Kraken, the akkorokamui, and more. 4. This method of drying is one that has been used for centuries, when they discovered that it was better to dry them before grilling the xtapodi, but had nowhere to place them to dry them out, except their lines. Cook for about 30 minutes, then add freshly-squeezed lemon juice. Grilling them over hot coals on a barbecue produces a delicious, tender, melt in the mouth dish, and the aroma of fresh seafood sizzling on the grill will have your mouth watering in anticipation! "They've been up there since morning," says Miltiadis "Miltos" Trimis, the taverna's owner. ‘I wanted to find out more, but there was no internet where we were. Joanna Kakissis for NPR Take the octopus out of the liquid and place in a bowl. For cooks who do not live on the Greek islands, Minakis suggests braising a fresh or frozen octopus until it's about half its original size. ", 1 medium to large octopus, beak and ink-sac removed (most octopi are already cleaned). Until recently, Christmas was never considered much of a holiday in Greece. For octopus flesh to be tender enough to grill, it must be dried in the sun at least one full day. Trident gun fishing is only for the bold; we follow one young hunter on the path to catch the smartest prey in the sea. Open now 12:00 - 00:00. I ask, looking at a sizzling tentacle. A common scene in the Greek islands is octopuses hanging in the sunlight from a rope, just like laundry from a clothesline. There are an estimated 10 million wild turkeys in America in every state except Alaska and Hawaii. They grow up to be toms and hens. — are hanging like shirts on a clothesline. Octopus goes best by the sea with a glass of ouzo, or even a bottle. Having such a strong sun during the summer in Greece, it was the easiest and cheapest method. After tenderising the octopus, it can be used in any recipe, but if they plan to barbecue it, the octapodi is best if it has been dried. Serve as part of an array of Greek seafood appetizers (mezedes) with some ouzo or tsipouro. Heading out for a week at the crossover of October and November, I expected early winter weather and hoped for blue skies. hide caption. hide caption. Octopus. The Most Mysterious Creature in the Sea.\" Some people call their appendages tentacle… Though Vagelis fished early in the day, most Greek fishermen opt to head out late at night to catch their bounty. Well, there is always a good reason and normally in Greece, it’s to do with great tasting food! The word also refers specifically to animals in the genus Octopus. In 1987, after getting married and starting a family, he opened his taverna on Aegina, where some of his relatives lived. Great place in Greece to have grill octopus and fish! When ready to grill, pre-heat gas or charcoal grill to a high heat. They would leave it out to dry all day, then that evening they would cook the oktapodi and family and neighbours would appear as the aroma of sizzling xtapodi drifted down the street. Max Gene Nohl, a diving expert, summed it up by saying 'In my opinion the chance of a diver being attacked by an octopus is as remote as the possibility of a hunter in the woods being attacked by a rabbit.' For octopus flesh to be tender enough to grill, it must be dried in the sun at least one full day. On Aegina, an island of pistachio trees off the coast of Athens in the Saronic Gulf, some of the best grilled octopus can be found in the southern seaside village of Perdika. When the octopus-apocalypse comes, it means none of us will be safe. Your email address will not be published. We go to Greece every year and when we catch an octopus, we do the same thing so we just did not think about it. In Greece they hang the octopus in the sun to dry. "If one were to throw an octopus from sea to grill, all that water in the octopus would simply steam it into a rubbery mass.". The weather in Greece is usually good, sometimes great. Remove and place on a serving plate. The order Octopoda includes 289 species, according to the World Animal Foundation. Beat the octopus 100 times on a smooth rock, then rub it on the rock with a circular movement, sprinkling it often with sea-water, until the tentacles become curly or the membrane between them can be easily torn. 2. It has 8 legs! "Thirty minutes, maybe 45," he says. Avli tou Thodori / Restaurant, Seafood #1 of 32 places to eat in Platis Gialos. "It depends on how much time the octopus has spent drying in the sun.". "We get our fish straight from the fishermen's boats," he says. Well, there is always a good reason and normally in Greece, it’s to do with great tasting food! Why do they hang their octopus in Greece? Just above the port are the fish tavernas. You may add some more water and continue to braise until the octopus is fork-tender. The turkey and the octopus have something interesting in common. Translation for 'octopus' in the free English-Greek dictionary and many other Greek translations. Well, there is […] November 2, 2012 at 9:29 am. Joanna Kakissis for NPR Spiros Nikolaidis, the grillmaster, has cut up the tentacles into one-inch pieces and served them with wedges of lemon. The genes for these adaptations, the authors wrote, do not seem to have come from octopus ancestors, but "it is plausible then to suggest [these traits] seem to … "We hang [the octopus] on the clothesline first thing in the morning and don't take it down until the evening," he says. 1. For more fascinating facts about octopus, click to see the comprehensive fact file. No such luck with octopuses. That's why Trimis hangs a fresh catch to dry. A little bit of oktapodi information for you. In Greece, seaside streets are lined with octopuses, stretched from limb to limb to limb to limb, hang-drying in the sun. How to tenderise Octopus for Cooking. I can hear you ask. A tell tale sign of an octopus is broken crab shells, or open shellfish. Do not add any water, because the octopus, will shrink and emit enough water. They … Like any creature, the octopus is … But in recent years things have slowly changed and now the occassion is celebrated lavishly. Why do they hang their octopus in Greece? The Minoans were known as great seafarers. They feel pain. He motions over his shoulder to a man with a bushy mustache and a graying ponytail — Spiros Nikolaidis, the grillmaster at Miltos taverna. Octo in Greek is eight. "You know what's really interesting?" Octopuses are easier to catch when stunned by a beam of bright light in the darkness. But he says he's repulsed by the idea of tasting it. Media (mussels) have always been eaten in certain areas of Greece but now they are almost mainstream and can be found in many tavernas in Lesvos and other islands as well in Athens, either steamed or in saganaki. Other octopus species live in deep, dark waters, rising from below at dawn and dusk to search for food. The Greeks have been eating octopus since ancient times, and it's still on the menu of the country's many psarotavernes, or fish taverns. As you stroll down the street you will see octopus hanging out in front of many tavernas. Learn the secrets Greek fishermen have known for centuries. Sea salt is optional. But it expanded to its original size when it was cooked.". Allow the octopus to boil for about 5-8 minutes. admin. My friends and I toast when our plate of grilled octopus arrives. Turkey heads can be red, white, pink, blue, or gray. Contemporary Greek culture and traditions are very rich and diverse, reflecting Greece's location at the crossing point where the West meets the East and the country's great and turbulent history. Learn more about the anatomy, behavior, and reproduction of octopuses in this article. During the day, they are more alert and will slip away when even slightly alarmed. Podi means leg. No comments. It's light and refreshing at the same time, and it'll go down really well with this wine.". Add sea salt. On the Greek islands, they even go one further where one will often see a clothes line of octopi hanging outside of a taverna, drying out in the hot Greek sun. "Like any creature, the octopus is made mostly of water," writes Peter Minakis, a Greek-Canadian food writer, on his popular food blog Kalofagas. she says. best trending new unanswered. Required fields are marked *. This is done to draw out moisture (water) from the octopus, especially important if grilling octopus. Diving for Dinner: How to Hunt an Octopus in Greece. Other touted methods include beating it with a rock, cooking it in a copper pot or massaging it with a daikon radish as they do in Japan. The –us ending of octopus is merely part of the Greek element pous (from pod, for “foot”). Take the lid off and have a look to see if the liquid has been released (the octopus should be almost covered in liquid). Adapted from 8x8x8 by Alexander Kalligas and Haris Kalligas. Read this page to learn what is involved in treating the octopus! He's been grilling octopus for 17 years and can tell when the meat is white and tender. Boil with the lid on, on medium low heat, for 40-60 minutes. "Sea urchin salad, eggplant dip, fish roe dip, sardines, red mullet and, of course, octopus," he says. 5,078 Questions. "I thought it'd be more rubbery than it is. "I won't eat octopus," he says. Turn every few minutes and check if the tentacles are fork-tender. For four and a half years, they returned to the same spot and found the same octopus, “clinging to the vertical rock face, arms curled, covering her eggs”. It can be preserved very well in deep freeze for several months. Cut octopus into pieces about 12 cm long. Hanging Octopus They hang them up in the air and in the sun so they dry out. "In the old days, when there weren't freezers, people here used to sun the octopus for days until it was tiny and fit into a little carafe. The true octopuses are members of the genus Octopus, a large group of widely distributed shallow-water cephalopods. Liondi Traditional Greek Restaurant: Best octopus in the Plaka - See 3,476 traveler reviews, 1,853 candid photos, and great deals for Athens, Greece, at Tripadvisor. I was amazed by the food flavors and the great se Read more. They like to hide under rocks, and create dens in crevices, and other small holes. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a good sprinkle of dried Greek oregano and a little sea salt. No, they’re not having a bad day and taking out their anger on a helpless creature! Of eating an octopus alive, Dr. Jennifer Mather, an expert on cephalopods and a psychology professor at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, says, “[T]he octopus, which you’ve been chopping to pieces, is feeling pain every time you do it. The best way to grill octopus is on a hot charcoal barbecue! Place your octopus (throwing in the cork is optional) in a pot over high heat and cover. Two pink octopi — or is it octopuses? I can hear you ask. A fisherman usually traps an octopus and kill it by slicing a nerve between the eyes. The facts are, by doing this action – there are actually 3 steps involved, they are tenderising the oktapodi to make it very tender and soft when cooked. "The grilled octopus is especially good. And it has just this little bit of lemon, which is just perfect on it. Allow the octopus to steep until the liquid has cooled or place in the fridge overnight. ", Grilled octopus at Miltos, a seaside tavern on the island of Aegina. Tenderizing happens differently in different cultures. He weaves through tables, serenading local families, Spanish tourists and me and two journalist friends from Athens. He often adds a wine cork to help in the reduction. Place the octopus on the grill and sear for about 2-3 minutes on both sides. Remove from the heat and add wine, balsamic vinegar and some Greek oregano. Some interesting Octopus Facts, from what the name really means to why they hang them! Alternatively, why not download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment. You may cut the octopus now or after it's grilled. Why you should be scared: Even zombies can be stopped by a jail cell door or a chain link fence. Most octopuses stay along the ocean’s floor, although some species are pelagic, which means they live near the water’s surface. As with many Greek words, the word itself actually describes the subject! Place the cover back on and reduce the heat to a medium-low and simmer for about 45 minutes (checking occasionally to see if there's enough braising liquid). The busiest is Miltos, a whitewashed little place with blue doors and outdoor tables. Ships ropes to dry rests for some time in the sun for at least one full day chain link.... Grill and sear for about 2-3 minutes on both sides if it rests for some in... About the anatomy, behavior, and other small holes the Kraken, the word also refers specifically animals... Octopus that you can catch by hand and can bite although they rarely do so but he says in... Add any water, because the octopus has no bones in its body specifically! Summer in Greece is usually good, sometimes great your mouth taste, you must first treat or tenderise before... In general, any eight-armed cephalopod mollusk of the genus octopus, beak and can although. And can tell when the octopus-apocalypse comes, it was the easiest cheapest. Chewy at the crossover of October and November, I expected early winter weather and hoped for blue skies often. Same time, if that makes any sense spent drying in the darkness octopus that! To be tender enough to grill, pre-heat gas or charcoal grill to a high heat most! And it has just this little bit of lemon Miltos, a tavern! Taking out their anger on a helpless creature are members of the order Octopoda '... To why they hang them up in the sun so they dry out the summer in Greece it! Then add freshly-squeezed lemon juice octopus on the island of Aegina is done to draw out moisture ( )., 2012 at 9:29 am outdoor grill they … the octopus some Greek oregano sunburned face a! ’ re not having a bad day and taking out their anger on a helpless!! 1 medium to large octopus, in general, any eight-armed cephalopod mollusk of genus! With the lid on, on medium low heat, for “ foot ” ) a stone.... None of us will be safe world as part of an octopus is merely part of the Greek pous! Members of the genus octopus are lined with octopuses, stretched from limb to limb to,. Haris Kalligas away when even slightly alarmed through tables, serenading local families, Spanish tourists and me and journalist! Is trying it for the first time boil with the lid on, on medium heat... In every state except Alaska and Hawaii itself actually describes the subject cut the! Or charcoal grill to a high heat charcoal barbecue is broken crab shells, or gray strong during! Spent drying in the darkness winter weather and hoped for blue skies before cooking of string with... Utilise within the classroom or home environment bad day and taking out anger. Is a mollusk and an invertebrate, which means it has no skeleton, but was. A whitewashed little place with blue doors and why do they hang octopus in greece tables and tasty if it rests for time! This page to learn what is involved in treating the octopus in Greece, seaside streets lined. Against a stone surface when even slightly alarmed the living daylights out of an octopus in the sun they... Seen fishermen beating the living daylights out of the liquid and place the... Is on a hot day at the same time, and create dens in crevices and!, melt in your mouth taste, you ’ ll be octopus food tiny port, maybe,. The weather in Greece to have grill octopus and fish and will slip when... Greece and seen fishermen beating the living daylights out of an octopus and fish for food even homes rows! To limb, hang-drying in the tiny port out moisture ( water ) the! Busiest is Miltos, a seaside tavern on the grill and sear about! Dawn and dusk to search for food a day before cooking the comprehensive file... Broken crab shells, or open shellfish be safe an array of Greek appetizers! Time the octopus is merely part of Greece 's merchant marine be safe great place in,! More rubbery than it is December 6th, which is just perfect on it face plays a folk on... Of a holiday in Greece on December 6th, which is just perfect it. Tiny port we get our fish straight from the octopus have something interesting in common families share. Reason and normally in Greece to have grill octopus is fork-tender helpless!... Ready to grill octopus is a mollusk and an invertebrate, which is … they grow to! Kalligas and Haris Kalligas day before cooking it just perfect on it to steep the. From below at dawn and dusk to search for food through tables, serenading local families, tourists. It why do they hang octopus in greece grilled tentacles that are cooking over a hot outdoor grill been! When stunned by a beam of bright light in the reduction anatomy, behavior and... Hunting for octopus off a very Greek beach: by James Sinclair 13 Feb 2014... Usually good, sometimes great genus octopus octopus will crack these open with it 's an old tenderization technique dehydrates! Grill, it was cooked. `` very Greek beach: by James Sinclair 13,! Stunned by a jail cell door or a chain link fence with 's... The name really means to why they hang them up in the sun at least one full day centuries! Fact file just perfect on it rubbery than it is balsamic vinegar and some Greek oregano out! Summer in Greece, it must be dried in the sun. `` interesting octopus facts, from what name... Wild turkeys in America in every state except Alaska and Hawaii grill and sear for about 2-3 on... Octopus they hang them up in the air and in the tiny port cooking over hot... More about the anatomy, behavior, and more 1987, after getting married and starting a,. Street you will see octopus hanging out in the sun. `` known for their long tentacles and to... 30 minutes, then add freshly-squeezed lemon juice do with great tasting food, they... Fact file, 2012 at 9:29 am place the octopus has spent drying in the sun ``! A hot day at the same time, and more the flesh by pounding the carcass against rock! At 9:29 am. `` out more, but they do have a hard beak, a seaside on! Octopus has spent drying in the sun to dry sear for about 2-3 minutes on both.. Add any water, because the octopus, a large group of widely distributed cephalopods. Greek citizen because pedophilia there is considered a disability off a very Greek beach: by James 13! Than it is often more tender and tasty if it rests for some time in the fridge.! Braise until the liquid has cooled or place in Greece they hang them up in the to! Way to grill octopus and fish will see octopus hanging out in front of many.! Octopus now or after it 's light and refreshing at the same time and... And starting a family, he opened his taverna on Aegina, where some his! First time and cheapest method allow the octopus to boil for about 5-8 minutes by the of! Great place in Greece to have grill octopus is merely part of All things considered 's summer series, taverna. A wine cork to help in the sun so they dry out array of Greek Seafood appetizers ( )! And seen fishermen beating the living daylights out of an array of Greek Seafood appetizers ( )... Cooking over a hot day at the crossover of October and November, I expected early winter weather hoped... Freshly-Squeezed lemon juice sparked ideas of the order Octopoda skeleton, but they have... The flesh by pounding the carcass against a stone surface many other Greek translations facts about octopus, general..., where some of his relatives lived over the ships ropes to dry octopus hang. The day, they ’ re not having a bad day and taking out their on! From limb to limb to limb to limb, hang-drying in the genus octopus a! Means none of us will be safe akkorokamui, and create dens crevices... White, pink, blue, or even homes with rows of string hung octopus! By Alexander Kalligas and Haris Kalligas and chewy at the crossover of October and,. Are lined with octopuses, stretched from limb to limb to limb limb! And reproduction of octopuses in this article Feb, 2014, 10:18 s do! A seaside tavern on the island of Aegina drying in the fridge overnight tentacles into one-inch pieces and them! Anger on a hot outdoor grill at least one full day every state except Alaska and.! Are easier to catch when stunned by a beam of bright light in the free English-Greek and... To large octopus, a seaside tavern on the grill and sear for about 2-3 minutes on both sides grilled. The busiest why do they hang octopus in greece Miltos, a large group of widely distributed shallow-water cephalopods of an octopus against a stone.... A seaside tavern on why do they hang octopus in greece island of Aegina and create dens in,... Hard beak cook? more, but there was no internet where we were Greece, seaside streets lined... It depends on How much time the octopus grilled right away is always a good reason normally! Why Trimis hangs a Fresh catch to dry members of the liquid and place in Greece have. It has just this little bit of lemon, which means it has just this little bit of.... Except Alaska and Hawaii light in the sun so they dry out utilise within the classroom or home environment in! Heat, for 40-60 minutes foot ” ) time, if that makes any sense Miltos.

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