On all cephalopods we highlight octopus (Octopus Vulgaris), the most appreciated traditionally in the Galician gastronomy, due to its popular “octopus to fair”.
The octopus has a large, globe-shaped head and eight arms (around the mouth forming a “hard parrot” beak), which attach to the base by a membrane. The arms have two rows of suction cups, unlike the horned octopus (Eledone Cirrhosa) which is usually used in preserves. Octopuses vary in size, the largest being 1 ½ meters (5 feet) long and weighing up to 15 kg (36 lb), although the most consumed are under five kilos. They live on rocky bottoms where they are able to hide and their habits are nocturnal. Its meat does not have many calories but it has a high content of vitamins and minerals, most of which are preserved during the canning process.
Different fishing gear is used to fish them, from specific pots for him, from land or boat. Marín, Ons or Bueu in the Ría de Pontevedra, Illa de Arousa or Mugardos in Ferrol are a reference in the capture and preparation of this mollusk. Although it is true that the octopus that is commercialized in Galicia proceeds in the majority of the cases of the own community, the globalization has given place to that is sold octopus of other parts, like of Moroccan or murals of Peru. However, neither the texture nor the taste resemble those that are captured in Galicia that at first sight stands out for its brightness and vivid colors.
It is prepared in different ways, although as we have said, it is the typical dish of Galicia. Cook carefully and do not over time so it will not soften. This is 40 to 50 minutes, depending on the size and without uncovering the pot, so that the cooking is constant at the same temperature. Before starting to boil it is recommended to scald it by introducing it three times in boiled water and once cooked and chopped, without cooling to pour a stream of olive oil, salt and paprika sweet and spicy to taste. It is also lent to put it in vinaigrette, encebollado, or in caldeirada following the recipe of the Island of Ons. It is very delicious in empanada, or in a stew with rice and potatoes, or with a fry of onion to the mugardesa.

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Montse Gonzalez