09 Mar Cuttlefish, an essential ingredient for rice making and seafood cooking
The star products of Ibizan cuisine are undoubtedly the fish and seafood that fishermen catch with their nets and gear. Less often, however, reference is made to the extraordinary quality of cephalopod molluscs, which are an essential part of the island’s marine recipes.
With them, such emblematic dishes as octopus frita or squid stuffed with sobrasada, which is the Pitiuso sausage par excellence, are prepared in the homes. The cuttlefish, however, is the essential background for the frying of paellas, rice “a banda” and other essential dishes of our cuisine. At Es Torrent it is a primary ingredient and we like to work with the freshest product, which only provides artisanal fishing that is practiced from the Cofradía de Ibiza.
With them, in the Ibizan houses succulent stews are also prepared and is enjoyed sautéed with garlic and parsley or grilled, with a mince of these same ingredients, to which lemon juice and olive oil is added.
The cuttlefish inhabits shallow seas, between Posidonia and other aquatic plants, and can reach 30 or 40 centimeters in length. It moves by means of a progressive undulation of the lateral folds of the mantle, but also by expelling air, a system that provides a rapid escape when it is surrounded by some predator. Her favorite diet is crabs, shrimp and small fish, which she chews with a shredder beak, which she also uses as a last defense. They, in turn, serve as food for a multitude of fish and other larger molluscs.
They are equipped with one of the most dynamic and perfect camouflage systems in the entire animal kingdom. They change their body patterns at an unusual speed, changing their color in just two seconds. They can imitate the colors of the background, generate a mobile print that moves in the opposite direction to theirs, disorienting their persecutors, or even simulate eyes on the back, acquiring a much more threatening appearance than the real one.
Sepia has a very porous inner bone, made of calcium carbonate, which is integrated into its swimming system. This bone is used as food for domestic birds, due to its high calcium content, and in the Ibizan houses it is also used to clean the surface of the clothes iron, as it has a texture similar to a sandpaper, so fine that it eliminates impurities without damaging the metal surface.