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Octopus (Octopus vulgaris)

Octopus can grow up to 3 metres in length, but this is uncommon - 80-100cm being more usual. They live in the eastern Atlantic as far north as South West England.

If found on your fishmongers slab, octopus (particularly larger specimens) tend to be tough, and need careful handling. You should ask your fishmonger to turn the body inside out, and clean it, then on returning home beat it with a meat-tenderising mallet, to make it more tender.

This can then be cooked in barely-simmering water until tender, and then sliced up and used in a salad - perhaps with olive oil, parsley and garlic; or simmered for a short time before being grilled - over charcoal if possible.

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at ‘Simon Scrutton French Cookery Classes’ on Google – and learn how to make top class bistro-style dishes. Suitable for beginners upwards. Small classes.

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