Monday, February 21, 2011

Canned Octopus Spectacular

 You all wanted it, so here it is. A review of two of the top selling canned octopi. Initially I was looking forward to reviewing these, as one of my favorite food bloggers, Dave at Dave's Cupboard, described his 99cent canned octopus as tasting almost like lobster. Read the review here. My canned octopus experience was not nearly as good.


First Off
GOYA  Octopus in Garlic Sauce 
    Had high hopes for this octopus being that it was imported from Spain, and was in a garlic sauce. The garlic sauce however was nothing more then soybean oil with a little garlic flavoring.
Nice Chunks
  The octopus was in nice bite size chunks. So lets take a bite. Ohhhhh yuck. Its chewy, and has the taste of very pungent tuna. I spit it into a napkin. However due to encouragement  from one of my companions, I try it again. Yep, I was right, this is just plain disgusting. The combination of the chewiness, and rotten tuna flavor is terrible.

OK, next canned octopus.
Reese Fancy Octopus
  Having enjoyed other Reese products, such as their smoked oysters and clams, my thinking was that this octopus might be better then the Goya brand. The pieces of Octopus were not nearly as uniform as the Goya brand, and were in all sorts of shapes and pieces.
  So I go and take my first bite.
Parts is Parts
 My first impression is that this is slightly less chewy then the Goya brand. Still chewy though. Then the taste hits me. Pungent tuna it is again. Blahhh, spit it out into a napkin.
Captain Nemo would be proud

  Well lets just say that the canned octopus spectacular did not go all that well. My hopes for a cheap, lobster tasting treat were dashed. As a side note, the dog would not even eat the leftovers.

RATING
Goya Octopus in Garlic Sauce:  0/10 

Reese Octopus in Olive Oil: 1/10 

So your winner is Reese. Trust me though. Their were no winners in this tasting.

22 comments:

  1. I eat the Goya Octopus in the Garlic sauce EVERYDAY. I LOVE it! I really enjoy the taste and it can be used in a variety of ways. Very tasty if you ask me. Husband hated it though.

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  2. I'm thinking these selections need additional cooking. I found a recipe on-line that pan fries a bit of garlic in the oil from the can, then adds the canned octopus (with the rest of the oil) and continue frying til crispy. Just before removing from the heat, the recipes recommends adding a sprinkling of smoked paprika. I'm planning on trying it tonight and serving with sour dough bagettes…much like I had in Spain. We'll see how it goes….

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  3. I bought this looking for something new to try at the grocery store. Long story short, your review is dead-on accurate. I'm an adventurous eater and I enjoy lots of stuff most people would consider weird (chicken feet, tripe, all sorts of sushi-including octopus). But this octopus in a can is really awful.

    I tried it (Goya brand in Garlic) straight from the can like you did and bad pungent tuna, as you called it, is a pretty good description. I think another accurate description might be that it tastes a lot like wet cat food smells.

    I read the comment above mine suggesting frying with fresh garlic in oil from the can. So, I gave it a shot. The crispy, crunchy exterior and springy interior was much more palatable. It was also a lot nicer having it hot instead of as an unsettling room temperature seafood. A squeeze of lemon also helped with the funky tuna flavor. All of that being said, it was still terrible. Just much less terrible than it was before. Think "fried wet cat food in garlic with lemon" instead of just digging into a can of it.

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  4. try the Vigo octopus in soy and olive oil. I noticed the same similarity to lobster meat, it could easily pass if you were to dip it in drawn butter and lemon. it tastes like a 50% deflavored lobster, in other words a lobster that doesn't have a lot of kick, mild...

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  5. I bought iberia pulpo from walmart thinking of the soup my japanese naybore made me...sooo goood...so when I got home with it first thing I did was open it and taste it....blaa.....yuk !!! so I tried it with fresh greens saute'ed in sesame seed oil and tomato pieces....I ate it ..it wasn't that much...well I thru the other can out...I give up ..it was a learning thing...

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  6. I'd never buy anything packed in soybean oil (nasty stuff). But I've enjoyed Reese brand canned octopus in olive oil very much when prepared as a salsa/dip/salad.

    Drain the octopus of most of the olive oil (I discard the oil), leaving enough to remain moist. Chop octopus into 1/2" or smaller bits, and mix it into a salsa/salad of finely minced red onion, minced garlic, chopped Italian/flat leaf parsley or other fresh herbs, fresh lemon juice, capers, freshly ground black pepper, and sea salt to taste. Add a little fresh EVVV if more dressing is desired. Finely diced tomato is nice, too, but not really required. Let sit a few minutes so flavors can blend.

    It's a bit like a ceviche. Serve over a green salad for a no-cook summer meal that is high in omega 3s as well as low carb. Also makes a great appetizer when served on toasted baguette slices or as a dip with rice crackers (I prefer Trader Joe's Rice Crisps with black pepper).

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  7. Octopus is not supposed to taste like lobster - it's not lobsterpus or a cheap substitute. I have eaten baby octopus salad, octopus ceviche and canned octopus. None of them tasted like tuna. If you don't like squid (NOT calamari breaded and deep fried) then you probably won't like the chewiness of octopus. If you're going canned, I recommend Pampa brand from Spain - find this better than Vigo. Octopus is an acquired taste like uni or chitterlings. Though nothing is quite as disgusting as chitterlings.

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  8. Bought the Reeses canned octopus, I drained most of the olive oil it was packed in and fried it up in a pan with a little fresh olive and a shallot. Wasn't too bad!

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  9. I much prefer the vigo in marinade but this is getting hard to find..next choice would be the soy and olive oil also by vigo..as to taste ' I eat mine right from the can with my home made kimchi.

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  10. I much prefer the vigo in marinade but this is getting hard to find..next choice would be the soy and olive oil also by vigo..as to taste ' I eat mine right from the can with my home made kimchi.

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  11. Just finished a can of Spiced Pampa out of the can with crackers. As I have eaten dried kettlefish, squid, and octopus altho I WOULD have preferred olive oil to soy, it was a great milder substitute and cheaper to sardines.It was chewy and I wouldn't recommend it for picky eaters but it's fine by me.

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  12. i love the Pampa brand very tasty

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    1. I just tried the Pampa for the first time just now. Tired it out of can, not bad, a little chewy though not too bad comparably. After that i drugged it in Old Bay seasoning and flower and fried it in its own oil for about 3-4 min and it was much better. Had mac n cheese at the same time and was eating it with it, very good too!

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  13. try the Goya octopus that is packed in olive oil - it tastes like the octopus you pay $25 for in a nice restaurant!

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    1. thats the one I got, posted right after you, and I was happy to try it first and then think that it would be good with fried tomatoes on top of toast

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  14. I dont think anyone on this feed understands that canned seafood is not going to taste like fresh seafood. And anyone who eat rancid tuna is a joke upon birth. Respect the product that you purchased, and dont ruin it for anyone else....the taste was everything I expected, nonetheless the nutty smokiness.

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  15. IF you don't like octopus you aren't going to like canned octopus. I don't care for the soy oil...but fry the pieces in olive oil with a clove of garlic, a little sea salt, serve it over ceviche on a warm tostado shell with lettuce, a little avocado and some spicy mango salsa..hey! it's pretty good.

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  16. Pampa canned octopus is better, smaller pieces and more of a buttery flavour.

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  17. I think this is a tasty product after reading all the comments you are around 18 years old and have no taste pallet and I think if you would the quit the stupid comments that you all made. you would find you are all on Obama care and need to go back to school and get a real life and quit pretending that your movers and shakers. you have no taste quit eating above your food share card.

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    1. Due to your run-in sentences with a complete lack of punctuation, & your 4chan grade quip, I'd say you were about 13-17.

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  18. I disagree with the tuna flavor. Reese Fancy Octopus tastes like dark meat chicken marinated in soy sauce & the texture is identical to canned clams. It doesn't really have any fishiness to it.

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  19. Most of these companies are being taken to court...Octopus not so Octopus! It's squid in the can!

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