Mystery Meat: Surprisingly tentacle-free!

I mentioned in my last post how I’ve been craving non-fish seafood lately. Since the fresh stuff isn’t so common, I’ve lately been resorting to frozen and the occasional canned product. I’ve only bought cans of stuff that I’ve trusted in the past, however, like mussels and crab. Last week, I thought I’d be a bit more adventurous and expand my tinned seafood horizons. Unfortunately, I decided to begin with this:


Can’t tell what it is? That’s okay, I read the label, saw the picture, ate all of it, and STILL can’t quite figure out what it was supposed to be. It looks suspiciously like something we’d normally feed to the cats, to be honest, but both of the felines were smart enough to stay far away when I cracked this thing open. Want to find out what it was supposed to be? Step behind the cut with me…


Yes, the label is in Finnish, though the product was made in Spain. It translates into “spicy octopus”. I’ll give them the spicy bit, but that’s about all I can attest to. I could have been chewing on anything from dolphin to rubber tire and not been able to tell, honestly. It was… underwhelming. Then again, at 89 euro-cents, I guess I shouldn’t have really been expecting anything world-shattering. No, wait, I think SPAM costs less and even that’s made of more recognizable meat product than this. Sigh.

Let’s start from the outside, shall we? The box shows this lovely dish of octopus chunks, lightly glazed in broth, artfully interspersed with tender-looking small tentacles. Okay, so maybe that is a picture only an Asian would find highly attractive. Sue me. Then I opened up the can and saw… this dark brown lumpy gravy.

Oh, the gravy. If pain were made into a gravy, it might taste something like this. It was strong. Really strong. Strong enough to crush my feeble mollusc-loving hopes. And salty. Salty like the tears I almost shed upon seeing this product in existence. There were chunks of… something… swimming around, but it was mostly just that ghastly gravy.

Lets talk about those chunks. You couldn’t tell what kind of meat it was anymore, really, since it was so covered up by the overpowering salt, pepper and onion aspect of the sauce. The meat no longer had that toothsome chewiness to it which makes cephalopods so fun to eat. It could have been chunks of… say, beef liver, really, it had about the same texture. Yes, I’m being kind by using that comparison. And there was only one lonely, misshapen tentacle. I was greatly saddened. There was also this strange ammonia aftertaste, which didn’t really bother me, since I’m one of those people that love to peel and eat century eggs whole and unadorned, but would probably be quite irksome to more picky eaters. So… it was edible, but only because I’m a very peculiar (and currently desperate) eater. Perhaps tossed together with rice or noodles to tone down the sauce, it might have been better, but really, not something I will ever buy again, so no efforts will be made to prettify it. Sigh.


  1. That’s some… peculiar seafood that you found! I wouldn’t dare to buy any seafood product that costs less than an euro in Finland, because is seafood costs about the same as a can of pineapple, surely it must taste like crap. (and I even like the cheapo tuna!)

    But you sure got the short end of the stick with that one! 😀

    • LOL. What can I say, curiosity can be dangerous! I just pulled the first couple of cans of mystery product off the shelf that I saw, and figured I’d work my way through all the varieties to see which I’d actually come back to. Let’s say that this wasn’t one of them. I’m fairly adventurous and omnivorous, so sampling my way through questionable items has rarely upset my stomach. Psychological distress, however, is a completely different story… 😉

  2. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAH. Man, you are *so adventurous*. I probably wouldn’t be slightly afraid of seafood if I’d grown up in either California or Finland, on the other hand, but seriously – canned fish? I’m not sure if I’d even be able to force myself to taste it…

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