We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Seppia Nero aka. Cuttlefish

Seppia Nero. Yes, it's one very ugly creature.

Every day, at the Rialto Fish Market, and also at local fish monger's stalls in more remote parts of Venice, you will see Seppia Nero in a variety of sizes. And it's on every restaurant's menu every day for lunch and dinner. Several traditional Venetian dishes are made with the seppia, however it's probably the meal least chosen by tourists. Can you blame them, it's loaded with black sauce, for God's sake!

Being curious, I consulted Wikipedia for details, and discovered the Seppia Nero is in the same class as Octopus and squid, they are among the most intelligent of invertebrates, and have one of the largest brain-to-body size ratios of all invertebrates. Wow, I'm impressed. They surely don't look smart to me. I'm going to be looking at these guys in a whole new light from now on.

What I do know, is that once you can get past how nasty they look, they taste great! You'll see these in several Venetian dishes, such as Risotto with seppia nero, Spaghetti with seppia nero
Seppia nero with polenta, to name a few.

I even recently had a lasagna with seppia nero, which was beyond my wildest imagination, and by far the best lasagna I have ever eaten.

Yes, I sound like the spoke's person for Seppia's, I know. I've been converted, I admit it. I've even been enticing people into trying it for themselves. Not many people take me up on it, however, just the other day Mike and Anna from Colorado, who were here in Venice earlier in the month, sent me a few photos of their trip. They took me up on a restaurant recommendation, and ventured out on a limb to try Spaghetti with Seppia Nero, and even sent me the evidence!

Here's Mike, complete with black sauce all over his mouth, enjoying his dinner at Osteria al Diavolo e L'Aqua Sante on Calle della Madonna at the Rialto. They loved it! Thanks for the photo, guys! I'm proud of you!


Dianne said...

Ciao Karen. Is the dish made from the seppia ink or are there chunks of octopus like "meat" in it. Octopus is not my favorite thing -- just don't like the consistency but I would be willing to try a dish that just used the color or broth -- sort of like the Goh fish used in the risotto at Da Romano on Burano.

Yvonne said...

Hmm, OK, maybe I'll give it a try, just because you said so!

karen said...

Diane, it's more like a calamari. I haven't found it to be tough or chewy at all.

Ah yes, the Goh fish used at Da Romano! I had risotto there just the other day, it was heavenly. Now I can't wait to go have more.

When are you back in Venice?

karen said...


Next time you are here, we'll go have it together at my favorite place at the Rialto!