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!