|Baby Octopus WR||Whole round||IQF / BQF||10-20 | 20-30 | 30-40|
|Baby Octopus Blanched||Whole round||IQF / BQF||10-20 | 20-30 | 30-40|
"Baby Octopus" is the marketing name for several species of small octopuses that are actually fully grown adults. Just like larger octopus species, they have eight arms or tentacles covered with suction cups. Octopuses are the most intelligent invertebrates exhibiting many cognitive behaviors dealing with building structures, hunting, and navigation. Baby Octopuses are distributed throughout Asia. Related to cuttlefish and squid, octopus are cephalopods, or “head-footed,” referring to the eight “legs” that sprout from their head. They also have a parrot-like beak for crushing prey such as abalone, crab and lobster. There are more than 140 species in temperate and tropical waters throughout the world, ranging in size from a few ounces to over 100 pounds. Octopus are taken from tide pools and at depths of several hundred feet, where they inhabit small, dark crevices in the ocean floor. Primary octopus suppliers are the Philippines, Thailand and Korea. Hawaii and California are domestic sources. Octopus often are caught in unbaited “habitat traps,” into which they willingly crawl. Octopus are amazingly dexterous at hunting and fleeing. Most biologists consider them the smartest of all invertebrates, on par in intelligence with the house cat. When frightened, they emit an inky black substance.
Raw octopus should smell like a fresh ocean breeze and will vary in color with the head and topside of the legs being gray to brown and the underside of the legs and mouth area (where the hard beak is) being white to pink-purple. Cooked octopus is sweet in flavor and becomes more firm in texture. If overcooked, the flesh will become rubbery and lose its flavor, however. All parts of the baby octopus can be consumed except for the beak (hard mouth structure). Octopus meat is uniquely textured — smooth, but with a firm-to-chewy “bite.” The animal’s diet of high-quality shellfish gives it a mild, sweet flavor. The edible skin is purplish-black and covers milky white meat. Cooked meat is translucent beige, sometimes with hints of deep pink.Size depends on species and region of harvest. Octopus from Thailand are small, averaging 14 to 21 ounces; those from the Philippines are larger, graded in sizes of 1 to 2, 2 to 4, and 4 to 6 pounds. Korean octopus is even larger.
Our frozen octopus must be stored at or below 0°F (-18°C) and then thawed properly when ready to cook or to eat in the case of our precooked Japanese product. The octopus should be stored in the freezer in the original package or in plastic wrap or a tight fitting plastic bag for product that has been removed from the original packaging. This will help prevent freezer burn (dehydration). Our IQF octopus has an 18 month frozen shelf life and our block frozen has a 24 month frozen shelf life. Whole octopus can be thawed under refrigeration between 33 and 39°F until it is completely thawed. The thawing time is dependent upon if the octopus is IQF or block frozen. IQF octopus will thaw between 24 and 48 hours depending upon the size of the octopus and block frozen will take up to 48 hours or longer. However, IQF and block frozen octopus can be quickly thawed by placing the product in a colander and running under cold water until thawed. In general, IQF octopus will thaw within several minutes while the block frozen may take 10 to 20 minutes or longer. This is our preferred quick thawing method to use whenever possible.