Is there any real reason to eat squid or octopus?
Are my taste buds completely gone? Or am I missing something?
Squid and octopus, to me, have absolutely no flavor, they impart nothing to me other than the ompression of chewing on a rubber band. If they're eaten for the sauce ... heck, sauce something else the same and I'll actually enjoy eating it.
#1 if you're eating "rubber bands" you're either not cooking it correctly or eating at a restaurant that does not cook it properly. #2 aside from that, I do think it has wonderful flavor. Mild flavor yes, and it can benefit from a marinade or mild sauce, but I still believe it has value. Try grilling it. I think grilled octopus is one of my favorite seafood items. A bit of parsley, olive oil and some thin sliced chilis and you're good to go!
I'd have to fall on the side of "disagree." But perhaps you haven't have properly prepared squid or octopus. Cooking time is very important to mind when dealing with the cephalopods. Very quick, or very long and moist cooking; anything else will give you the infamous rubber bands. Way too many restaurants pawn off poorly cooked squid.
As far as flavor goes: I agree that squid is a very mildly flavored protein, but tasty nonetheless IMHO. I think octopus is marvelous in its delicate sweetness. Try it in a sushi place (order tako) and get a taste of it unsauced.
As Ringo Starr suggested in "Octopus' garden" they collect bright things that fall to the ocean floor and arrange them into "gardens." I think they are amazing creatures. Very other, very mysterious. In Greece, I awoke once to hear them being beaten against the pavement outside my hotel to be tenderized. It bothered me. By the way, I also like pigs, but I eat bacon once in a while because it tastes so good. Giving up octopus is not difficult for me, so I do.
re: wayne keyser
Ok, not sure what you mean by 'cool' and 'mean and nasty', but assuming you mean temperment and appearance and not taste, I totally agree with you, and in fact, as a diver, who has spent time with both, I've used the same exact adjectives to describe both! I actually think the taste of both is wonderful (if cooked correctly), but while I eat squid regularly, it takes a lot to get me to eat octopuses, which are intelligent, beautiful creatures.....
I don't think it is just burned out taste buds, however, as the texture of squid is a pleasure (if done properly), and there is no way it would be described as rubber bands, as HaaganDaz says. You should tell us where you are (don't see it in your profile) so we could direct you to some wonderful squid!
Oh, Wayne, you may never have had it done well. It rarely is in the US because of the ick-factor. When it's not being used as bait, people fry it as an appetizer. Why? Because it is cheap! Or they think it's exotic. Or it's the only way they know to prepare it.
Adventurous cooks get ahold of it and can't help themselves. They have to DO something - anything - to it. It has a hole so they stuff it. Or add something. Spices, chiles, sauces. And this is one of those foods where simplicity is best. The more you do, the worse off you are. It covers up the sweet, delicate flavor.
Give an octopus to a good cook and say, "I'll let you have salt, pepper and olive oil. And when we sit down, maybe some lemon and parsley. Now fix lunch!"
With the simplest ingredients, it can be boiled, grilled, fried, sauteed. Just don't do a lot of fussy stuff.
You'll get a good meal.
I agree that it can be hit or miss however. I had the fritto misto at Johnny's Half Shell in DC last week. The squid was tender but tasted of nothing but the fried coating. The tiny whole octopus was perfection. Both on the same plate!