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Apr 16, 2011 10:44 AM

Unwelcome squid "bonus" [moved from Home Cooking]

I bought two very fresh squid that were good size, about a foot long. I learned how to clean them half a lifetime ago, and am not generally squeamish. I picked up the first one, noticing that it was heavy - good, I thought, as I pulled out the head. I grabbed the end of the quill and tugged - along with it came a 2" fish, then another...and another... All told, 8 of them, the smallest being only an inch long. They were all in good shape - Signore Calamari must just have finished his banquet when he met his maker. I'll admit to a total of 5 heebies and at least 3 jeebies! His fellow victim hadn't eaten, fortunately. Does this happen often? I used to make squid about once a week but it's been decades - they started selling them cleaned, and they didn't seem as fresh. Also, I like the tentacles and sometimes the cleaned ones are sans tentacles. I have never before seen a squid who took his last supper along to the great aquarium in the sky. By the way, to maintain my frugality cred, after cooking the meal I added the heads and the fishies to the pan and cooked them for my old dog, who enjoyed the bonus.

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  1. It would be very cool to observe a squid feeding on a night dive - I have not been so lucky. Anyone?

    1. I find "extras" fairly often when using our local squid from Monterey CA. Not 8 at a time though.
      The squid are usually feeding when they are caught so it makes sense that their last meal would still be intact.

      1. I've seen this on occasion though not in the quantity you've got. Also in uncleaned fish, especially those I've caught myself.

        1. WOW, OMG, & LOL! I've not been fortunate to see any of that size, and uncleaned even where I'm located in CA on the Santa Cruz Coast. I too love the tentacles the best. Lucky for me that my husband gladly passes those parts unto me.

          1 Reply
          1. re: letsindulge

            My favorite meal was in a village on the coast of Greece. The restaurant owner took us into his kitchen and opened 3 different drawers, offering us a choice of fish for lunch. I chose the squid. It was dipped in some light batter and deep fried. Of course it was caught that day. I have found cleaned squid at a fish market here in Detroit but have not tried cooking it as I'm sure I would be greatly disappointed. And I would not be gazing over the Agean Sea either.

          2. That sounds interesting. Never had the pleasure of fish in squid, but I did have shrimp in sardines. About 2 years ago, I grilled whole sardines and found two of them having engorged stomachs. Lo and behold, they were full of tiny shrimp about 1/4 inch long. They were very tasty, but alas, I haven't found any like this since

            6 Replies
            1. re: porker

              Shrimp stuffing for free! Maybe I should have necropsied one of the "bonus" fish ;-D No idea what species they were - little silvery things.

              1. re: greygarious

                Maybe a maritime version of turducken? Shrimp in a herring, herring in a squid, all cooked up!

                1. re: porker

                  Well given the fact that animals do eat, from a statistical point of view, if you are buying the animals "as is" and cleaning them youself, it's pretty much inevetiable that now and again you'll get one that just had a big meal. On my desk I have a little bottle of rubbing alcohol, in which is presevered a very pretty yellow and black beetle from Australia that if found in Chinatown, in a shipment of frogs (though whether one of the frogs had eaten it and vomited it out, or if it just fell into the box, I have no way of knowing. And I rememember something similar happening back in science class whenever we dissected frogs or fish (in one case one of my classmates found fish inside a frog that was so big and in such a good state of preservation she dissected it as well.
                  There even was a situation (and tecnically still is) where a find like this was actually like winning the lottery. Until very, very recently, certain very rare memeber of the Cowrie family (those seashells that look a bit like a highly polished heavily pattered egg, with a line of teeth on the bottom) lived in waters too deep to be acessible by divers or fisherman. In those species the only specimens available were those collected "ex piscis" that is out of the stomachs of deepwater fish who had eaten them and been subsequently caught. If you bought one of these fish, and it had such a shell in it's stomach, your couple of dollars dinner could potentially net you thirty or fourty THOUSAND dollars.

                  1. re: jumpingmonk

                    Reminds me of the scene in Jaws when Richard Dreyfus pulls out a coupla tuna, a tin can, and a Louisiana licence plate out of a shark's stomach. One of those tuna looked pretty good to eat!
                    A little off-topic, but I remember an episode of Globe Trekker with Ian Wright. He's in the tundra hunting caribou where the animal is shot and cleaning begins. The hunter disembowels the caribou, exposing an engorged stomach which he nicks open. Its full of semi-digested lichen and the hunter tells Ian that this the best part of the hunt, and as an honoured guest, he should be the first to taste. Ian scoops out a couple of fingers worth and slurps it up, much to the delight and amusement of the hunter who's been pulling his leg the whole time.

                    1. re: porker

                      They also can help science; some of the best info we have on what kind of flora were around during periods like the ice age has come from the stomach contents of permafrozen mammoths (we know for example that there were a lot of buttercups) And the American Museum of Natural history is famot for the fact that amongst thier exibits they have a mummified/fossilized duckbill dinasoar whose stomach contents were still examinable.
                      As for sharks there is a case from the mid ninteent century of a person who almost got away with mutiny and murder on the high seas due to lack of evidence. He would have walked except that, on the last day of the trial, a shark was caught, in whose stomach contents were found the logbook of the ship he had been on, containing incrimination entries by the captain.