Squid and Octopus
Baby octopus when sold is generally whole either in a fresh, frozen or in a cooked state. Most of the time it is cleaned before being sold. Octopus is also available in a smoked and canned state.
The entire octopus can be eaten except the eyes, mouth, and viscera. People either eat it raw, deep fried, stewed, boiled and pickled. Older and larger octopus need to be cooked longer to tenderize the meat.
Baby Octopus are cooked for a shorter amount of time and cooked whole. Octopus is best bought already cleaned. Fresh Octopus will smell slightly of the sea.
Baby Octopus like squid are cephalopods, but Octopus have eight tentacles. Most Octopi are usually one or two feet in length and weigh around three pounds. The baby octopi are around three to five inches in length.
The color of an octopus is usually red, brown, or purple with a mottled skin. In a fresh or frozen state, raw baby octopus has a purplish or brownish grey color, but otherwise resembles the live octopus found in the sea. After cooking, the quality of baby octopus meat is firm and tender with a mild flavor.
Baby Octopus is most often caught in the southern part of Vietnam as well as in Thailand and India. It is processed whole, gutted, eyes off, teeth off. Baby Octopi which are blue ringed are larger and more developed than other octopuses.
In the course of one year baby octopuses grow quickly to 2-3 pounds. They are born about one quarter of an inch long. In the early stages they swim to the surface and float around as plankton - tiny plants and animals that drift in the ocean - until they settle down on the sea belt when they are about 1 ½ pounds in weight growing at great speed - reaching 2-3 pounds in one year, continuing to gain 2% of body weight per day.