Octopi have eight arms, with a hard beak and mouth at the centerpoint. They don?t have skeletons, which make them easy to prepare for cooking since you don?t have to worry about any bones! They are similar to squid (calamari) in texture but can?t be used interchangeably in recipes. Octopus is usually boiled before being cooked to tenderize the meat of its thick, solid arms.

There are more than 300 types of octopi. They are usually marketed under the common name octopus, and it is rare to see information about the specific species listed. Octopus caught using the bottom trawl, trapping, or diving and hand-capture method (resulting in relatively low bycatch and habitat damage) from the Gulf of California, Hawaiian, and Spanish fisheries is more sustainable. Avoid octopus caught from Mauritania, Morocco, the Philippines, and Vietnam, as little is known about the management of those fisheries, such as the overall size of the octopus population and the efficiency of the methods used to catch them.

In the Mediterranean, octopus  is paired with regional flavors, such as lemon, tomato, and parsley, and grilled or stewed. In Asia, it may be usd in sushi or salads, and Spanish cultures serve it in paella or pulpo gallego, a tapas-style dish with octopus and potato.