What is a Day Boat Octopus?
Day Boat Octopus
(Octopus Vulgaris / Pulpo de playa / Poulpe / Polipo)
In this article we will answer questions that you may have about Octopus. We will go over different explanations about it.
Why is it called day boat octopus?
The Spanish day boat octopus is famous worldwide for its superior quality.
This octopus gets its name from the “day boats” who fish it. After catching the octopus, the fishermen bring them back to the harbor alive. They are then immediately sent to our plant to be selected, processed, IQF (Individually Quick Frozen), and shipped directly to our facilities in the United States. We procure our octopus from the best fishing grounds on both the Spanish and Portuguese coasts depending on the time of the year.
Day boat octopus or pulpo de playa (octopus of the beach) is a type of octopus that clings close to the shore. They feed principally on shrimp and clams, giving a fresh, delicate sea flavor to the meat. Octopus has a pleasant-flavored white meat with superior texture.
How is it fished?
Day boat octopus is captured by fishermen using clay pots that they put at the bottom of the sea, on the sand. It is an old and traditional technique that is both sensitive to the natural environment and sustainable.
The octopus seek out those clay pots as shelter from a variety of predators. then fishermen come and pick up the pots. Inside, there is the octopus. This technique is sustainable because it does not cause damage to the seafloor, doesn’t involve nets, and leaves nothing behind. Worst case scenario is the pot breaks, but as it is terracotta it disintegrates quickly into the ocean due to its natural composition.
What is the difference between day boat octopus and other kinds of octopus?
There are three major differences between day boat octopus and freeze-on-board octopus:
- the area where they live
- their flavor
- the freezing process.
Day boat octopus lives close to the shore, which is why fishermen are able to catch them and bring them back to the port in a day. This means that this octopus is frozen only once. Fisherman catch them and bring them back to the facilities alive to be tenderized and then frozen.
Freeze-on-board octopus is frozen twice. After being caught it’s frozen on board and later, when it is brought back to the harbor, it is defrosted, tenderized, and then frozen again.
Day boat octopus lives largely on a diet of shrimp, shellfish, and clams that they find close to the shore. As a result, they have a terrific seafood flavor. Also, because it lives in open water as opposed to rocks, it has to run away from predators instead of hiding in rocks. This gives it shorter and thicker legs that have a superior texture.
Octopus living in the high sea lives on a diet mostly of fish, which does not give them a flavor as special as octopus who live close to the shore. Furthermore, they live around rocks, which make it easier for them to hide from predators. Thus, their tentacles are longer and thinner, and not as succulent as day boat octopus.
Why do restaurants and chefs prefer day boat octopus?
Chefs and restaurants love to cook this kind of octopus mostly because of the flavor it has compared to freeze-on-board octopus. Its rich flavor allows them to cook the octopus in many different ways and showcase many cooking concepts.
Whether boiled, sauteed, or grilled, this amazing octopus gives tremendous flavor to any dishes. It is a great mix of tenderness, flavor, and taste.
Cooking tips for octopus
Due to its strong flavor, you can eat it very simply: boiled with olive oil on it.
Other options to eat octopus are sauteed or grilled, it will give its flavor to the rest of the dish.
If you would like more cooking ideas, take a look at this article for 41 different way to eat your octopus.