This mollusc has no shell at all and can measure up to 80 cm long. It has a horny beak on its head and 8 tentacles of the same size, with two rows of suction cups. It is fished near the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts. The common octopus (Octopus vulgaris) is the most abundant species and the one that is appreciated the most. Its body is shaped like a sack and its colour varies a great deal with a prevalence of greyish, yellowish and brownish-red tones. Next to the liver it has a sac that contains ink, which it uses to throw off its enemies in the case of danger.

Apart from the common octopus, there are several edible species that belong to the Octopus and Eledone genera: the white or horned octopus (Eledone cirrosa) has one single row of suction cups and a very large head and it is sold in cans; the musky octopus (Eledone moschata) is very similar to the white one, but with a sulphur and rather unpleasant odour; and the white spotted octopus (Octopus macropus), with long tentacles with respect to its body, located in the Mediterranean. Its meat becomes tender after being hit or after freezing.


Galicia style octopus with potatoes