When you hear the word fancy, you think of high class, shiny clean things, nice cars, big houses, extravagance. Never do you think of the word Octopus.
But now combining the two words, Fancy and Octopus together, if you’re anything like me, you’re picturing an octopus with a top hat, bow tie, and monocle. This image in my mind made me more than ecstatic to pick up a can of Pampa Fancy Octopus!
This product of Spain is fresh caught, cooked, and then packed in vegetable oil ready to be shipped around the globe with it’s nearly a decade long shelf life. With the growing import of European octopus into the U.S., it’s sure to find a place in any grocery store.
The real question though is, should they be stocking this particular form of it on their shelves?
Unlike many other canned foods, Pampa packs their meat in both a can and a box. This choice is a curious one for me. Are they doing this because they need the extra packaging to contain what’s in side?
Inside the box, the can has a pull top, much like one would see on other ready to eat meat cans.
Peeling back the top, I was taken back to the old fishing trips my grandpa and I would go on. We’d stop by the bait shop to pick up some bait before hitting the river for the day. Fancy Octopus smelled like the condensed essence of every single bait shop I’ve ever been in. To this day, I’ve never been to a fancy bait shop.
Despite the tentacle laden image on the cover of the box, I still hoped for tiny octopi with monocles and top hats. Instead, I was treated to gnarly chunks of chopped octopus floating in an oily can. Where is the fancy in this???
The chew of the octopus was a lot like old chicken. It was a far cry from the tako my daughter and I get at our local sushi hot spot. As I continued chewing through the octopus, it leached a putrid fish flavor into my mouth. If you’ve ever used powerbait in fishing, I imagine this is what it tastes like. A strong rancid fishy taste, strong enough to arouse the senses of fish far away to come nibble at your hook. Since when is rancid fishy taste fancy?
Needless to say, this was not something I was able to keep down.
Pampa did exactly what they set out to do… they canned some octopus.
I still however don’t see why they label it “fancy”. For this, I gave it a 4 in execution. I’d really like to see some top hats, at a minimum.
To this day, I’ve never had something that made me throw up… but this has to have been the closest. I’d be very wary of anyone who intentionally buys this to eat, and not as part of a comedic food review blog.