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- A Byte About
Puget Sound Squid

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Save the Salmon, Chef

- by Cap't Dave

The Puget Sound is a transitory winter home and breading ground for tiny bite size squid that peruse the Eastern Pacific seaboard most of the year. They follow the flood tides in mass schools and are drawn towards bright shore lights in the black hours of night. When the greedy little "Loligo Opalescens" are in, they are both easy and illusive prey for fishermen willing to brave the chilly night air. It depends on their mood--shy at times, and aggressively bold on other occasions. Sometimes they quickly wrap their tentacles around shiny bare hooks and don't let go until they're in the bucket. Other times, they are fickle and only get curious about certain kinds of lures and jigs.

It's a treat to see the waves of tightly packed swarms dance in and out of from the shoreline to snatch coin-sized baitfish in the shallows. The bright dock lights and fisherman's lanterns twinkling on the surface of the sea entice the squid to attack. Squid fishing on the Puget Sound occurs in the early months of the year when they come in from the coast to span.

Squid are the one of the most common fish in the world. They inhabit nearly every coastline in some form or another. They are considered a delicacy from the eastern shores of China to the Greek Isles. Countless recipes have been created over the centuries by every seafaring culture to celebrate the unique flavor of squid.

Although breaded calamari has become the most popular way to prepare squid in the US, it's by no means the tastiest. Real squid lovers tend to prefer a succulent garlic-white wine sauceŽ to deep-fry any day. While the mantle is certainly tasty, the most flavorful portion of the squid is its tentacles. Experienced squid chefs find that the black ink from fresh squid adds another level of flavor to a sauce. The soft, slightly chewy texture and unique flavor of squid makes it a wonderful additive to green Asian vegetable dishes, Italian pasta noodles, and Spanish rice. On hot summer days, a cool sliced celery and squid salad bathed in balsamic vinegar, olive oil and spices can be very refreshing.