I’ve discovered the cure for fish and shellfish hang-ups in the kitchen: make a seafood stew that requires you to cook with every kind of seafood all in one fell swoop. Last night I chopped up an octopus, took apart squid, and made a stock with gigantic fish heads – eyes popping and mouths gaping open. I’ve cooked fish before, and I’ve steamed mussels and deveined shrimp, but I had always had a little issue with octopus. Maybe it was the giant squid in “10,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” or maybe some kind of atavistic kosher issue, but I finally put my aversion to tentacles to rest once and for all. And I’m lucky because the fish mongers at the Central Market cleaned all the critters for me, so I didn’t have to remove the goop from the squid myself or the giant eyeball-thing from the octopus – one of the great joys of living in Florence!
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