Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Pulpo fiction?

Three steel bins formed a line at the front of the café. One was filled with cold water and purplish pink flesh. The next was bubbling away like a cauldron, steam rising into the assembled crowd of onlookers. The third sat next to an empty wooden table where a thin man in a white apron hooked a floppy rubbery mass out, and slapped it onto the bench. In one deft move he cut out a pink veined blob and threw it on the floor beside us. He then started slicing through purple bobbled skin into clean white flesh. He arranged twenty of the slices onto a simple white plate and handed it to one of the crowd. Everyone shuffled up a place in the queue.

“Yuk,” said Matthew, screwing up his face. “Do you want to try some pulpo?” his Dad asked. “No I don’t” he replied. “My like octopus?” his sister enquired. “No, you don’t,” Matthew replied firmly, “can we go for pizza now Dad?” “Sure, he replied, “but they only do octopus pizza here. This is Melida, the octopus town of Spain. It’s pulpo or nothing.” I’ll just have an ice cream,” said his brother, as we returned to the street filled with endless pulperia restaurants. “Ice creams all round then,” I confirmed. “All with pulpo topping?”