Much like my encounter a few weeks ago with the canned octopus, I simply couldn't resist the temptation of this item's visual assault on my eyes as they traversed the many strange items in the latino section of my local Wal-Mart. More important was the disturbing presence of squid ink as a marinade. Conjuring up images of the viscous black fluid I associate with quills and inkwells, I thought for sure this was going to be one disgusting venture.
The first thing that hit me when I opened the can was not the sickening sight of the squid pieces suspended in what looks like motor oil from a high mileage vehicle but the smell. I enjoy most varieties of fish and other seafood, eating tuna most days out of the week, but this had to be the strongest fishy scent to hit my nose at such a proximity. It was as if an entire fishing wharf had been rendered down into a vile fluid and injected into a can.
Somehow growing accustomed to the smell, I moved onto the visual inspection. This simply did not look savory. The squid meat used in this concoction must be from the body of the beast as there was no evidence of tentacles. So I was essentially looking at meat shingles in a vat of tar and contemplating whether or not to stick it in my mouth.
Taking the plunge I was met with a texture and taste unlike any other I have encountered in my previous experiences with squid. The meat was tougher but not as rubbery as from the tentacles and had more of a fishy flavor. I am not sure what notes came from the ink itself as I read on the package that the marinade had been adulterated with tomato sauce, vegetable oil, garlic, and other spices. The taste was not very nice overall but not unpleasant either. I can see that it would go well cooked in something as opposed to being sampled in isolation.
Squid in ink is highly disturbing. Most of this is mental but the stench and oiliness are enough to put me off from trying it out of the can again. However, if anyone wants to whip me up a delicious meal using this as an ingredient then I'll be more than willing to give it a second go.