Barbados Pocket Guide

Sea Cats

Sea Cats

Sea Cats (Octopus sp.) can be seen throughout the marine environment in Barbados. They come out of their lairs where they take full advantage of making meals of passing fish, snails and crustaceans.

This small version of an octopus is associated with squids and cuttlefish which belong to the group of molluscs. They dwell predominantly near the bottom of the ocean despite the fact that a great majority of these species begin their lives in a planktonic form.

 

Defense Mechanism

Their defense mechanism is such that when they sense danger, they release clouds of blue-black ink that are released from ink glands which are connected to their guts.


Delicacy to Barbados

Despite its rubber-like texture, sea cat is indeed a fine and tasty delicacy that can be brought to the table in any home in Barbados.


Capturing of these creatures on the island of Barbados involves removing them from their crevices using a cat lance (this is a hooked iron stake). Fishermen or simply brave men are known to calmly walk into the waters of Barbados with absolutely no diving equipment but a mask and a lance. It is said that some of these guys strengthen and toughen their systems through an 'overdose' of garlic. The primary purposes of this garlic are to deter sharks from attacking them and to also enhance their breath-holding capabilities while under water.

 

Once captured, the head and tentacles are cleaned, then the Sea Cat is beaten in an effort to tenderize it. It is then boiled for a couple hours  and then cut into pieces. It can be prepared as a pickled meal or fried depending on one's preference at the time.

 

In Barbados, the pickling process can vary but is made up mainly of a combination of lime and salt, chopped onions, cucumber, parsley, thyme and green peppers.

 

Pickled dishes are a hit at many rum shops across the island of Barbados as they go so very well with whatever brand of rum or beer we have to offer.

 

 

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Last modified on Wednesday, 18 August 2010 18:28

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