cuttlefish

Definition

Food

  • A cephalopod, Sepia officinalis, from the Mediterranean and eastern Atlantic with an oval body and head from which two long and eight short tentacles spring, in all about 25 cm long. It has one internal stiffening bone (cuttlebone). The guts which together with the parrot-like beak must be removed before cooking include the ink sac, the contents of which can be used in an accompanying sauce. Cooked like squid or octopus. Sometimes eaten in East Asia as a snack food when in its dried form.

Origin & History of “cuttlefish”

The cuttlefish probably gets its name from its resemblance to a bag when its internal shell is removed. Its earliest recorded designation is cudele (the compound cuttlefish does not appear until the 16th century), which is generally taken to be a derivative of the same base as produced cod ‘pouch’ (as in codpiece and peascod). In the 16th century the variant scuttlefish arose, perhaps partly with reference to the creature’s swift movements.
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