Pulpo a la gallega

Pulpo a la gallega

Introducción:

Es un molusco cefalópodo de ocho brazos y cabeza grande, bajo la que esconde una boca con forma de "pico de loro", duro del que se vale para comer nécora, cangrejos, etc. Tiene dos filas de ventosas en los tentáculos por su cara interna, lo que lo diferencia del pulpo cabezón. Vive cerca de las costas, en profundidades inferiores a los 200 m. y es de hábitos nocturnos. La forma más utilizada para capturarlo es una nasa especialmente diseñada para el pulpo. Aunque también entra en las nasas de la nécora. Desde tierra se pesca con un arte llamado raña. Estos animales pueden cambiar, de forma muy rápida, el color y la textura de su piel, mimetizándose con el fondo.

Descripción:

Posee ocho tentáculos fuertes con dos filas de ventosas. Los tentáculos están situados alrededor de la boca, unidos entre si por una membrana, siendo el primer par más corto que el resto. En la cabeza se sitúan unos ojos muy desarrollados, el cerebro y tres corazones. En el manto se ubica el depósito de tinta, que expulsa para evitar ataques.

Dimensiones:

Aunque puede llegar a medir hasta 1 m de longitud, generalmente no pasa de 60 - 80 cm.

Cómo reconocerlo:

El pulpo que encontramos en el mercado gallego procede de nuestras costas o bien de importaciones del banco Canario-Sahariano y de Méjico. En este último caso, su presentación es siempre congelada, aunque últimamente están llegando a nuestras lonjas, partidas de pulpo Marroquí en fresco.

Existen otras especies de pulpo en nuestras costas como el pulpo cabezudo (Eledone cirrosa), que se diferencia del común en que tiene una sola fila de ventosas, una cabeza de gran tamaño y unos tentáculos más pequeños. Se utiliza fundamentalmente para la conserva.

Otra especie es el pulpo de pies largos (Octopus macropus). Posee tentáculos largos en relación al cuerpo. Habita en el Mediterráneo.

Presentaciones:

Se comercializa fresco. Cuando tiene brillo y colores vivos es seguro que se trata de pulpo gallego. También podemos encontrarlo congelado y en conserva.

Usos culinarios.

Antes de nada se lava bien para quitarle la suciedad que pueda tener en las ventosas. Se prepara un cazo con abundante agua (sin sal) y se pone a hervir. Cuando rompa el hervor a borbotones se coge el pulpo por la cabeza y sin soltarlo se saca y se mete tres veces en el agua hirviendo, para evitar que al cocerse se le caigan las ventosas. Después de haberlo sacado tres veces se deja caer en el agua y se cuece. El tiempo de cocción para los pulpos gallegos no supera los 40-45 minutos, según su tamaño o peso.

El pulpo gallego tiene un característico sabor salado o a marisco. El resto de los pulpos suelen tener un gusto más dulzón.

Uno de los platos más importantes de nuestra cocina es el pulpo á feira, aunque también se prepara en guiso en Mugardos y al modo de la Isla de Ons, sin olvidarnos de las ricas empanadas que se hacen con este cefalópodo, e incluso con unas habas de Lourenzá.

Temporada:

No existe veda para esta especie. Lo podemos encontrar en los mercados en cualquier época del año, tanto fresco como congelado.

Origen:

Las lonjas más importantes en subasta de pulpo común son las de Vigo, a la que le sigue la de Sada, Bueu, A Coruña, Burela, Muros, Malpica, Fisterra, Cedeira y Corcubión.

Arte de pesca:

Con nasas, palangres, raño, etc. También al arrastre.

Reproducción:

En invierno los pulpos comienzan a acercarse a la costa para realizar la reproducción, permaneciendo en el litoral hasta la primavera. Se reproducen sexualmente y la hembra deja de alimentarse después de la puesta, por lo que muere tras la eclosión de los huevos. La fecundación se realiza dentro de la cavidad paleal de la hembra, en la que ella introduce los espermatóforos del macho, valiéndose del brazo hectocótilo.

La hembra fija los huevos a las rocas, envueltos en unas cápsulas ovaladas y formando haces. Una hembra puede poner hasta 180.000 huevos en tan sólo dos semanas.

Curiosidades:

La zona donde hay más pulperías y donde se dice que se prepara mejor el pulpo a feira es una aldea do Carballiño llamada Arcos. Esto se debe a la proximidad del monasterio de Oseira, cuyo dominio se extendía antiguamente hasta Marín. Dado que pescadores de esta villa pagaban los diezmos al monasterio con pulpos, los monjes, a su vez, pagaban  a los campesinos do Carballiño con este cefalópodo.

La especie de pulpo de mayor tamaño es el Pulpo gigante del Pácifico Norte (Octopus dofleini), que mide entre 4 a 5 m. y pesa 50 kg., aunque algunos llegan a medir casi diez metros y pesar más de 200 Kg. Vive en las profundidades frente a la costa canadiense del Pacífico. En julio de 2003 fue encontrado en las costas de Chile un extraño ejemplar de más de 12 m.

Receta de pulpo a la gallega:

  1. Pulpo
  2. Patatas
  3. Pimentón picante
  4. Aceite
  5. Sal

Pasos:

  1. Si el pulpo es fresco, congelarlo antes de hacerlo.
  2. Descongelarlo y hervirlo en una olla a presión alrededor de 20-30 minutos.
  3. Pelar y cortar las patatas a medio cm de grosor, distribuir en un plato y echar sal y aceite. Cubrir con la tapadera del microondas y meterlas a máxima potencia alrededor de 8 minutos. Id comprobando hasta conseguir la textura que se desee.
  4. Pasado el tiempo de cocción, retirar del fuego, escurrir y empezar a cortar las patas del pulpo con un grosor un poco menor a 1cm. Disponer los trozos en el plato de las patatas y echar pimentón y aceite.
  5. Meter en el microondas de nuevo, con la tapadera, unos 3 minutos.
  6. Echar un poco de sal en escamas por encima.

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