The section of the fish market that is shown in this picture is perhaps a little difficult to make out, but trust me that’s not down to my photographic limitations; even in colour this is just a mass of shiny grey-black ink and white flesh. This is the raw ingredient of a Venetian speciality dish, so let me translate the label…
Seppioline. Well seppie is cuttlefish, so this means baby cuttlefish.
Fresche Doesn’t really require translation
senza sabbia Without sand.
Two things puzzle me. First, given the regional nature of the ingredient, why written in Italian and not the Venetian language (often incorrectly referred to as an Italian dialect), and secondly, why would anyone want them with sand?!?!??!
So if you fancy a dish that will blacken your tongue (and I did), here’s a recipe for Spaghetti con Seppioline, which even gives you the option of leaving out the ink. Surely that would be as crazy as a carbonara without pancetta?