An Ode to Pulpo de Olivo

Oh, pulpo de olivo. You are literally a pile of tentacles covered in purple goo.

The circle of your octopus suckers, the oozing purple sauce created from blended olives, the greasy drip of the olive oil…

Visually speaking, you’d be too crass for the Teletubbies, and arguably too ridiculous for Dr. Seuss.

And yet, you have taught me so much about life.


I had thought, being gone for a year, I would return to Peru craving only white fish ceviche, its clean white squares sprayed with lime juice.

I had thought I’d only want scallops, served up like Aphrodite and drenched in the trappings of my homeland:

melted cheese and butter.


And yet, when we returned to La Canta Rana for the first time since that long absence, I found myself asking for you.

You, in all your purple, goopy, glory.


You defiantly remind us that beauty is not about appearance, but good taste.

Pulpo de olivo, you have taught me to eat with my eyes open, no matter what.

(Unless it’s guinea pig, because that’s still a little sad.)


3 thoughts on “An Ode to Pulpo de Olivo

    • Haha it tastes… nothing like chicken? The sauce is usually made from these special Peruvian olives that are nice, a deep purple, I think “savory” is the right word. The octopus shouldn’t be tough (if it is, apparently that means it wasn’t prepped right), but it’s not very “fishy” to me; haha, it sort of tastes like the ocean smells, very mild. I could never just wolf it down plain; I need bread or saltines with it.

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