Aggiornato il: 5 apr 2020
This dish was one of my small creations in Venice at the Del Bauer Hotel ***** L, where I combined Venetian and Apulian traditions.
BARI - The Bari gastronomic tradition, it is known, provides for a large consumption of fish and seafood, products that are usually called with specific terms, say "dialectals". Precisely for this reason, the consumer often does not know exactly what is on his plate: in short, if he were to explain to a Turin what he is eating, he would be in difficulty. News published on the portal barinedita.it and owned by him.
For example, the "pupils" which animals are they? Let's talk (together with octopus and illegal dates) about the top of raw seafood: a product also sold at 40/45 euros per kilo. Well anyone in Bari, including the fishmongers, would reply: "They are small cuttlefish, not yet grown." But this is only partially true. News published on the portal barinedita.it and owned by it.
"The" students "actually include three different species of molluscs - explains Roberto Carlucci, professor of Ecology at the Biology department of the University of Bari -. Yes, there are the small ones of sepia officinalis, or of the common cuttlefish, but it is easy to be sold also specimens of sepia elegans and sepia orbignyana, two species that, unlike the first, remain very small in size even as adults: maximum one tens of centimeters >>.
In short, when we buy the "pupils" we could take home a normal cuttlefish that has yet to grow, or particular "dwarf" cuttlefish that remain small even when they grow. Don't worry: from the point of view of flavor, nothing changes, since these are always tender and delicious products. However, the impact on the ecosystem changes.
"Selling a cuttlefish that still has to grow is an attack on the normal biological cycle - declares Carlucci -. We go fishing for specimens not yet able to reproduce and therefore the risk is to go to impoverish our sea. For this reason, the presence of specialists in the sector at the landing and in the major fish markets would be desirable, to ensure that a selection is made that guarantees sustainable fishing ».
Basically it would be better to buy and eat cuttlefish elegans and orbignyana because being adults they have already reproduced. But how do you recognize the various species from each other? «It is not easy for an inexperienced eye - underlines the professor -. Guides should be used that allow you to recognize the particular characteristics of each type, including the coat and the number of the saddles. But for example a peculiarity of the orbignyana is the presence of a kind of sting on the final part of the bone: this is perceptible to the touch ". News published on the portal barinedita.it and owned by it.
So if you find yourself eating students with a quill, know that in addition to doing good for your palate, you are helping the sea not to get impoverished.