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octopus In A Different Way

This is an excerpt from The Prince of Transylvania's Court Cookbook
(Hungary, 16th c.)
The original source can be found at

Octopus in a different way. Wash the octopus in three pots of water, then let it soak in clean water for two days, but change the water frequently, especially in the summer, elsewise it will go bad. Once you put it in a new pot of water, wash it. Once two days have passed, make some alkali out of ash, but don't make it too strong, for that will devour the fish, and your lord will be angry with you. Let the alkali cool, and put it in the same pot with the octopus, let it stand for one night, then boil it in clean water, pass through a strainer the water, put it in cold water, and keep it with ice in the summer so that it will not go bad. Once you're about to cook it, remove the black skin, put it on a skewer, roast it, paste it with tree oil. Once done, put it on a skewer and add some black pepper, then serve it while it's hot. Let's not forget about anchovies.


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