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Fish are Friends, Not Food

February 7, 2012

Fish-Friendly Shark Pledge: “I am a nice shark. Not a mindless eatin’ machine. If I am to change this image, I must first change myself. Fish are friends. Not food.”
Bruce, Finding Nemo

When I was sent a link about how to harvest your own squid ink I got pretty excited – but finding a squid with its ink sac in tact was challenging. While visiting a high-end grocery store I asked the butcher if he could save me the sac next time he prepped a squid for the counter. “No need,” he said, “we carry it in the freezer section.” Really?! Of course since then I have noticed how common cooking with squid ink is, or has become. Even the dry, beautifully dyed, pasta I buy for special occasions lists squid ink on the ingredient list. (Pictured below and very delicious too!)

My expectations were high. I attempted to write with it but it didn’t work very well.  The unidentifiable, globule-like, squid parts had a tendency to clog my pen. Despite aggressively stirring and diluting the ink with water, the chunkiness prevailed. Ugh! The needle on my internal gross-out meter was beginning to rise. Next I tried painting with it. What do you paint with squid ink? – apparently another squid.

The fishy smell was overwhelming at times but I thought the tactile characteristics of the ink was worse.  The whole experience had this sort of David Cronenberg horror film vibe to it – quaggy sound effects and all. After only producing a couple of sketches I started to shut down. My overactive imagination would not allow me to disconnect from the idea that I was painting with a fish-like body part. Nuf said.

A squid discharges an ink cloud to disguise its quick get away from a dangerous predator. Kind of like a fish fart. Even dead, this molluscs managed to deter and disorientate its hunter – I don’t think I’ll be trying this again any time soon.

365 Creative Journal Challenge:
“Make something with your dinner before you eat it.”

Squid Ink, photo by Dana Aubrey

squid ink sketch and pasta

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 8, 2012 5:56 pm

    Dana, are you for real? Did you actually paint stripes on your farfalle? *so impressed* I love the way you work!

  2. March 9, 2012 9:35 am

    Oh my gosh no! The pasta itself (made with squid ink and liquor curaçao) comes from a rather lavish grocery store that I like to visit once in a while. It’s quite fun to peruse the shelves and spy on what the 1% of population, that can afford to shop there, eat. The pasta section bowled me over with it’s semolina ribbons and rainbow of color. Suddenly I didn’t care what it cost, I couldn’t resist the urge to consume it. With that said, this particular package still sits in my cupboard. It’s too beautiful to eat.

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