A Squid Ink Restaurant In Ibaraki, Japan?

Sometimes asking your students about their weekend can result in some pretty strange answers. I had three students in this particular class. I asked them the typical “What did you do over the weekend?” question to which one the students replied “I went to Tokyo with some friends.” Another replied with “I went to a ‘Dreams Come True’ concert with my daughter.” I turning to my left to put down my folder when I heard “I went to a squid ink restaruant.” I almost dropped my things. “I’m sorry, a what restaurant?” I figured that surely that maybe Squid Ink was some kind of round about, cool name for a restaurant in this area, but (much to my chagrin) I was mistaken. Apparently this student went to a restaurant and literally had squid ink! The other students looked just as shocked as I was. We all had our questions and I was a tad weirded out. Don’t squids, and octopi for that matter, use their ink as a method to escape from predators? It just doesn’t seem like the stuff you’re supposed to be ingesting. After hearing that she had tried squid ink, the corresponding lines of questions were centered on what it tasted like to which the student responded “kind of fishy.” At the restaurant they added spices to the ink to give it flavor, so by her account it was somewhat spicy, too. The owner of the restaurant sometimes cooks pasta in squid ink as well which I just found really fascinating. I don’t know if eating squid ink originated in Japan, or if it’s even exclusive to Japan, but this was without a doubt the first time I’ve heard of this. If I find this restaurant, I will have to try it…but I will bring a toothbrush with me because I heard that squid ink will turn your teeth black (makes sense, I guess).

Donald Ash

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