[Food ★★★]


(P1) Octopus is a dietary staple of various cultures throughout the globe and it’s no wonder. Octopus makes for a healthy meal. 85 grams of octopus have only 140 calories and 1.8 grams of fat. But more than the health benefits, many people simply find them delicious. Octopus can be prepared in a variety of ways.

(P2) In Japan, octopus (called tako in Japanese) are fried, cooked, and even served raw. Takoyaki is a fried ball of dough surrounding boiled octopus parts. It is often served at festivals or as part of the menu in Japanese restaurants. Sunamono is a dish that consists of vegetables and boiled octopus blended together and seasoned in a special vinegar-based dressing. Finally, raw octopus tentacles are commonly served on a bed of rice as a kind of sushi.

(P3) In Greece, grilled octopus has been a popular dish for thousands of years. The recipe is fairly basic as the octopus is first dried out in the sun and then roasted over charcoal for thirty to forty-five minutes. It is then served with lemon for additional flavor and washed down with a nice glass of ouzo. For a little variety, Greeks will sometimes eat octopus as part of a soup or mixed with tomato sauce. Greek chefs maintain that water should not be used during the cooking process and that the creature is best cooked in its own juices for maximum flavor.

(P4) In Central America, octopus ceviche is a spicy hot dish. Fresh octopus is chopped up along with Serrano pepper, onions, and garlic. These ingredients are mixed together in a small cup or bowl. Tortilla chips or crackers can be used as a crunchy garnish to the dish.

WORDS: 281

SOURCE: http://dreamreader.net/lesson/octopus/

VOCABULARY: staple, dough, seasoned, tentacles, ouzo, ceviche, garnish


If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Do you like to eat octopus? Why or why not?
  3. What are some international foods you like to eat?
  4. In Greece, they’ve been eating grilled octopus for thousands of years. Are there any dishes in your country that have been around for a long time? If so, what are they?


  1. Octopus is not eaten in multiple countries. (T or F)
  2. Besides the health benefits of eating octopus, what’s another reason people eat it?
  3. Where do the Japanese usually serve Takoyaki?
  4. For how long has octopus been a favorite dish in Greece?
  5. What three ingredients are blended together with octopus in Peru?


What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • throughout the globe (P1)
  • on a bed of rice (P2)
  • fairly basic (P3)
  • washed down with a glass of ouzo P3)
  • chopped up (P4)

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