Octopus is very similar to squid in taste and appearance, although they have 8 arms where a squid has only 6. The octopus averages larger in size, with some species averaging 14 feet in length where squid usually are around 24 inches. The largest octopus on record weighed in at 156 pounds. Any octopus over 2 pounds is likely to be very tough. They have a very short life span with some species living only up to 6 months. Some of the larger types can live for 5 years. Octopus must be tenderized before cooking either by pounding repeatedly or by simmering for about 3 hours. Once tenderized it can be baked, grilled, poached sautéed or deep fried. It has a mild sweet flavor.
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