Final thought… one of the episodes in this month’s PBS HAWAIʻI PRESENTS: CLASSICS
features a story on what it means to have “squid eye” also known as “tako eye.” Most people may have no idea what I’m talking about and may not even care, but if you’ve ever enjoyed tako poke, kim chee tako, squid luau, or any dish that includes octopus, you can thank the person blessed with the gift of having “tako eye.”
There is an art to catching tako, the Japanese word for octopus. There is also confusion when it comes to the slippery, slimy, eight-tentacle creature. Octopus, or heʻe in Hawaiian, is not a squid or calamari. In fact, most people in Hawaiʻi incorrectly refer to an octopus as a squid.
Regardless, what really matters is being able to catch the tako, which you can do in the day or night. In the day hours, tako is shorter, thicker and brown. Night tako is longer and thinner with red and white spots. What makes it even more challenging is that the octopus hides in holes in the reef, and has the ability to change the color of its skin.
Spotting one is no easy task, unless you have a “tako eye.” Those who have the gift will tell you, anyone can learn what to look for and how to spot the elusive delicacy. I am living proof that this is not true. In ALL my years of being in the ocean, I never developed a “tako eye.” Yes, I am the person who would miss Halley’s Comet if it raced past me, but I am convinced that having “tako eye” is a gift. You either have it or you don’t, and thankfully, there are enough divers in the ocean blessed with it.