Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Seppia Mania, or The Cuttlefish Crush

'Tis the beginning of the long Spritz-drinking season but, more urgently, it's also the week of cuttlefish.

If you're a Venetian, and you have a boat, and you can steal time away from whatever usually occupies you during the afternoon hours, you are most certainly on the lagoon this week fishing.

For this is the week that the cuttlefish (or seppie) have come into the lagoon to lay their eggs and, as moralists and cynics have long warned us humans, their heedless submission to their natural reproductive drives are likely to be their undoing. For a vast Venetian armada of fishermen (and women) stalks the poor spineless creatures. Last weekend the waters between San Pietro di Castello and La Certosa were thick with small boats, ranging almost from the eastern end of the Canale delle Fondamente Nuove well toward Lido. But even on a weekday afternoon--from about 12 noon until around 6 are the best hours, according to a Venetian friend--you'll see scores of small crafts and ardent pescatori.

My friend, whom I encountered returning home Monday afternoon with a bucket of his viscous inky catch, said the fishing should be good through the upcoming weekend. He invited us to dinner that night, but we couldn't make it. Perhaps later in the week, we agreed--when the main course is sure to be the same.

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