wine corks to cook octopus!

Joined Apr 1, 2002
My best friend, who is also my catering assistant, & I have the bizarre habit of talking on the phone to each other late at night with both our t.v.s on the food channel with the mute on. I know, but that way if someone does something interesting we discuss it. Well, the other night Bobby Flay was cooking octopus, simmering it in water, vinegar, garlic, bay, peppercorns, and WINE CORKS! Those new PLASTIC WINE CORKS! (We know they were plastic because my friend had her closed-caption on.)Unfortunately, he gave the explaination before he put them in, so we never got to find out WHY???? Did anyone else see this episode? I know I'm not crazy because the recipe is on the website-,12639,00.html
Any suggestions? I lived in Greece for 2 years, and they eat a LOT of octopus, but I sure never heard of this. :eek:
The Saucy Cajun
Joined Jan 5, 2001
In Italy corks are included in octopus stews to keep it tender. Using the plastic ones sounds ridiculous to me. But then again, I couldn't explain to you the chemistry behind the concept...
Joined Jul 31, 2000
I agree with Anneke, the corks have tannins that are a natural tenderizer and used in cooking more often then you might relize.

The plastic corks on the other hand,ummm....perhaps someone was pulling a fast one on you, or had no clue that they needed to be wooden corks ;) lol
Joined Apr 1, 2002
Thanks Guys! That's about what I figured. I could understand the real corks doing something, even though I'd never heard of that. I never saw it in Greece, & they don't eat octopus in Louisiana! Well, except in greek restaurants. But PLASTIC! And when you look at the recipe it says 4 wine corks, with no mention of plastic. I think someone was pulling one on Bobby! Or the production staff got their wires crossed! But I've got one more question. Is the tannin acid in the cork itself, or does the cork pull the acid from the wine? And would that make coke-a-cola a tenderizer? Not that you'd even want to use it! But what about tea? I'm asking all this because my husband is a big deer hunter so I'm always looking for new ways to tenderize. Thanks,
The Saucy Cajun
Joined Mar 13, 2001
The tannin in tea is a natural meat tenderizer. What makes coca-cola a great tenderizer is the carbonation. Ginger ale is another one.

I also found a website for venison that might interest you. Enjoy! ;)
Joined Jan 11, 2002
:lol: :lol: :lol:

PLASTIC CORKS to cook octopus...I can't believe it!
Are you sure that guy wasn't joking?

Actually in Italy corks are commonly used to cook octopus, not only by stewing but also by boiling. I didn't know which was the real reason, so thanks for having explained it to me!

Top Bottom