Is The World Ready For Plant-Based Octopus?

The company responsible for 3D-printed vegan salmon has now developed vegan octopus.

The race for plant-based seafood substitutes keeps getting more intense, with new products announced seemingly every month. But one company is looking beyond fish and has set its sight on a different kind of marine animal replacement altogether: vegan octopus.

Vegan octopus, explained

Revo Foods, the company responsible for that 3D-printed salmon we reported on last year, has now debuted octopus-free octopus. The announcement, published to the company's website, says the new product is appropriately called "The Kraken – Inspired by Octopus."

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The Kraken is made of mycoprotein built on the mycelium of fungi, otherwise known as the filament-like foundation of mushrooms that proliferates in the soil. Mycoprotein is also used in Revo's 3D-printed salmon product, and other companies use it as a base for their plant-based seafood products as well.

Revo Foods says it opts for mycoprotein for multiple reasons: It requires less processing than other ingredients, and it has a natural fibrous quality that captures the texture of fish without the need for extra processing.

But The Kraken isn't just aiming to simulate the accurate flavor and texture of a meaty octopus tentacle. It also resembles an octopus tentacle—suction cups, purple hue and all. The product can be cooked in whichever manner you like, but it's also edible straight from the package. Revo suggests dishes like Greek octopus salad or the Spanish dish pulpo a la gallega, which is cooked octopus dressed with salt, paprika, and olive oil.

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Vegan octopus is now available online in most of Europe

While we Americans don't have access to the vegan octopus yet, it's now available in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, and Sweden, via Revo Food's online store. The Kraken retails for €5.99 (about $6.50) and each package comes with three pieces of tentacle weighing 35 grams each.

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I'm guessing that octopus is a difficult texture to replicate; it's got a dense chew to it that varies depending on how it's prepared. It seems as if The Kraken is, like so many plant-based alternatives, aimed not at strictly adherent vegans but rather people who already consume meat and are looking to eat a little less of it.

I can't say I'm not curious. The demand for terrestrial meat simulations might be sagging, but apparently some businesses are still betting that the interest will remain—this one's just looking out to the sea for inspiration.

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