This wild octopus is selling for $7.99 a pound at Martin's Supermarket in Niles. Leader photo/CRAIG HAUPERT

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Octopus on ice at Martin’s

Published 1:49pm Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Described by customers as slimy, ugly and a little bit creepy, the octopus in the seafood department at Martin’s Supermarket in Niles is getting a lot of attention.

That’s what Kathy Fitzpatrick, seafood department manager, said she was hoping for when she began offering the cephalopod mollusc.

“I thought it would be fun to display an octopus like it was crawling over things,” she said.

The octopus, which has two eyes and eight arms, is spread out over a pile of ice, oysters, mussels and clams in the seafood display case.

Customer reaction, Fitzpatrick says, ranges from “eww,” to “yuck” to “that’s cool.”

“A lot of people stop and take pictures with their cell phones,” she said.

Martin’s Supermarket in Niles began selling the wild, Philippines octopus last month. Each one ranges from 2 1/2 to 3 pounds. On Wednesday, a 2 2/3 pound octopus was selling for $7.99 a pound.

Octopus isn’t just a novelty at Martin’s — Fitzpatrick said she’s sold two so far.

“I plan to keep selling them,” she said.

While not a common dish in the United States, octopus is a popular Japanese and Mediterranean cuisine.

Mike Postelli, store manager, said octopus sells more frequently at Martin’s stores near Detroit, where hockey fans toss them on the ice during Red Wings games.

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