Some good friends were among our guests the second time I attempted Arroz Negro and it still turned out grey rather than black. These are the kind of friends I donâ€™t mind using as guinea pigs or experimenting with new food/recipesâ€¦typically, I donâ€™t have guests when I am working on a dish I havenâ€™t gotten right or am trying for the first time. We have a wonderful symbiotic relationship with these friendsâ€¦they often bring us wonderful and thoughtful food gifts from around the planet and we feed them in returnâ€¦seems like a fair deal, no? At any rate, a few weeks after the second Arroz Negro episode, this stunning bottle showed up at our house while I was awayâ€¦ OMIGOSH! A whopping humongous bottle of concentrated and bottled squid ink. Itâ€™s the stuff of Arroz Negro miracles. I had given up on trying to do this the all-natural way since I was having issues with the amount of lumot and the way I handled the inkâ€¦ Besides, two Spaniards themselves told me to just use the bloody or should I say inky ink from the sachets or bottle instead of the fresh ink!
The joy of receiving such a useful present, and the outrageous size of it, brought a huge smile to our faces (Mrs. Marketman is a big Arroz Negro fan as well). Our friends may not have realized that you only need say 20-30 grams of ink for a small paella so sending over 500 grams is like getting a pint of caviar!!! In fact, when they heard about the successful third attempt in my previous post, and they were not at that lunch, they were worried that I had used up the whole bottle and there would be no more left for themâ€¦ We promised them an Arroz Negro soon and still we would have enough ink for months to come! For those who are curious, this squid ink was apparently purchased at Terryâ€™s Selection on Pasong Tamo. It is available in much smaller sachets and bottles and this bottle in the photo is the largest size that they sell.