Egyaa octopus - Well spiced, straight from the oil
If you ever want a peppery crispy taste of freshly fried octopus, come to Egyaa (1&2) in the Central Region, between Mankessim and Cape Coast.
The tasty delicacy is usually straight from frying pans along the street.
They are fried and packaged in plain polythene for sale to motorists at prices ranging from GH¢5 to GH¢30.
Fishermen in the two fishing communities specialise in getting the octopus, propelling a thriving octopus market in the communities.
Octopuses are soft-bodied ocean creatures that are most famous for having eight long arms, bulging eyes and bulbous heads.
Gladys Takyi sells the octopus on commission basis
They have three hearts and blue blood; they squirt ink to deter predators; and being boneless, they can squeeze into or out of tight spaces.
Gladys Takyi has been selling octopus along the Egyaa street for some time now.
She says the business is not bad.
"It feeds my child and I.
I have a little baby and I sell this to take care of the baby," she explained.
While others buy the octopus from the fishermen and fry for sale themselves along the streets, others sell the fried octopus on a commission basis.
Gladys sells on a commission basis.
For her, for every GH¢100 of fried Octopus she sells, she's paid GH¢15. On a good day, she sells more than GH¢100.
“I could have sold more but I have a young baby so I am not able to sell much. Others sell more,” she said.
Transactions are done within a minute
The sellers have developed a skill in selling, despite the danger of selling in-between and along running vehicles.
Like many on-street transactions and selling, transactions are done within a minute.
Sellers strategically position themselves where there are road humps and many of the vehicles are compelled to slow down and sell to interested customers.
Other vehicles pack off the road to buy the octopus and other fish they may get from the stretch.
“I am Aunt Kate.
You can call me Sister Kate.
Everyone here knows me.
I sell very fresh fried octopus.
On some days, sales are good; like the weekends.
On other days it's not too good," she said.
I bought GH¢10 of fried hot octopus.
It was well-spiced and fried.
She said running to and from vehicles all day was hectic.
"We get something but it is not easy.
We go home with a lot of body pains," she said.
“The weather also impacts what we do greatly," she added.
The sellers could do with a well-structured space as a market for their safety and that of other motorists.
Though Gladys agrees it would be good for their safety, she said it was also likely to affect sales.
Maybe something big could be developed from the Egyaa octopus market.
Possibly, the delicacy could be developed and well-packaged to sell the area to tourists, considering that the area has breathtaking beaches.
So, whenever you use the route, and you see sellers beckoning you to buy the octopus, be encouraged to try it.
It is likely to be freshly fried octopus straight from the oil, a treat you will not forget easily.