Surume Ika Geso: Japanese Dried Squid Tentacle Snack
“Otsumami (おつまみ)” is the Japanese word for the snack food eaten with alcoholic drinks, in other words, it refers to finger foods and nibbles. Therefore, for example, if you have potato chips while drinking beer, the snack can be called Otsumami.
As I have written about it many times, Otsumami comes in many variations, from traditional to modern. Especially, there is a variety of dried squid Otsumami snacks, and representative examples include “Surume (スルメ)”, “Saki-ika (さきいか)”, and “Noshi-ika (のしイカ)”.
Among them, Surume is the most common and available at almost any supermarket in Japan. It is made of squid that has been gutted and dried under the sun. By the way, “Ika (イカ, いか)” is the Japanese word for squid or cuttlefish.
Surume Geso (するめげそ)
Additionally, if you have a chance to shop at a supermarket in Japan, you may find the snack food “Surume Geso (するめげそ)” lined up on the shelf in the snack food section.
Actually, the word in the name “Geso (げそ)” refers to the tentacle of squids (Ika), so Surume Geso is the Otsumami snack made by drying squid’s tentacles “Ika Geso (イカゲソ)”
These dried squid tentacles have a quiet hard, tough texture, but the more you chew it, the more the flavor and umami come out, and the tastier it becomes.
The Surume Geso snack is only lightly seasoned with salt and red chili pepper, which accentuates the natural flavor and umami taste of the dried Ika Geso squid tentacles.