In Spain, we use this wood plate for serving octopus and also other tapas.
Octopus plates are made of pinewood and the fact that someone serves the octopus a la Gallega in another type of dish sounds sacrilege for a Galician. But do you know what this tradition is due to?
The wooden dishes are soaked in the cooking water of the octopus before cutting it. This helps keep the octopus warm and not cool as quickly. In addition, the wood, being soaked in water, prevents the oil from the dressing from being absorbed. The one that we like so much to dip our bread! This tradition of making wooden octopus dishes also goes back to the origins of this rich recipe. The sale of octopus was a traveling profession and pulperas (it was a trade mainly performed by women) had to travel from town to town with carts drawn by beasts. Given the rattling that the utensils suffered on those narrow and cobbled paths, the materials had to be resistant and easy to repair since it was very likely that there would be some breakage.