Coming from the depths of the Adriatic Sea, cuttlefish, or sometimes squid, and their ink are responsible for the beautiful black color that makes crni rižot stand out from other risottos. According to Food & Wine, each cuttlefish has a silver sac containing black ink that shoots out when the sea creature feels threatened. It’s this ink that is essential for making crni rižot. While using ink from a freshly caught cuttlefish gives more flavor, cuttlefish ink can also be purchased on its own.
While cuttlefish is necessary for the black color, small cut pieces of cuttlefish are also necessary to complete this dish. With its mild fishy flavor, cuttlefish adds the perfect textural component to complement the risotto. This dish is the ultimate definition of simplicity while being flavorfully complex. Made with only a few additional ingredients — onion, tomato concentrate, white wine, garlic, and rice, of course — the taste and color of the cuttlefish really shines in crni rižot (via Croatia Week). Can’t make it over to Croatia? Try to make it at home!