When Jaki Hughes decided to treat her husband to a paella she had no idea it would develop into such a fishy tale.
Jaki, from Gossops Green, bought a squid from Sainsbury’s in West Green on Wednesday (February 27) for her husband David’s dinner.
During preparation the squid’s spine had to be pulled out to enable it to be sliced up.
But Jaki ran into difficulty as she tried to pull out the creature’s spine, a usually easy task.
Faced with the problem, Jaki decided to mullet over before grabbing a kitchen knife and slicing further up the squid’s body, revealing more than she bargained for.
Thinking things seemed a little bit fishy, Jaki peered into the squid and pulled out a perfectly preserved, fresh, five inch-long red mullet.
Believing the problem was solved, Jaki continued to wash the squid when out popped another one.
Jaki said: “It must have been the squid had just eaten when it was caught.
“It was very exciting, it was amazing!
“It just shows how fresh the fish is.
“When you are preparing squid you take the tentacles off and then you have the glass spine which you have to pull out under the tap.
“I was rinsing it and rinsing it and nothing was happening. I decided to cut further down it and then I saw a little fishy tail.
“I called David in and we pulled, and out came this little red mullet. I continued to rinse the squid and then another little fish came out. It was amazing!
“They were really fresh but we decided not to eat them in the end.
“I felt sorry for the squid, it must have been enjoying its lunch when it was caught!
“I have never seen anything like this before, but it was wonderful.”
Jaki continued preparing her dinner which David said was the best paella he had ever had.
He said: “Both were fresh and undigested and had obviously been swallowed when the squid was itself caught.
“We thought it was wonderful, and we are definitely not complaining.
“The paella was delicious, and I very much enjoyed it!”
A spokeswoman for Sainsbury’s said: “We’re committed to offering the freshest food possible so it’s great to hear our customers at the West Green Sainsbury’s experienced just that – and this is certainly an unusual way of us helping our customers to Live Well for Less!
“This kind of thing can sometimes happen with fresh, wild fish, though not very often.
“We hope the red mullet came up to our usual high standards and the customers enjoyed all their fish.”