Is it just me? Or is this guy a strange mix of looking like a fuzzy bear cartoon and a deranged axe murderer?
Regardless of his intriguing appearance, I was quite drawn to his display of fish parts. Like the pristine butcher cases in the States, fish and meat butchers also lay out their work on display to their adoring fans/buyers. But unlike the States, it’s always an unlabeled, sometimes indistinguishable array of parts and cuts.
Popularly displayed by the fish mongers here are whole fresh fish, cut open on one flank to reveal their lungs (air sacs?) still pulsating with what I can’t believe to be life–maybe instead, something more akin to the storied chicken running around with his head cut off. It’s part showcase of butchering skills and part testament to the freshness and quality of fish.
Like many other things these fish guys sell, I’m not quite sure how to go about buying this…time for a market adventure, perhaps!
Remember yesterday, when I mentioned “variety”? Well, here it is again. Fresh, dried, packaged, wheat, rice, buckwheat, flour- this lady has them all.
This picture of different varieties of dried mushrooms might remind you of the picture I posted of rice selections awhile back. Interestingly enough, a few of my friends have commented about the “abundance” of food in China. It’s a stretch for me to accept that in a land with so many people and so much poverty, abundance exists.
I generally choose not to use the term abundance, but rather, variety. Particularly when it comes to food, the Chinese are leaps and bounds ahead of Americans in their knowledge and usage of raw ingredients. I guess that’s what thousands of extra years of culture and experience will teach you.
If you work for a health department somewhere, I suggest you turn a blind eye. Usually the markets I’ve seen do a pretty good job of separating their veggie “sections” and their meat/fish “sections”. Meaning, they’re at least across the aisle from each other. Truthfully I was rather shocked, and immediately amused, to this placement of fresh lettuces next to a butchering station. It’s a good thing the chinese saute their lettuces like spinach…