As the headline suggest, I give you fair warning. This post is not for the faint hearted and not if you are easily upset. I went yesterday to Huangsha Aquatic Products Market (fish Market) to have a ferrit about, having read how interesting it was, but also so see if I could get some Perrie Winkles.
It’s raining hard and on the walk down, you get the smell of the sea. I love it, there is something exciting about the fish market/mongers smell. Well, for a short time anyway, I would not want to date someone who worked as a fish monger.
The first thing that’s evident is that lunchtime on a Monday seems to be a very busy time. There is a hustle and bustle, with many unloading their catches into giant containers, sorting through eels and fish and separating them. As I wander further in there is store front upon store front, all with the same tanks and the same ‘products’ available to buy. this is a ‘wet Market’, so not nicely displayed.
I had read than many of the top 5 star chefs come and shop here, as it the best and busiest market and there is plenty to choose from. Not all the store front are selling, some are packaging up their catch to send onto other parts of china, so its active.
My eyes don’t know where to look as I find what i’m seeing soo interesting, I want to film and take photo’s, but then the locals will be thinking, why is the lobster looking person filming and get annoyed. I wait until encourage to come and buy from one of the chaps and I see he has whelks. I ask for a bag, haggle a little on the price, as his first price seems whaaay too high @ 50rmb. I get him down to 35rmb (£4.20) and I am sorted. I’m brave enough to ask to film the tanks and he is happy for me to do so.
Fish, shrimp, prawns, crabs, clams, lobster and countless other types of seafood items, all from the ocean are available. All are kept alive as they are immediately placed in tanks that have oxygen continuously pumped through them. I walk past one, that has about half a dozen alligators, lying dead, they have been gutted and looks to be discarded. I don’t know if their guts are being used or their skins? There are a group of smaller ones, about 2 foot long, all tied together and they’re jaws tied shut. What will happen to them?
What your supposed to do is buy the seafood you want to eat, go to a local restaurant in your neighbourhood and ask them if they’re happy to prepare your purchases in the typical Cantonese style. I’ve managed to get in and order meals so far, this might be a step too far, I’m still learning and now want to learn a bit more Chinese first.
The Huangsha Fish Market is a must-visit stop if you find yourself in Guangzhou. I roll on from there into the city, where I find other markets, selling spices and lots of dried products like, fish, fruits, nuts, flowers, eggs, noodles, mushrooms, roots, herbs and all manor of ‘medicines’, in bulk, from big bags that you pay for in weight. I read there are 6000+ plus traders over about 3 acres. Again my eyes light up at all is on offer and I as I stare wide eyed, everyone is looking at me. I’m desperately trying to determine what I am looking at??
Beware! I come across many of the shops selling live scorpions, both black and brown. Live baby turtles in a large dry bowl and some dried large turtles, dead and just sitting there. You can buy dried turtle shells, dried seahorses and both dried and live snakes. My friend the alligator is there, as is some birds.
Some may find it upsetting, so don’t look at the photo’s. But it is their way and I find it interesting. It’s only when we see behind the curtain, we decide to get upset about something or be a campaigner. What I have seen feels natural, but certainly makes you think of the journey something has had, before it gets to your plate.
My supper last night