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World Supper Adventure

Inviting myself to dinner, around the world, to bring recipes and tales of great hospitality home to you.

Oh! What a day you have when you start your day at a fish market!

I lived in NYC for nearly 8 years before moving to Dubai and never took the opportunity to go to the Fulton Fish Market…this became a mega-obvious mistake after visiting the Dubai Fish Market.

A lot happens around you and there’s a lot to take in.  Yelling, thousands of beautiful fish, pinchy claws, shiny shells, horrible smells, gutters flowing from stall to stall full of guts and blood, Arabic-speakers trying to talk to you in Russian for some reason, wheelbarrow dodging, amazing photo ops…this could be a very long sentence if I let it be.  Moment to moment, it’s hard to decide what to let your senses focus on, but there was one little thing about this day that I’m going to call my favorite. “Take my picture!”  A tap on the shoulder and you turn to find a man holding up his fish, ready for his shot.  I love those mongers and their fish pride…

I think I’ll go ahead and just jump right into some tips, I’ve no concern for segues today.

Now, admittedly, some of these stem from mistakes I made on this trip, but I’m glad to save you from them.  I think these suggestions will probably apply to any fish market you decide to visit:

  1. Don’t sleep late, like I did,  and stroll in at 5am.  I thought this would be early enough to catch the auction between the fishermen and the mongers, but sadly it wasn’t.  I was excited about seeing that and I missed it.  Be an early bird.  If I have the chance to go again, I’m getting there at 3am.
  2. Wear something you don’t mind getting blood and guts on.  There is blood and guts EVERYWHERE!  My pretty little romper still kinda smells, and I’ve washed it a bunch.
  3. On a similar note, don’t wear sandals.  There is blood and guts EVERYWHERE!
  4. Be prepared to buy.  Why wouldn’t you buy?  It’s a fun thing to just see, but if you want to buy fish anywhere, you want to buy it here, fresh off the boat.  It’ll be the best you’ll be able to find around town,  wherever you are.
  5. Don’t be afraid to talk your monger down.  It’s not rude to try and get a cheaper price, it’s customary.  The basic rule for this game (it does start feeling like a game after you get over the discomfort) is to decide what you want to pay and say you’ll pay half your secret price.  You’ll be laughed at in a “you’ve got to be kidding” kind of way, but then you’ll compromise until everyone’s happy.

To be continued…


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