So today I was able to go to a couple of places and get a few things done. I went to Trinidad’s main ‘member shopping store’ called Pricesmart. Basically, this store was the first ever in Trinidad and Tobago and is still largely popular. I can’t think, off the top of my head, whether there are other places like this in T&T…hmmm, I wonder?
Anyway, we went there to do some shopping- get our laundry detergent, a few vegetables that ran out and other little monthly requirements. For the Trinibagonians reading this, I’m sure you would be glad to see a couple of photos of familiar territory! I hope so anyway. I’m always happy to see my home country when I’m away!
So, after shopping there we went to this fishing village called Othaheite. It’s located in south-west Trinidad and found at the junction of the Oropouche river and the Gulf of Paria(see RED arrow on Trinidad map below courtesy caribbean-on-line.com).The water looks quite brown and muddy since the river opens out into the sea- but the abundance of fish is the trade off! I’ve been there a few times and find it quite rewarding to visit the local fishermen, hear their interesting stories and learn more about our fish. It’s really very enlightening- I learn something new every time I go there to purchase our fish.
To get to Othaheite we have to pass the ‘Mosquito Creek’ where a crematorium- open air- is located. I tried to take a few snaps, but unfortunately(or maybe fortunately) was unsuccessful.
I ended up buying two small ‘red fish/snapper’- I don’t know the proper names of the fish, just the Trini names. Among the fish I spotted some conchs/lambe. They are delicious! Almost every island that I’ve been to has a special way of preparing these little sea ‘gems’, in Trinidad we prefer them curried. I can’t say they are as popular here as they are in say Martinque, Guadeloupe, Grenada or other islands- I don’t know why!
Perhaps the only thing that I’m always bit surprised and disappointed about is the lack of proper storage. Despite these fishermen saying that they’ve caught these fish ‘just a few hours ago’, I just wonder why keeping them on ice isn’t promoted more. I guess we’re all so accustomed to purchasing fish like this that maybe it doesn’t bother us too much? But I’m always pretty careful about what I purchase and from where…I think you have to be. So it makes me want to ask you, would you purchase fish/sea food that’s not being stored on ice?
So in my last post I showed some photos from my market trip. If you remember in one of my earlier posts ‘my 7 simple ‘musts’ for getting healthy and staying healthy’ I mentioned that I wanted to eat more fish?
Well at the Marabella market you can find a wide variety of fish- king fish, sharks, moonshine, carite, cascadura, shrimps, even crabs(mmm, I can taste the crab and dumpling)and more. I usually go on Sundays and purchase the fish I feel like trying and then cook it immediately; I really don’t like leaving fish for longer than a day in the fridge so I try to purchase and cook the same day.
Some of the vendors don’t keep their fish under the right conditions and in this blistering heat I think the fish are at risk of rotting pretty quickly. So, I’m really careful about who I buy from. There’s a guy named Ravi who sells at the back of this fish section; his fish is always fresh and kept in a freezer/cooler with lots of ice. Packing fish on ice is a MUST. Some of the photos I got today show a little less than favorable conditions, but who am I to judge? Some of these people get off their fishing boats and come straight to the market and I suppose the turnover is fast enough that it’s safe.
What amazed me about the trip to the market- and this is probably only the second time ever I’ve gone to photograph the stalls and bustling activity there- is that the vendors, well not just the vendors, but everyone, is so keen on being photographed! You cannot help but be warmed by their generosity to share themselves. I haven’t included their images because I am after all, thehiddencook! However, that doesn’t make me any less impressed and grateful to them for sharing their time and a part of themselves with me. So, thank you!