Markets around the world

One of the places we like to go to in a new city is the local food market.

Mercado Central, Sucre, Bolivia

I feel that markets (if you find an authentic local one) showcase the local fresh produce of a region for the season – and you get a glimpse of what life is like for the locals.

Ladies in Mercado Lanza, La Paz, Bolivia

Often food in locals markets are cheap, fresh and authentic – what more can you ask for? (Perhaps hoping that you don’t fall ill with a weird stomach bug which would be a terrible feeling. We were very lucky in that respect. Despite some questionable food choices, we came out relatively unscathed!)

An array of stews in Mercado Central, Sucre, Bolivia. This was the most ‘sketchy’ one in terms of food hygiene – but thankfully we came out on the other end completely fine! Our meal cost AUD$5 for the both of us. What a bargain!
Shiogama Fish Market, Shiogama, Japan

We unfortunately missed going to the famous Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo (the tuna auctions and main market had closed the week immediately before we arrived in Tokyo!), but we did a bit of research of finding some off-the-beaten-path fish markets in Japan.

A live tuna auction at Shiogama fish market. We thankfully didn’t have to wake up at the ungodly hour of 4am to catch this.. however like in Toyosu (the new fish market in Tokyo) we could only observe the auctions from a glass panel one floor above.

It was really great being at Shiogama – I think we were the only tourists there! Many of the fishmongers thought Nathan was Japanese with his “Japanese-looking face” (Nihon-jin-kao). They were warm, friendly, and the fish did not disappoint.

Getting fresh fruit at Belen Market, Iquitos, Peru

P2399864P2400013One of the saddest things sometimes in these markets is seeing the sale of endangered animals. Pictured above is a cayman (which is not endangered) but the market also sold turtles and their eggs. When we asked our guide about the legality of the trade, he said it was illegal but there is a lack of enforcement. And sometimes when you think about it – if people are desperate for food, they will resort to consuming any sort of food or nutrition they can get their hands on – who are we to judge what is fair practice or not?

A heck load of catfish from the Amazon river.
Baby llamas for sale at the Witches’ Market in La Paz, Bolivia.