I have visited fish markets all over the world, in many different cultures, and love the vibrancy, the smell of salt and sea, the earnest looks of fishermen presenting their hard work for chefs and villagers each day. But for some reason, this fish market in Tellicherry, India made me sad.
I’m starting to look at fishing as something that will disappear, a way of life that is actually dying off. What will scores of fishing villages do? I am not opposed to fishing obviously—I am a cook and I love all fresh foods. But my knowledge of what’s happening to the oceans is starting to make these sort of markets hard to swallow.
Having a soft spot also shows the terrible beauty of a freshly caught fish draping off the side of the counter with still brilliant eyes. A fresh death.
Fish have been a necessary protein for the people of Kerala. Their state is long and coastal. We can still watch the fishermen in their ancient boats with their nets that hug the coast. There is history here, of traders being blown off course from the monsoon winds, who ended up finding some of our most valued spice treasures.
Where will the modern world take them?
Take a peak at some photos from Tellicherry’s vegetable market on the PMCA facebook page.