21 June, 2007

To Market, To Market...

Ah... There's something really elemental and satisfying about going to the marketplace here in Corozal. Fresh fruits and vegetables are generally available everyday, as long as the item is in season. For example. The other day we tried to get radishes. None of the market vendors had radishes. Finally, one of them told us that radishes were out of season and that no one would have them. It just never dawned on us there was a season for radishes, I mean, Safeway always had them, right?

The lady below is one of our favorite vendors at the marketplace. She's showing us some of her wares. It was interesting, that while this was going on, a truck was delivering fresh broccoli to the market and all the vendors, her included, were keeping an eye out to make sure they got their fair allotment of the delivery. We also bought a head of broccoli.
One of Our Favorite Vendors at the Market
Dianna selecting some fresh green peppers. Vendors here usually have a broad assortment of peppers, mild to blow the top of your head off, savory, spicy, you name it.
Everything Always Looks to Good
One of the more interesting fruits we've found here (I have no idea what it's name is, locals call it something like "mammia"), looks like ripe papaya on the inside, but tastes like pumpkin pie - complete with cinnamon.
The View From Peter and Sylvia's is Good Too
Here's another shot of some of the fruit that's available. Watermelon is usually available everyday as is mangoes, papaya, bananas, plantain, grapefruit, grapes, and surprisingly last month, Washington State apples! Complete with labels and really shiny, shiny.
Fresh and Lots to Choose From
Here's a view looking down the marketplace. Notice also how clean the marketplace is. It's like that every day. All the vendors are pleasant and easy to deal with. There's virtually no haggling, a relief for us Gringos unused to that process, with prices set. They might vary a bit from vendor to vendor, but are similar throughout.
How Much You Want?
Also at the market (I'm sorry, no pictures of this yet) is a fish market. Fish day is Thursdays. The fish sellers usually have Snook, Snapper - 3 or 4 kinds, Jackfish, mackerel, etc. of various sizes. Now, buying fish is a two-step process. There's the fish seller, but the person who will likely be helping you decide on what fish you want is actually another business person - the fish cleaner. After you decide on the fish you want, the cleaner takes the fish and puts it on the seller's scale. The seller states the price and you pay that. Then, the cleaner takes the fish down the hallway and out back to the cleaning station, where he scales and guts the fish. He will also cut fillets or steaks for you and bags the fish. For this service, you pay about $2.00BZ. A completely separate transaction from buying the fish.

There are rules of conduct for fish cleaners posted on the wall near the cleaning station. Only cleaners with current health certificates can work there. There can be no spitting, cursing, smoking, or alcohol. The fish cleaner we had was proud that he used fresh lime juice in his rinse water and made it a point to tell us that fact.

There's also a restaurant upstairs at the market. We haven't eaten there yet, but we will and

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