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Haggling at the Wet Market
June 4 (Friday) Cooking Ingredients: Meat & Poultry or Seafoods
Wet market is often crowded even in the wee hours or early morning. Haggling is very popular in this market section, especially if you want a more affordable but fresh produce. Restaurant or fast food owners or helpers, ordinary mothers , as well, are the ones buying for the freshest fish or seafood, meat or poultry products available from the businessmen. Fresh or wet markets usually open around two in the early morning, because most of the catch by fishermen or the meat from city abattoir (the place where cows, pigs where butchered, cleaned and marked safe to eat and disease-free) are delivered in the market.
There are farms who are licensed to dress (clean) their poultry (chicken, ducks, etc.) products or even their herds of swine or pigs and butcher their cows, provided that they have the certified butchering and cleaning stations. What we eat in a 24-hour fast food or we order in a classy and chic restaurants came from these farmers-producers-manufacturers.
Look-Feel-Smell (LFS) Test
The LFS (Look-Feel-Smell) Test should be executed by a wet market buyer just to be sure that you buy the freshest catch of the say.
When I was at the seaman’s center, struggling to be the best cook I can be, one of the meat sellers at the wet market in Metro Manila gave me sensible tips when buying fresh meat, fish or poultry products.
Fish and other seafood are easily spoiled. Don’t buy if the fish smells bad or the eyes are cloudy,, the gills are pale and it is not firm when you feel it. Fresh fish don’t have pungent smell, even crabs, shrimps and mussels. If the squids become soggy and watery and the color changes from white to dark reddish brown and the smell is unpleasant.
Some unscrupulous meat vendors will dye their meat to retain the reddish color of the so-called fresh meat. Don’t be tempted to buy from these people. Fresh meat have a fresh smell of a newly butchered ones. Your nose will tell you how to detect it. If the flesh turns slimy greenish, it’s not fresh anymore. It can be contaminated with salmonella
You can buy live 45-day old chicken in the market. If the vendor is your friend or suki, it is but appropriate to buy it and butcher it in front of you (plucking all the feathers and removing the gizzards).