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Wet Markets: A Love Affair
Pig's heads are not only props for local Chinese loan sharks but they are also a delicacy in many Chinese cuisines. But as Singapore modernises, this once common food is increasing in rarity.

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Wet Markets: A Love Affair

18 June 2012

Spending a morning at the wet market is like watching a theatrical production: loud chatter everywhere, big hand gestures, fishmongers exposing their bellies to cool themselves in the hot, sweltering afternoon and tottering grannies giving grocers an earful of what they think is too pricey. Not just a place to buy some of the freshest food in town, you can also pick up cooking tips by walking around the market and overhearing conversations between grocers and patrons. Are clean or muddy lotus roots are sweeter? Which fish is the best for frying? And which cuts of pork is best for sweet and sour? You might even see produce which supermarkets will hesitate to put on their shelves, such as pig’s heads. But the charm in a wet market is in its people and the relationships food sellers and patrons forge over decades of business. Talk is not only about business but also about each other’s personal lives. There is also no rivalry between food sellers and they know one another well enough to blabber on about everything under the sun. This is especially true of the market at Marine Parade Central Blk 84 (84 Marine Parade Central Market & Food Centre) which has remained unchanged and has been flourishing since 1976.

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