I generally avoid meat and fish sections of the market. Though I am not a meat eater, I wouldn't say I have a real flesh aversion (I stop and stare and have this inner dialogue about nature being amoral) but I do avoid the slippery, smelly, humid section. Anyone who has picked scales off their wallet after dropping it on the wet floor will understand.
But recently I have gotten interested in fisheries. Perhaps if you're from the Philippines, you already know that fisherfolk are considered some of most vulnerable, improverished people in our country. For a nation with a really long and varied coastline, that says a lot about living context-appropriately. A chef friend of mine has recently gotten involved with the Oceana campaign for sustainable fishing, and our recent trip together got me thinking a lot about underutilized marine species, and observing the fisheries sector in general.
When I would ask vendors in houseware stalls selling mallet-like heavy wooden sticks with ends wrapped in rubber what they were for, I was always told they were for smacking animal or fish heads to kill them. Recently, though, I noticed that cleaver handles were in short supply, but the dull thud from the rubberized sort of clubs allowed vendors to hack away at larger tuna-family fish. I have no doubt that these are also used for chopping pork or beef.
|A fishing boat off Currimao, Ilocos Norte.|
|Mallet, large knife with handle, chopping board, with fish segments.|
|Handle-less cleaver on chopping board.|