When In Asia, Visit a "Wet Market"


One of the most amazing shopping experiences in Asia is a visit to a wet market. A wet market is basically a fresh food market make “wet’ by the liberal use of water to keep the poultry, meat and vegetables looking clean and fresh plus keep the fish and shellfish alive.

Traditionally they are open-air markets often on the bank of a waterway so the fish and shellfish making it convenient for fishermen. The traditional rationale for a wet market in hot climates where there was little refrigeration was that the purchase of a live animal just prior to the time that it was to be eaten was the only way to ensure food was fresh.

In some area the markets are now housed in buildings.  Shoppers will find that many wet markets sell a variety of other items with some even having a restaurant. 

Wet Markets are a wonderful place to experience the everyday way of the local people who like to frequent the markets as apposed to supermarkets because wet market products are generally stored for short periods of time and are always expected to be fresh. It is also a wonderful place to see unique items such as dragon fruit and black-skinned chicken not often seen in western markets.  While many wet markets are open most of the day the best time to visit is in the early morning when local people like to get the best items as their as the fresh fish arrives.


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  • They use this "wet" method in the produce section of our Philadelphia-area supermarket, too, but this market looks far more interesting!

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