Photo(s) of the Day – Market

It’s been a cold, damp, dreary, gray day here in Liuzhou.  It’s that time of year when everything gets wet and stays wet for a couple of months.  I could have easily camped out on the sofa all day, wrapped in blankets with my remote in hand.  Out of necessity I drug my sorry carcass to the market.  I took a camera.

Here’s a shot of the north entrance.  The place is a huge, dank maze.  You can only see a small portion here.  Once inside… it’s sensory overload.  This time of year the smell is not so bad but during the summer the place gets ripe!

Liuzhou Market

Open Air Market – Liuzhou, China

The most pungent part of the market is in the back-right corner where the the fish mongers do a brisk business.  In Asia, folks waste little in the way of food.  Fish is no exception, it’s everything but the bones.  In much of China the head of the fish, especially the cheeks, are considered a delicacy.  I haven’t gone there yet.  I did have some fish head soup.  Once.

Fishhead Soup Anyone?

Fish Head Soup Anyone?

As for not wasting anything, pork is the real champion here.  EVERY part of this pig will be eaten with absolutely nothing wasted.  Trust me, by the time I got these photos processed today somebody in Liuzhou was munchin’on that snout you see on the left there.  Even pig face is commonly smoked and cured and consumed.



Watching some of these butchers dismember a pig is amazing.  It’s hard to believe the dexterity, anatomical knowledge and speed!  A Harvard med surgeon has nothing on this gal.  Here you can see ribs, bacon, liver and various cuts of meat.  I spared you some of the other organs.  By the way, did you know a pig heart looks remarkably like a human heart?  Just sayin’.

Pork Chopin'

Pork Choppin

Of course you need to be able to spice things up.  This little stall features everything you can imagine.  She’ll grind it while you wait.  Go ahead and insert your own joke here…

Spice Girl

Spice Girl

Images taken with an EOS Canon 5d Mark II and an EF 17 – 40mm f/4.0L USM lens.  I shot on aperture priority mode, wide open at 4.0 and at 800 ISO.

So all you naysayers (Jo Ellen), that’s four days in a row.  Off to cook some Chili.  That should be interesting.  First time for everything I guess.

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~ by Expatriate Games on February 6, 2010.

17 Responses to “Photo(s) of the Day – Market”

  1. I’ve really enjoyed reading your blogs so please keep it up. As for the pig face being eaten, It’s eaten here too. My grandmother used to boil the whole head and then make sousemeat or as some call it headcheese out of it. As for the pig heart looking almost human I guess that’s why they use pig valves in heart patients. But you probably already knew that.

    Keep up the good work.


    • Thanks Dana, I do know about headcheese. They do some things like that here as well. They also literally eat the face. It is cured somehow, looks like a pigskin mask and I’m not talking about a football!

  2. OH that is weird.

  3. Mike so happy to see you posting again for your beautiful images and your wry wit.

  4. It is great to see you posting again, even better to get a steady stream. Keep them coming, as we really do enjoy them and your point of view on everything…

  5. Michael,

    I’m really glad to see some regular posts coming from you again. I admit, I thought you and Stevo had deserted me when you both stopped blogging at the same time. Now, you’re both blogging again within weeks of each other. Must be something in the air over there!

    Terrific photo essay, by the way. I remember the shock I felt walking into my first underground market in northern China. It looked a lot like this one. I never did work up the nerve to buy meat and seafood there. 🙂

    • Thanks Carrie – Funny thing for me… I used to go the the “supermarket” because I thought the meat and produce would be better there but now realize it is just the opposite!

  6. What shutter speed did you end up with here? I know you were using aperture priority. I have the 5D Mark II also but iso 800 seems too low with a 4 aperture…

    Do you buy meat there too? I just can’t bring myself to do it with all of the lack of sanitary or cooling conditions.

    • Hi Emily… some of the shots were tough to get but yeah they were all shot at 800 ISO. I was trying to keep the noise down and since the light was a bit different at each stall the shutter speed varied between 1/13 and 1/60. The toughest one was the woman with the spices. I fired off about 6 of her and only one was usable. I actually had the wrong lens for the shoot, wish I had taken the 24 – 70 f/2.8 and I would have been able to shoot at 1/80 or faster for everything. In the end, I did like the wide angle at 17mm.

      I just spent some time at your blog, wonderful images!

      • Wow, I am impressed with the clarity of the ones here; seems hard to hand-hold in that light. Thanks for the compliment. There is always room for improvement!

        I buy meat from a Japanese supermarket, but it is still local. I’ve never gotten sick from the sushi there so we’ll pretend it’s totally sanitary. But we all know food safety is really important here – the whole deal with repackaging and reselling the melamine milk proves that!

      • Yeah I just read yesterday details about the latest round of tainted milk. Crazy.

    • Oh, I forgot about the second question! Yeah I do buy my beef and fish there. The choices are limited down here in the hinterlands. The meat is freshly slaughtered that day so if you get there early in the morning and take it home to the fridge its gonna be OK. The supermarket, while it is somewhat refrigerated, is never that fresh.

      Ah, who I am kidding… it’s a total crapshoot Emily.

  7. A lot of activity going on there, the pics look great as usual. I’m happy to see you’re posting regularly again. Have a happy CNY!

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