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  • georgettenelson

The Culinary Magic of Sicily: The Catania Fish Market

The fish market in Catania, on the eastern coast of Sicily, is one of the most famous in all of Italy. Even if you are not a seafood lover, the seafood market is a lively must-see place and it's not just fish being to be ogled. Meats, fruits and vegetables, spices, legumes, olives, fresh juice, snacks, and clothing are available among the maze of stalls. But the fish is the main attraction and it's fun to watch the fish mongers haggling in Sicilian dialect, some doing serious business with big buyers and and some helping shoppers pick the best option for dinner.

"A Piscaria" (fish market) is not for the squeamish, perhaps. There are smells, some delightful and tantalizing, some questionable. Don't wear open toes does and watch where you put your feet. There are hanging animal parts ready to be butchered. There are butcher shops dedicated to horse meat.

But it is a wonderful place to be watchful! Look at the fish mongers, deftly filleting a fish while trading jokes with the other workers. Witness the fine art of haggling and check out Italian hands flying as they keep pace with the conversation. There are regular people out for their daily shopping and tourists gaping at the giant cuts of swordfish. What are people eating? What's in season? Would you like some of the local sundried tomatoes?

What would you like to buy from the market?

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