I’ve only recently discovered the joy of shopping in a wet market, a traditional market in Singapore’s heartlands where fresh meats, vegetables, fruits and even dry goods are sold.
Often, stalls are owned and run by families. Wet markets in Singapore are being overtaken by the massive supermarket chains and because fewer offsprings are willing to take over such an exhausting business, many older stallholders had to choose to retire and end the business that used to feed the family.
Shopping at wet markets gets you cheaper prices as well as the opportunity to banter with the more cheerful of stallholders.
Today I checked out the little wet market two bus stops from my home. There were two seafood stalls, one manned by an old couple with their two children who appear to be in their late 20s, the other by two sun-worned middle-aged men who were doing a brisk business. I supported the family business, just because I’m so proud that the next-gen are not afraid to join in.
There were also two pork stalls, one manned by a loud, happy man tackling (or flirting with!) a long queue of equally loud and happy middle-aged ladies.
The other was a quiet stall, managed by an old man with his even older mother, and there were still many chunks of meat in their stash. What will they do with all yhe leftover meat? I chose to support the latter, and they were so delighted to see me. I ended up with 1kg of pork ribs and 500g of pork belly.
The old stallholder asked me what I intended to cook and when I told him, he offered to help me chop all up into suitable sizes for my dishes. How awesome! You don’t get such service in supermarkets because meat all come prepacked.
I wonder if I make a lousy shopper though, driven by emotions rather than prices and product quality. 😅