I had never been on a real fishmarket along the sea where the fishes were fished early morning and sold as soon as they were ready and displayed on a table.
I had never lived at the sea either and I have always been a city girl. So when I discovered all these fishes in all shapes, I found them rather ugly and thought that I prefer them already cleaned and cut into handy pieces and if possible without bones. I certainly didn't want to see a smiling fish head in my pan.
When I went to the fishmarket in Sanary at the French Riviera I certainly wasn't prepared to see how a dead fish looks like, the once I know were swimming in acquariums mostly in waiting rooms of dentists ! They think it calms your nerves looking at swimming little fishes. We even had once two mini fishes, a black and a red one swimming in a round bowl, which belonged to my son and which one of our cats had catched, played with them and I found the corpses under the table !
The market started with seafood. I saw the first urchins of my life. As they are called "Oursins" in French which means little bears I thought little hedgehogs would be more appropriate ! They looked quiet funny but the spikes were very sharp when I touched one.
Next came oisters, mussels and shrimps. All this I knew nicely wrapped from the Supermarket. The fish eyes looked quiet cross at me.
Claudie bought one, which was a female we have been told because it was full of eggs. Fortunately it was cleaned for us but everything the woman took out of the fish was rather disgusting and as a last gesture she cut the head off and throw everything in the bin, except the fish of course, which was wrapped in paper.
I saw another fish who had been busy to swallow a smaller one, when it was surprised by a fisher's net I suppose and killed. Now I don't know if you eat them both or not. Canibals under fishes ! A horror movie.
These charming looking calamars (I suppose they were) were certainly fresh, but honnestly if I imagine them in my kitchen, I think I would escape, although I like to eat them but already cut into pieces and breaded and not looking like monsters from another world.
I must admit that the fishes we ate were phantastic and very tasty, but still I prefer to see spices, vegetables and potatoes on a market !
Fortunately I didn't have any nightmare where a big fish swallowed me and I was sitting in its stomac !