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The 4pm Peniscola Fish Market, Spain

Peniscola Starfish

Yesterday, I was wandering the small town of Peniscola, enjoying the Castillo and the old town within it’s walls. Nothing much was open as it was siesta. But, as I was leaving the walls of the town and walking down towards the docks, I saw an Abuela (Grandmother) with a small bucket walking at a fair clip. At the same time, a wailing siren started up, no doubt waking the whole of the town. It was 4pm, siesta was over and time for businesses to re-open for the evening. It also signalled the arrival of the returning fishing trawlers to the town and the start of the Peniscola Fish Market.

Peniscola fish selection 1
The majority of the fish caught, are sold on through the cooperative. Meanwhile,  husbands bring trays of small fry, odds and ends and fish that can’t be parcelled up, for their wives to sell to the townsfolk. Of course, it’s all incredibly fresh, as it was caught only hours before. Most fish are still gasping their last breaths.

Penicola pairBusiness is brisk and competitive – Langoustine was being sold for 4 euro a kilo. In comparison, Langoustine in Barcelona were 12 euro and 1/2 a dozen Langoustine from nearby restaurants sold for anything upwards of 14 euro. The fish were all measured by old fashioned hand weights and by eye but no one was complaining. Very quickly, it was all over, only to be repeated again tomorrow. It was a real thrill to stumble upon this thriving cottage industry. I hope that despite EU constraints and a small population, the Peniscola Fish Market continues for many years to come.

Peniscola fish selection 2
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