If there be Fish Heaven on earth, it is here it is here. In Kolkata.
There can be no disagreement on this, what say? Bengalis live and die for their fishes. With a ‘macher bajar’ (fish market) in every neighbourhood, every Bengali will hop out of their house immediately after their morning cuppa to get the best catch. And why not? For it is only here in Kolkata that you will find the fishes ‘alive and kicking’ when still up for sale.
When in Kolkata, we make sure we do not miss the opportunity of going to the fish market in the mornings just to lust at those fresh fishes; smile at the greed of the other buyers; strike a conversation with the vendors to find out how early they wake up, where they go to get their stock, their stock turnover; be struck by gluttony ourselves and buy more than what we can eat; come back home and make ridiculous demands of our cook!!! And we take Ridi (our daughter) too so that she can squeal in delight upon seeing the fishes jump around in the vessels and meow with the cats eyeing the fishes…:-)
Which are the most famous fish markets in Kolkata? Howrah wholesale fish market, Maniktala in North Kolkata, Gariahat in South Kolkata, Kolay in Sealdah are famous not only for the wide variety of fishes they procure but also for their stellar quality. Prices depend on the fish you want. The staple ones are competitively priced. However, the special fishes such as Iilish, Chitol, Chingri can go for some ridiculous pricing. But that’s no deterrence for the fish lover who can’t do without it in his lunch!
Notice the pot-bellied man in the picture standing alert as the fish-vendor cuts his choice of fish? That’s the love we are talking about!!!
Have a great day!!