It was about 10 am in the morning when my friend Aster and I decided to plunge in the historical fish market of Catania. That was clearly late for any Italian market that comes to life at 6 am, and by 8 am has given away all its best products. But we did not care much about that. We were in our holiday rhythm. Our only goals were to try something different to snack and to enjoy that warm livelihood swarming around us before heading back to the Netherlands […]
Catania fish market
We begun strolling along the overcrowded stalls like in a maze made of faces and strong smells. The vendors communicated with each others and with their clients as if they were kilometres apart. Their loud voices were constantly distracting us. Our eyes felt overwhelmed by all the different products that the market was ostentatiously selling.
We inquired for the price of gorgeous octopuses. Further we got mixed feelings by the view of live eels in a bucket. Finally, we bought gelso, deliciously sweet white mulberry and what we thought were weird looking artichokes. We started eating while continuing walking. In the meantime vendors offered us raw mussels, sea urchins and several slices of salame for on the way.
From the market to the restaurant
By 11 am you could say we have already ate. But our stomachs did not agree. The vendors achieved their goal: making us wanting more. We looked for a restaurant but all of those in the outskirts of the market were not open yet. Finally a chef leaning against the door of his restaurant while smoking a cigarette agreed on serving us. He said he could only fix us some cold starters as the kitchen was not ready yet. My friend and I looked each other in the eyes and shared instantly the same thought: if these starters are like all the starters that we have been having on this holiday we could not ask for more. Our expectations were fully met. With marinated anchovies, carpaccio of swordfish and tuna with lemon juice and orange zest, raw shrimps, and two gorgeous glasses of white wine we were happy.
Yes, all at 11 a.m. in the morning, but as I mentioned before we were on holiday clock and that is what a wonderful morning in the historical fish market of Catania can look like!
©photos Joris Doesburg ©intoSicily all Rights Reserved
WHERE TO STAY
PENTHOUSE PALAZZO ASMUNDO: stunning 5 bedrooms apartment with 180° view of Catania skyline, the fish market, the sea and Mount Etna.