IT'S LYNNY KANSAS
DON'T LET THE RUBY SLIPPERS,
OR THE DOROTHY INSPIRED NICKNAME
FOOL YOU., THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME,
BUT TRAVELING IS FUN.
What's not to love about markets? I personally love market shopping, be it the modern Supermarket (I can happily spend many hours in there), or more colorful and vibrant local markets which can be found wherever and whichever place you are living, the World over.
Singapore has some great "wet" markets, so called because the floors are usually wet from either melting ice, used to keep foods chilled, or from the general washing/cleaning, food and otherwise that goes on. Empress Market, or Farrer Market as it is also sometimes known, is perhaps the closest and easiest wet market for me to get to. It is also not so large or overwhelming as some of the others I have been to in Singapore.
I have to admit, I don't go to the wet market very often. Expat life in Singapore with no kids and a husband who travels a lot, sometimes at the drop of a hat, is not conducive to long term meal planning usually. We tend to eat out quite a bit at weekends, during the week I try to buy fresh if I am cooking that day so I tend to go to my local Supermarket, Cold Storage (weird name for a Supermarket I know) because it is only a 5 minute walk from my apartment which is much more convenient than the "wet" market.
All that said, every now and then I will go to the market because the choice is fabulous, the prices are much better than the Supermarket but mainly it is just interesting and colorful to look around.
Empress Market is open early morning until noon, every day except Monday. I was told to avoid going on a Tuesday, mainly because it follows Monday - the day it's closed - lots of eager local shoppers on Tuesday! (Did you get that?!) I usually aim for a Wednesday and get there around 9.30am.
My first stop is usually stall 01-03 to see Suzanne, the "chicken lady" to get fresh chicken portions for my freezer. I was introduced to this stall by an expat friend. Here I can order my chicken and they will prepare it for me however I like. The chicken in the Supermarket is much more expensive and has usually already been frozen so I cannot re-freeze, (I like to have chicken portions handy in the freezer). Much preferring the boneless, skinless chicken breasts, I tell her how many I want, they de-bone and skin them and put them in individual bags for me. They ask if I want the chicken bones for soup or stock but I usually decline. Whilst they are preparing the chicken, I go off to do the rest of my shopping as she will put them in her chiller until I pick them up, just before I am ready to head for home. On this particular day I got 16 individual breast portions for S$19 so just over a dollar each, not too bad.
On this particular day, as well as my usual chicken, I was on the hunt for ingredients to make Ratatouille, which my husband loves. There was one veggie stall that had organic produce and it was perhaps the busiest one there, always a good sign. You go round the stall, picking out your produce with your plastic basket, then take it to the "check out". The two guys weighing the food and totaling up your order were amazing, they just had a scale and the information in their heads. They were really fast too. Impossible to check if I was being charged the correct amount though. No printed receipt either.
As with most markets here in Singapore, there is the usual hawker food stands. Only a few were open when I was there, but still a few people having breakfast.
So, let's see what I bought...
It was fun to go to the market. The ratatouille came out good and the salmon was delicious. A good day. Thanks Empress!