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Sydney’s seafood extravaganza

by Bernard O'Shea

He is leery of lobsters but partial to prawns. Piles of them!
Bernard O’Shea checks out the Christmas fare at the Sydney Fish Market.

At this time of the year in the cold countries of the northern hemisphere, the traditional Christmas feast of roast turkey and honey-glazed ham is a welcome treat no doubt, but in the hot climes of Australia what we want is something lighter, cooler and refreshing. Hello seafood!

Christmas in Australia is very much about prawns, and being a lazy lot, we like them pre-cooked for salads or nibbles, or if we are energetic we chuck the uncooked ones on the “barbie” (barbecue). So much easier than roasting a 1.5kg bird!

A popular attraction in Sydney is the Sydney Fish Market in Pyrmont, not because it is particularly scenic –  the views over Blackwattle Bay are pleasant enough but the outdoor seating area is pretty grotty – but to marvel at the day’s catch and sample some fresh fish. According to its website, the Sydney Fish Market “is the largest market of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and the third largest seafood market in terms of variety in the world.  Approximately 2700 crates (around 50-55 tonnes) of seafood is auctioned each day”.

The view from the market over Blackwattle Bay.

The markets get pretty manic in the build-up to Christmas. Here are some of the highlights from a lightning visit. The photo at the top is a mountain of crabs.

Prawns are in great demand in all colours and sizes. What do you fancy? Tiger Prawn or King Prawn? What size? Medium, Large or Extra Large? (We opted for Giants – less peeling to do).

Pick your prawns!

Then there were the ones below, whatever they are (in our hurry we forgot to take note). They looked very pretty but scared to be there. Those eyes seem to be watching everything.

These prawns looked cute and colourful.

If the members of the B-52’s were there, they would have probably opted for the rock lobsters….

Groovy rock lobsters.

If you are something of a masochist, you might like to sink your teeth into these prickly claws…

Anyone for crab?

The Sydney Fish Market does offer cooking classes, and there are tours every weekday starting at 6.40am. The early birds catch more than just worms, it seems.  TTW


Photos © Bernard O’Shea.

 

 

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