I love going down to the harbour at sunrise to see the fishermen coming in with their catch from the previous evening.
Seafood is an important source of protein in many diets around the world, especially in the coastal areas of Sri Lanka where fish often takes the place of meat, which is generally more expensive. In Sri Lanka, fish and seafood are as easy to come by as fruit and vegetables, and almost as inexpensive. Sri Lankans like to shop on a daily basis, ensuring that the produce they eat is as fresh as can be. As far as seafood is concerned, (unless it is preserved or dried) they almost always cook it on the day of purchase. This is easily done, as there are many fish vendors that deliver door to door; they travel on bicycles with boxes full of ice and fresh fish strapped to the back, crying out ‘malu, malu, malu’ (the Sinhalese word for fish) as they cycle past.
The seafood in Sri Lanka is extremely diverse and there is always plenty to choose from. I love to go down to the local harbour at sunrise, when the fishermen return with their night’s catch. They lay it out and the loud hustle of the bartering begins. Although you have to pay a small fee to enter the harbour area, the price of produce is somewhat cheaper than that in the main markets. It also helps to know the locals as you will always get a fair price.
When shopping in the UK, whether at your local fishmongers or asupermarket, make sure the seafood you buy is MSC certified and sustainable. Check msc.org if you are unsure.