Anyone who has even been to Marseille knows about its beloved Marché aux Poissons (fish market). The oldest and second largest city in France, Marseille was founded in 600 BC by the Greeks and became one of the most important port towns along the Mediterranean Sea. Given its prime location and wonderful harbor came a long-held tradition of fishing. The Marché aux Poissons has been around for centuries and is the best place around for fish lovers to buy the freshest seafood in France.
Held daily along the Vieux Port lies the magical Marché aux Poissons, a vibrant, colorful market offering the fresh catch of the day along with a wide variety of regional fish. It makes a picturesque place for a stroll along the quai as you listen to the cries of the fishmongers and admire all the fisherman untangling their nets.
You can literally buy fish fresh off the boat or even alive. Once you make your selection, the fish is weighed and even cleaned if you like. You can buy anything from grouper, turbot, monkfish, squid, red mullet, and bream to anything else caught that day to go into Marseille’s infamous Bouillabaisse, a traditional fish stew. Many local chefs come to the market each morning to buy their fish for the evening’s diners.
Once again, I was entranced by the ins and outs of the fish market and its culture. I captured many photos that show the color and way of life that is so traditional in Marseille. Here are some of my favorites.
There were rows and rows of fishmongers selling their daily catch. I was captivated by their brilliantly colored plastic gloves and boots. Selling fresh fish can be a messy and smelly job!
The fisherman’s boats were something I couldn’t resist capturing either. As the men worked away untangling their fishing nets, I snapped away and marveled at their weather-worn, leathery faces and windswept hair.
I finished taking pictures just as the market was starting to close for the day. I salivated at the thought of eating a fresh catch of fish that night or perhaps even trying some Bouillabaisse. I certainly was not going to get fish any fresher than here.
If you go
Marseille’s Marché aux Poissons operates daily in the mornings starting at 8 am. At the Vieux Port.
This post was written in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Fresh. To see more entries, click here.