“What you don’t know can’t hurt you.” Yeah, right. Well, now you know. Isn’t the picture above worth at least a dozen words? Heeheehee. While I am sure many of you just LOVE your dried fish, as I do, you probably just conveniently ignore the very real possibility that it was manufactured in a less than totally “hygienic” manner. I am not a food scientist, but suffice it to say that hundreds if not thousands of years ago, some smart and/or lucky human living on a sea coast somewhere near the equator figured out that copious amounts of sea salt applied to highly perishable fish, left to dry under the hot sun would result in conveniently preserved food. Dried fish could be stored away for a rainy, stormy and lazy day. Salt has some wonderful qualities, and lots of salt seems to ward off all kinds of evil such as wicked bacteria. So I suppose we shouldn’t fret when…
…you are a tourist in Coron and head to the section of town that is home to the largest dried fish vendors, and amazed by the selection and prices of their goods (some 1/2 or 1/3 those in Manila), you manage to fill up an enormous box with some 15 kilos of dried fish to bring back to Manila. And just as you are paying for the fish, and getting the spiel that it is homemade and fresh, you realize that they are drying the fish on mats just 20 feet away, across the road on the opposite shoulder. And staying just long enough for me to whip out my camera and focus, little doggy dog up top takes a couple of whiffs and licks of the drying fish. Ewww is right. Forget the proximity to the passing buses, trucks, cars and tricycles…
…or the hundreds of folks coming out of the nearby passenger pier who walk right by the fish… Reality sucks sometimes. You just have to hope that all of those assorted cooties will die a violent death when they are deep fried in hot fat. :)
Doesn’t the dried fish just look so wonderful and harmless it’s wrapped in clear plastic bags?
The variety of dried fishes and squids on offer was impressive, and despite the doggie visual we continued with our purchases.
Thick meaty pieces of fish are great in soups and stews.
With nothing better to do, the Teen stuck her head in a sack filled with fish and took a deep breath and nearly fainted. Hahaha. Talk about Eau de Daing. Wickedly pungent. How can something that smells so bad be so darned good? :)