- By Michael
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As a way of understanding the local food structures, one of my first destinations are the local markets that sell raw food goods. In the US, they are farmer’s markets, but in Singapore they’re referred to as “Wet Markets”. Unfortunately in these markets most of the food is imported rather than being sold directly by the farmer, but you still get better prices and there is a much better selection than the grocery stores. This morning I cycled over to Ghim Moh Market which is not far from the NUS campus. Usually when visiting new markets I have a few goals in mind:
- Learn about and try new foods that I’ve never encountered before
- Compare prices between vendors
- Understand where and how the foods are being grown or caught
Ghim Moh Market space is fairly large and is divided between hawker centre and the raw goods stands. I started out with a nice cool glass of Balonglong juice (the specialty). It had a nutty sweet flavor.
There is an extensive selection of fruits and vegetables. Lots of types of spinach that I had never seen before. Out of about 15-20 stands of produce, I only came across one that advertised as being organic. Most of the prices between stands seemed comparable, though sometimes certain stands would have a special offer on items they were trying to push.
The market also a variety of seafood. The fishmongers are very knowledgeable and helpful in selecting the right fish. As much as I love fish, I’m always wary about how and where it was caught or farmed, especially considering the recent events of Fukushima and how it’s affecting the supply.
Aside from the seafood, they also had ornamental fish in case you want to start your own aquarium!
And of course, can’t miss out on the dry goods. Lots of nuts and dried fish!
Unfortunately, after scouring the market for Tempeh, I discover that the soybean stand was out of stock. Have to come earlier next time! Finally returned home with the bounty. Eggs, mangosteen, passion fruit, bananas, cashews, corn, and honey melon.
My favorite find was definitely the mangosteen. I new of this fruit as I’ve had it mixed in with beverages, but never had the opportunity to taste it in it’s original form. If you’ve never tried it, the texture is like a grape or lychee and has an amazing complex flavor to it. This fruit has all kinds of health benefits. The pericarp (rind) is also supposedly quite good for you as well, though very bitter and astringent.
Ghim Moh Wet Market Market is open 06:00am until 12:00pm daily, though I recommend going early if you want the good stuff.