Tuesday, 17 May 2016

SAVUSAVU - FIJI : Market Mini-Series

I lived in Savusavu for about eight years. As is the way when you live somewhere, you don't go around taking photos like a tourist. Whenever I went to the local market it was to do my normal shopping, just like everyone else. 

However, when I was commissioned to write a feature about visiting cruise ships I had the perfect excuse to take some photos in my local market without feeling self-conscious.





This is perhaps my favourite photo taken on the day I went into town with my camera to capture cruise ship passengers visiting our town. These ladies are selling lemons 'by the heap'. Yes, lemons with green skin. What's more, the flesh is bright orange and on more than one occasion I saw visitors bite into what they thought was an orange. Their expressions of mouth-puckering surprise was priceless.


These tied bundles of roots are Taro - called Dalo in Fiji. This is their equivalent of potatoes and, like the versatile potato, can be prepared in all the same ways. I never particularly liked the taste or texture of Dalo, but the Fijians eat it in mammoth quantities.




This Indo-Fijian market seller is preparing Jackfruit. Sadly, I don't have a photo of a whole Jackfruit to post, but it's an enormous knobbly green skinned fruit - roughly the size of a large watermelon. I have only ever eaten Jackfruit cooked into a curry and it's delicious.








Here you can see an array of Dalo, unripe bananas, lemons, chillies, coconuts and cassava. 

The wonderful thing about markets like this is that the produce is super-fresh, hand-picked (often that morning) - and the profits go to the locals who are selling it. 

Whenever I came across fruit or vegetables I didn't recognise, the market ladies were always happy to tell me what they were called and how to prepare them. Invariably, the instructions were: peel and eat, peel and boil, or peel and fry!

Finally... here is the lead photo used for my cruise ship article. I took this photograph from the deck of my house at about 6am.




I hope you've enjoyed my latest Market Series post. 

I'll be heading north west next week to a city replete with French influences. Can you guess the city?



27 comments:

  1. From Fiji to Cork... mmmmmm... I wonder!?!?
    There's a very valuable lesson in this post. Never leave home without a camera! Never!! ;-)

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  2. Ha ha - well I do try to carry a camera whenever possible - but I don't normally carry one when I go shopping. :)

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    1. You should... get one of those flat P&S jobs... they fit in all handbags! ;-)

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    2. Who says I carry a handbag, AJ? :)

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  3. Susan I think that their smiles are so genuine. I'm guessing that because they feel comfortable it you it adds an extra layer of authenticity. wonderful to see the produce. I chuckled at the tourist and the lemon incident. I could see me doing just that. :)

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    1. Having visited Fiji, you know all about those beautiful Fijian smiles, Sue. They lifted my spirits every single day. :)

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  4. I do tend to take the camera almost everywhere but it's tiny and just sits in my pocket. It's sort of an antidote to boredom because I can usually find something to focus on when I'm not traveling, which is frequently. You have great subjects here, and I'd much rather be on your deck than that cruise ship.

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    1. I know what you mean about carrying a small camera, Jo. I used to, until I decided that I really wanted a proper DSLR with the ability to change lenses. The downside is that it can be cumbersome. And - of course - things have progressed since I bought that particular camera so I really ought to think about changing it.
      As for that view - it was from the first house we lived in, in Fiji - high up and overlooking gorgeous Savusavu Bay. :)

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  5. That last shot is picture-postcard perfect!

    I'd love to see some of those green lemons with the orange fruit.

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  6. Thank you! These cruise liners only used to visit Savusavu occasionally and only for a day so I was lucky with the weather and the gorgeous dawn light.
    The lemons regularly confused visitors!

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  7. These fruit are so large and such vibrant colours...it just shows what the climate does for fruit and veggies. I would love to try these without the puckering of course.

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  8. Hi, Birgit. Some of the fruit and veggies were insanely easy to grow... just stick a cutting or a seed in the ground and watch it go! For example we sowed a few Passionfruit seeds around our water butts with idea that the vines would disguise the butts and give us fruit at the same time. We ended up having to cut down the vines because we couldn't keep the vigorous growth under control!

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  9. For me, one of the joys of visiting far away places is spending time in markets, especially with a local who can tell me what i'm looking at!I now feel I've added another one to my collection!Thanks Susan

    Visit Keith's Ramblings

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    1. Yes, I love markets, Keith - they give an instant snap-shot of a place. I started this mini-series last summer because I always try to fit in market visits wherever I go.

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  11. You live the most fascinating life.
    An orange fleshed lemon. Oh yeah, that would certainly be a surprise.

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    1. My first encounter with these lemons was when I found a wedge on my plate of fish and chips. At the time I thought 'what an odd idea to put a piece of orange with fish!' - then I tasted it! :)

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  12. That photo was taken from the deck of your house? I am envious!

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    1. Yes, it was taken from the first house we lived in in Fiji. The view was truly fabulous... Fiji is a very beautiful country.

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  13. Oh, my, I am so jealous! Such beautiful smiles on those ladies. Every time I have traveled I've tried to get to local markets. They really are the soul of places like this.

    @Kathleen01930 Blog

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    1. Absolutely, Kathleen - I always try to visit local markets whenever possible to soak up the genuine atmosphere of a place. It's always more authentic than the tourist hot-spots.

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  14. Beautiful! We went on a cruise once that stopped in Jamaica and took a taxi around to one of the local markets. The fresh-picked lychee nuts were so good! I am curious about those lemons, though!

    We have a local farmer's market but, sadly, much of the produce doesn't come from farms in the region (or even farms in Canada!) Once I realized that, I stopped going there. There are some stalls that are local, but it's hard to tell which are local and which aren't. Sometimes they list where it comes from (Chile, Mexico, the US) but often they don't. When I do go, I make sure to search out the ones that list local origins. There really is a difference in quality when it doesn't have to travel so far!

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    1. Yes, it's always nice to buy local produce. Interestingly, here in West Cork, everything is clearly marked in my local supermarket - to the point that even the till receipt states how much of the bill represents Irish produce.

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  15. Nice to meet a fellow blogger who left their homeland to explore the world :)

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  16. Hi Keith - nice to meet you and thanks for dropping by. :)

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  17. I really enjoy eating jackfruit in a curry. Even its pickle tastes yum!

    A wonderful post Susan giving a sneak peek in to the market.

    Srivi|The Piscean Me

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    1. Thanks, Srivi. I didn't encounter jackfruit pickle, but I can imagine that it would be very good!

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