A restaurant owner and a cook picked us up at the hotel and drove us to the market to buy the food we'd need to cook the following: fresh spring rolls with sauce, steamed rice cakes with shrimp, fried pancakes stuffed pork and vegetables topped with a peanut sauce, and lemongrass noodle soup with beef (pho). The market trip was an optional part of the day, but since we had time and everything is cheap here, we thought we'd indulge in the adventure.
As it turns out, that may not have been the best plan. I thought poor Molly was either going to pass out, freak out or become a vegetarian.
Our first stop was for dry goods, which was pretty tame, but the second purchase for pork bone for broth nearly did the child in. After getting orders from the cook to cut some bone, a lady squatting at her low table hacked away at the meat with her antiquated looking knife. Sweet Molly clung to me closely and vowed she was not cooking or eating anything we had just bought!
To continue the shopping, we visited the shrimp vendor, the beef lady, the rice flour shop and the woman with her child who sold fresh greens. When Molly saw some fish in various dismembered states nearby, she made another vow to never eat fish again. The market really is overwhelming and, to be honest, I was losing my appetite too.
In addition to the nasty visuals, it's hard not to be concerned with the lack of refrigeration. But who am I to judge? 90 million people live here and seem pretty healthy.
So the market was completely overwhelming to the senses. I felt badly for Molly who looked pale by the time we left. It seems we've bubble wrapped her and conditioned here to neat and tidy food in pretty packages! I'm glad we had a quiet car ride back to the restaurant to recover.
Here are a few photos from the market. Try to zoom in if you can. I'll get Molly to write a bout he cooking class tomorrow. It turned out to be fun and rather tasty. She tried everything but the shrimp, so it seems like the market didn't scar her too deeply.