Wish You Were Here: Wandering Through a Taiwanese Fish Market

by Owen James Burke


See how reflective and translucent these eyes look? Fish don’t get any fresher. Another way to tell is the sheen on the skin and scales, which lets you know that their protective coats are still intact. I’ll always favor catching my own, but when I absolutely have to buy fish, this is what I look for. Photo: Owen James Burke.

Weaving through the hawker stands of a Taiwanese fish market, you’re thoroughly and consistently astonished by the freshness and diversity within their ice chests, each and every morning. What’s more–I took this photograph nearly 30 miles inland in Zhongli, Taoyuan County. These fish, I was told, are caught at night and delivered each morning before the sun came up so that the hawkers–artists at heart, no doubt–can arrange their sleeted canvases before patrons arrive.


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