Until recently I lived in Edinburgh, Scotland. When I first move there is 2000, I was very scathing about the quality of the food that I could find. And to be perfectly frank considering the amount of prime fish and seafood that is landed in Scotland, there was a lot of poor quality fish for sale. Happily Armstrong's isn't one of these stores. Located in Stockbridge they sell a wide range of fish and seafood, from fish cakes to wild salmon. Their smoked fish products are good and their smoked salmon is especially good. What I really enjoyed about this store is how pleasant and thoughtful the people in the store are. Many of their customers are elderly and often seem to buy little more then the odd smoked haddock or a few fishcakes, yet they were never rushed out of the store and where treated with the same care and kindness as customers buying ten times the amount of fish.
For a week or so each summer for the last four years, my wife and I spent time in the city of Sanlúcar de Barrameda, located in the Cadiz province of Andalusia (Southern Spain). Sanlucar is located close to the mouth of the Guadalquivir river and therefore has a large fishing fleet. Historically famous as a departure port for the Spanish voyages to the New World, it is better know now for being the production centre for Manzanilla sherry and it's proximity to Doñana National Park. It is a lovely city, with one of my favourite markets in the world. Outside the market, aside from various ladies competing in private snail selling wars, there are women selling buckets of a number of different types of bivalves (berberecho, coquina, venus shells), snails, honey, eggs and also a few spice stalls. The spice stalls also burnt incense, so that my immediate impression was of the smell of the spice souk in Fez, rather then the more usual smells of a modern european market.
Here are a few images
Camarones seller outside the market
Coquinas and Camarones
Breakfast next to the snail, egg and honey seller.
Snails by the pound.
"pata negra" shark!
Inside the market, waiting for custom.
An abundance of seafood, so fresh it doesn't require (much) ice.
The highly prized langostino.
Langostino (left) and Cigala (right). Confusingly, the latter is known as a langostino in regions of Spain where the former does not exist and the cigala is known as "langoustine" in France and in the UK.
By whatever the name, seafood is a highly sort after staple in this region.