On one occasion, last year, I showed up at the wet market for a pork chop errand, only to find almost all of the butchers’ stalls empty, maybe it was their rest day, fair enough. A few days later, I needed some ground meat, so returned to the market, and once again was faced with a deserted section in the pork aisle.
What was going on? Did the Union of Taiwanese Pork Butchers decide to go on a strike? Did someone kidnap them all? 😮 Empty-handed, I made my way home, all while pondering this strange situation.
I then realized that the Dragon Boat Festival 端午節 had just ended the previous week, an event where everyone goes crazy with making, selling, eating and offering (and regifting? 😄 ) zongzi 棕子, those steamed triangles of glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves, and usually stuffed with pork among other ingredients. Hence, most likely, the butchers were enjoying a well-deserved break. Note taken for the future: no pork vendors after 端午節!
This past Saturday was certainly not a post-Dragon Boat Festival week, so why was I once again stood up by the pork butchers? Could it be that they were resting from the long Lunar New Year festivities that had officially ended with Yuanxiao 元宵, just two days before? Yeah, that’s likely what it was. Note updated for the future: no pork vendors after 端午節 and 元宵!
Anyway, I still managed to make this trip to the wet market worthwhile by retreating to the chicken vendor, where I finally learned that chicken carcass in Chinese is 雞殼! Next time, I’ll be able to order with confidence and not point my finger like a noob, hehe. Thankfully, the butcherress also did the cumbersome work of chopping in pieces the fresh remains of the poultry, ready for me to bring home and cook a mighty chicken stock, or shall I say bone broth? 😉