The Filthy Cook Shack
On the tails of my post from yesterday comes this meal I ate my second day in Cochin. I can safely say this is where I strayed from the path. This was the biggest food risk I had taken up to this point on the trip BUT it had to be done. Because Cochin is a big fishing and trading port, they have a lot of fresh fish on hand. Being the industrious and persistent Indians that they are, the locals set up a series of make shift kitchens along the side of one of the roads near the fish market. The deal is this. You buy a fish, bring it to a shack, they cook it and then you eat it. I was lucky enough (and smart enough) to make some friends before I jumped tongue first into the unknown buy-cook-eat underworld.
Apu and Tanju, 16 and 18 respectively, were cousins that I met hanging around the shacks. I realized they were there to “aid” foreigners in their fish buying and cooking but after a few choice NYer sentences I felt we had some mutual respect. That respect lead to some trust and they became my partners in finding a fish, not paying too much and choosing a chef that would cook something delicious from my purchase. Although everything about the kitchen was filthy, I escaped with a delicious meal in my belly that stayed in my belly (if you know what I mean).