Like Bouillabaisse, Marseilles is a city of sinews and bone, uncompromising and greedy. Traditionally centred round the fish market, this is where hard faced dealers are found in the early morning buying crates of lobsters, cod, langoustines, sea bass and hake.
The harsh overhead fluorescents wash the colour from everything except the dark lobsters that struggle against their destiny to be boiled alive. The produce is so fresh there is no smell of fish, only the overpowering cloying stench of Gauloises, the pungent aroma of stale sweat and the ever-present odour of garlic.
By mid–morning the market has been emptied and hosed down. Only the raucous gulls argue and bicker on the quayside having gorged earlier on the huge pile of entrails emptied into the harbour.
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