Mercado do Peixe, Maputo

The Maputo Fish Market is supposed to be a tourist trap, but visiting it early on a Saturday morning, there was not a tourist to be seen. The attraction is to choose your fresh seafood from one of the stalls, have it prepared and then cooked at a restaurant on the northern side of the market. It sounds idyllic, but it omits to mention the pack of feral children wanting to sell you peanuts, look after your car and begging you to come to their restaurant, which is always the best.

Even when you get ripped off, it is still great value for excellent food. Some tips: stingey people suggest bringing your own scales to weigh the fish. Bargain ferociously and wisely. Once you have chosen the best restaurant, it is virtually impossible to ensure that you eat exactly what you bought, unless you stand over the cook in a sweaty, basic kitchen.

I had none of this excitement as I was with a couple of locals. We bought some clams to steam with white wine and garlic at the beach house, ameijoas con alho. They were delicious.

The fish looked extremely fresh, with bright eyes and iridescent scales. The prawns were huge and the crabs still twitching, but red snappers were the most impressive. Just as I moved in for a close up photograph of the clams, one of them squirted a jet of rejected seawater at my lens. Getting its own back, I suppose.

By Dr Alfred Prunesquallor

Maverick doctor with 40 years experience, I reduced my NHS commitment in 2013. I am now enjoying being free lance, working where I am needed overseas. Now I am working in the UK helping with the current coronavirus pandemic.

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