06 September, 2009

Al Mukalla's meat market

Meat, all kinds of meat, is expensive here. Hadharem believe that the best lamb and mutton come from Hadhramout. Hadhramy lamb is more expensive than imported ones and more in demand. With Ramadhan now on and the Eid festivities ahead, lamb, and meat in general, is even more expensive.

This butcher above, sells both goat and camel meat. There are two kinds of goat meat in the meat market: Hadhramy goat meat and Somali goat meat. In the photo above, the meat with the tail is Somali. On the far right, is camel meat.

Lamb, that is young goat meat, is more expensive than older goat meat or mutton. A kilo of lamb costs between the equivalent of 8 to 10 Dollars, while older goat meat and mutton is a dollar or two cheaper than that. Meat from imported Somali lambs and goats is normally, a dollar or two cheaper than Hadhramy bred lamb or goat meat. As very few people breed or raise cattle here in Hadhramout, beef is more expensive than lamb or mutton.

Everything is eaten, except the skin: some people prefer simply meat without bones, most buy meat with bones; some like meat with fat. Some love intestines. With every piece of meat anyone buys, a little bit of fat and intestines is included.

And there are many who love the heads and legs; these are first either skinned or roasted with the skin on and the hair scrubbed and removed - then cooked. Many believe that the taking of soup from cooked goat or sheep legs makes one's bones stronger and makes one healthier. Many too, love the cooked brain and insides - including eyeballs - of a goat or a sheep head. The putting of the head next to the meat being sold, is a way of showing the buyer how healthy or old or young the goat or sheep or camel is.

None of the meat sold here is given any health inspection or check up. Goats, sheep and camels are simply slaughtered before any antemortem inspection or screening is done, and meat is immediately sold without any health or veterinarian auditing or inspection.

Hadhramys, like most Middle Eastern people, love meat. Really love meat. And most preferred, is meat from goats or sheep raised and bred here in Hadhramout. More so the meat of lambs or young goats.