There’s something special about the stones from Ranongga Island.
According to the bone bone fish sellers of Gizo, in Solomon Islands’ Western Province, it is what makes their fish taste so good.
“It is a special type of stone,” one of the market traders, Jean Hoala, told SIBC Online during a recent trip to Gizo.
“They (the stones) come out of the sea near Ranongga Island (about a 45-minute boat ride west of Gizo). And no other stone has got with it has – they warm up really hot and cook the fish well.”
The bone bone traders, just adjacent to the main Gizo Market, are a new addition to the area.
Through the help of the local Women In Business group, the kai kai sellers were able to set up shop, cooking fish, banana and breadfruit for lunch right in front prospective buyers.
Before the shops were set up about two years ago, the traders would cook fish at home and bring it to market everyday.
But not anymore.
These days the smell wafts around the Gizo Market area, as the fish – which are bought off local fisherman everyday – are cooked slowly on the hot rocks, with the women battering the smoke away with homemade fans.
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And as Mrs Hoala explained, moving to the market area enabled them to show off their unique cooking methods.
“We get lots of tourists coming and having a look,” she said. “We buy about 20 to 30 fish per day from the fishermen, then sell them for $15 to $25 each.
“We mainly cook grass fish and moo fish . . . (and) the bread fruit are $10 and the banana is $5.”
SIBC Online took a taste test – with some special sides – and we can tell you: hemi bara gud!