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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Sydney Fresh Food Market, Flemington

Vendor and customer

"Thank god I'm wearing sneakers".

We had made an impromptu visit to the Sydney Fresh Food Market in Flemington, and I was grateful for my enclosed sturdy shoes as I picked my way through mangled boxes and mountains of discarded pineapple tops. Even more ominous was the thought of getting my toes run over by the jostle of trolleys and absent-minded veggie-pushers up ahead.

It had been aaages since my last visit. That was an eon ago, before outdoor markets took off in Sydney, and before I became the stark raving mad foodblogger that I am today =)

Butternut pumpkin

At first glance, Flemington markets are about as far away from the Good Living Growers Markets as you can get. There are no pampered poodles, wicker baskets or arm-in-arm couples sipping decaf lattes. There is no warming sunshine, glint of water or the melodic soothing strumming of a bespectacled Spanish guitarist.

Instead this cavernous high-ceilinged giant warehouse is lit with industrial-looking spotlights, set in amongst a geometric hypnosis of steel beams in forest green. There are people everywhere, pushing enormous shopping trolleys, haggling with sellers, and someone will almost always choose to suddenly halt mid-step in your path.

Then there is the noise. Spruiking, yelling, shouting, imploring. "Cheeeeapa, cheeeeeapa" is the mating call. Men scale wooden palate towers and demand the attention of the crowds. Hands reach out to squeeze, grapple and grab a bargain. Amidst the crowds a beeping Bobcat creeps forward slowly.

It's exciting, entertaining and so much fun.

Spices

During the week the Flemington food markets are open to restaurants and traders. On Saturday it's a public free-for-all. Fruit, vegetables and seafood can be bought by the kilo, but even better bargains can be had by the box. And come midday Saturday, as the trading week comes to an end, the prices drop even further.

Our biggest bargain of the day? Three beautiful unblemished Jap pumpkins for one dollar. Yup. One measly buck.

And as I snapped away at random produce, I was accosted a number of times by affronted upset vendors. "Hey you, why are you taking a photo of that? . . . You should be taking a photo of me!"

And so I did.

I never met such a happy jolly bunch.

Peach people

Zucchini flowers

Eggs

Egg vendors

Red chillies

Capsicum boxes

Chilli baskets
Sydney Fresh Food Market
Sydney Markets Building D
Austin Avenue, Flemington, Sydney
(Follow the Sydney Markets signs along the M4 Motorway or Centenary Drive)

Open to the public every Saturday 6am-2pm


There is also a Paddy's Organic Market on Fridays only at Paddy's Market, Flemington.
Fridays 10am-4.30pm
Next to general merchandise at Door 3, southern side.

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posted by Helen (AugustusGloop) on 4/12/2006 11:59:00 pm


8 Comments:

  • At 4/13/2006 8:41 am, Blogger Atalanta said…

    Nice photos! What camera do you use?

     
  • At 4/13/2006 8:55 am, Blogger PiCkLeS said…

    Yeh the Flemington Markets are great but I get a little stressed trying to find parking and there's just trolleys everywhere!

    The flower Markets early in the morning are great too!

     
  • At 4/13/2006 9:07 am, Blogger Kelly said…

    The vendors are so cute! And I love the look of those chillies :)

     
  • At 4/13/2006 10:01 am, Blogger Julia said…

    That's brilliant! I've never been but will definitely try it out now (and I had no idea there were organic markets, wow!). I love the box of zucchini flowers!

     
  • At 4/13/2006 11:09 am, Blogger Veruca Salt said…

    wow, I didn't even see the spices.

    The egg guys look so cute and happy

     
  • At 4/13/2006 10:58 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi atalanta - Thanks. These were taken with a Nikon D70s, a new toy I'm still clunkily playing with.

    Hi Pickles - I have a friend who's keen to check out the flower markets but I am sooo not a morning person. I should try and make it one day though.

    Hi Kelly - They were. And all so friendly and genuine. The soldier-like chillies were fantastic. I spotted them and immediately raced over for a photo =)

    Hi Julia - Yeah I'd love to check out the organic markets one day too. The zucchini flowers looked great.

    Hi Veruca - The stall owner chided me and said I should've come earlier when the pyramids were higher and it was all prettier =)

    The egg guys were the best!

     
  • At 4/17/2006 4:55 pm, Blogger shinyruby said…

    wow! what a gorgeous site you have here! Just discovered it after a link from Mary and i'm hooked!

    i have been meaning to go to these markets so will definitely do it now after this lil' taste test! :)

    the ppl look oh so happy! Thanks for sharing.

     
  • At 4/17/2006 5:55 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Shinyruby - Thanks. And I'm glad you enjoyed the pics. The markets are fun, and yes, it can be loud and crazy but the people are happy and friendly too!

     

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