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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Eveleigh Christmas Farmers' Market



Oh yes, did your heart just skip a beat too?

It's moments like these that I realise that food really does rule my world. Heart racing, smile playing on my lips, there's almost an urge to pinch myself. Surely this must be a dream!

I'd forgotten that suckling pigs were advertised on the flyer for the Eveleigh Christmas Market. Just the idea of a Christmas Market in Sydney was novel enough to hook me in. The Eveleigh Markets, housed beneath a huge shelter in the old Carriageworks, are set to become the newest addition to the Sydney markets calendar in 2009. The promise of shelter and its handy location halfway between Redfern and Newtown, makes it an ideal location and a welcome arrival for food loving Sydneysiders.


Christmas trees

I made the short eight-minute stroll from Redfern Station, rows of fragrant pine trees greeting me at the entrance.


9.45am crowds

From the street, a short walk down steps (or take the ramp) to the first ever Eveleigh Markets, already heaving with happy Sydneysiders shopping to their stomach's content.


Bacon and eggs on the barbie


Eumundi Smokehouse


Poinsettias


Decorating the Christmas tree


Honey Christmas cakes from Blue Mountains Honey


Popes free range eggs


Giant chocolate dipped strawberries from Lush Berries


Cakes by Manna From Heaven


Christmas fruitmince tarts by Manna From Heaven


Chocolate coated puddings by Gumnut Chocolates


Chicken coops by Rent-a-chook


Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer cupcakes
by Sugar, Spice and All Things Nice



Ham Jam by Spoonfed Foods


Panforte by Bird Cow Fish restaurant

Two stalls which surprised me were Bird Cow Fish and Danks Street Depot. There was Bird Cow Fish owner and head chef, Alex Herbert, abandoning a Saturday lie-in to selling panforte and other Christmas goodies. There was no sign of Jared Ingersoll at the Danks Street Depot stall but you could buy his latest cookbook and a whole range of preserves that included onion marmalade, berry jams and bottled cherries. Is this a new means of marketing and raising brand awareness or have restaurants been so badly hit by the "global credit crunch" they're being forced to raise revenue by diversifying?


Batlow apples and juice


Biscuits by Healthy Food


Pigs on spits - Taralga Heritage Pork

But yes, it's the pigs on spits that stop me in my tracks. The smell of charcoal, the glisten of pork skin and the hypnotic rotation of those piggies round and round, makes me want to pull up a chair.


This piggy has a perky tail

Everyone else is similarly fascinated and surprisingly I don't see anyone freaking out at the sight of a whole pig impaled on a metal pole.



In fact everyone just looks hungry, and there's a constant queue of shoppers ready for an early lunch.




Carving the pig


Taralga Heritage pork spit-roasted $10.00
with homemade apple sauce and Iggy's bread

The pork is fantastic. Tender and soft, it's deliciously sweet and juicy. Alas there's not much crackling to be found - my two pieces of pig skin are disappointingly chewy with a disconcerting a abundance of hair, shaved to a prickly stubble but even I'm worried they might scratch my throat on the way down.

A huge spoonful of homemade apple sauce is surprisingly acidic with vinegar, perhaps overwhelming the flavour of the pork a bit too much, but the slice of Iggy's sourdough bread is perfect - crisp and chewy on the outside and dense but fluffy in the middle.


Banquet table decorated with festive pine needles and oranges

Another great idea is the communal banquet table close to the spit roast. The table decorations of pine needles and oranges are festive, natural and edible. Almost everyone concludes their lunch with an orange, and there's a lovely sense of community and sharing good food with others, even though everyone's sitting next to complete strangers.


Cherries and loquats from Windy Hill Orchards


Gingerbread houses from Cristina Flaksbard


Shortbread from The Biscuit Tree - the best shortbread in Sydney :)


Nectarines from Zavaglia Orchards


The very patient dairy cow


Hands-on milking demonstrations


Watching the milking


Freshly churned butter

I had a taste of the freshly churned butter, made from the milking done that morning. Light and fluffy, you could really taste the cream. There was no oily aftertaste or heaviness. In the warmth of a somewhat humid morning, the butter reported took 20 minutes to churn by hand, whereas on a cold winter's day it can take up to 90 minutes.


French garlic (front)


The biggest button squash I've ever seen
(with nearby lettuce for handy size comparison)




View Larger Map

The Eveleigh Christmas Farmers' Market was held on Saturday 13 December 2008, 8am-1pm.

From February 28, 2009, the undercover Eveleigh Farmers' Market will be held every Saturday.

Eveleigh Farmers' Market
Carriageworks
245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh, Sydney
Every Saturday from 28 February 2009

16 comments - Add some comment love

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 12/14/2008 10:57:00 pm


16 Comments:

  • At 12/15/2008 7:23 am, Anonymous Veruca Salt said…

    These markets were really good. Although some extra parking would have been good.

    Bummer that I missed that butter churning. Poor old cow. Is it normal for cows to have one gigantic nipple or was that from constant pulling by the little ones?

    Pork was sweet meat but the crackling needs a bit of work. The bread was really good. Did they have any Iggy bread for sale there?

     
  • At 12/15/2008 9:11 am, OpenID tummyrumble.net said…

    I'm so sorry I didn't bump into you! Would have loved a companion to stop me gorging myself! I pigged out on a chorizo roll from eumundi then spent the rest of the day eating the smoked trout rilette form Brilliant Food with Iggy's bagels!
    I did also buy some of the spiced cherries from Danks St Depot..so will be keen to try them with some icecream!

     
  • At 12/15/2008 11:02 am, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    heh the BEST shortbread in sydney? lol well i dunno about that =P apparently when all the customers left there was 1 last piggy and the stall owners got to eat it...

     
  • At 12/15/2008 12:04 pm, Anonymous Jen said…

    Argh! I'm so disappointed I missed that! I had nothing to do that day, and I would rather sit and watch with you the pigs roasting on spit! How come you don't have the forthcoming food events listed on the side of your blog anymore? That would be very handy ;-) Thanks! Have a Merry Christmas!

     
  • At 12/15/2008 12:19 pm, Anonymous Arwen from Hoglet K said…

    I love the photo of the little boy watching the milking!

     
  • At 12/15/2008 6:16 pm, Blogger FFichiban said…

    I am so jealouussss! I wish I wennttt! Mmmmmm the roasting piggies look so tastyy too bad their skin were not crispy but still good.

     
  • At 12/16/2008 6:20 am, Anonymous gobsmack'd said…

    I am sure had I been there I would have had some of the oink myself. However, I also know that I will walk away slightly disappointed as non-Chinese style roast pork simply never quite achieves that amazing crackling that only the Chinese style roasters seem to manage. My Mummy included!

     
  • At 12/16/2008 6:22 am, Blogger Lil said…

    Just thinking about your comment re Bird Cow Fish and Danks Street Depot - maybe there were both just being really supportive of a community event as they're both in the area?

     
  • At 12/16/2008 1:37 pm, Anonymous DD said…

    Amazing photos! Those cakes and fruit tarts look incredible. I've never seen a market quite like that.

     
  • At 12/16/2008 2:28 pm, Blogger R said…

    Another brilliant blog entry Helen.

    A friend told me about this market coming up, and would you believe I forgot?

    My brain is stuck in neutral.

    Wonderful work, looking forward to seeing many more entries in the New Year.

    Happy Eating.

     
  • At 12/16/2008 7:28 pm, Blogger Annie said…

    Oh, I completely forgot about that market! And I am very jealous that I didn't get to taste any of that lovely butter!

     
  • At 12/16/2008 9:10 pm, Blogger Implosion said…

    It's great to see that Manna From Heaven makes cakes as well as biscuits and they're available here! I became a fan when I discovered their cheese and olive biscuits at the Pyrmont Growers Market a few years ago.

    One Saturday when my whole family manages to dodge the lie-in, we'll head down to see the Eveleigh markets- maybe NEXT year by the looks of things these days!

     
  • At 12/16/2008 11:14 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Veruca Salt - There was Iggy bread for sale but it was (understandably) popular. I didn't see them churn the butter either but I heard the lady explaining how it was done :)

    The cow question... mmm... don't ask the city slicker! I want more pork. Shame the crackling wasn't so crunchy, but hey at least you got some!

    Hi Tummyrumble - Ahh we must've walked past each other at some point! I did sample a spiced cherry - they were rather good!

    Hi Chocolatesuze - Hey don't knock a plug :) And surely they are, made with so much TLC!

    Yeah I kept hearing the pork people double-checking to see if they could sell the last two pigs. They must've hidded one. It's cool that all the stallholders got to share a meal. A bit like when you see the staff at Chinese restaurants hoe down towards the end of the evening!

    Hi Jen - There was quite a lot of advertising for the Xmas market - in MX, SMH and Good Living. As you know I used to update the calendar but it's a fair bit of work and I wasn't even sure if anyone was looking at it! I'll try to include the bigger events from now on.

    Hi Arwen - He looks so contemplative doesn't he? Very cute!

    Hi FFichiban - A lot of people were excited about the pigs. And the skin wasn't exactly crackling but the tenderness of the meat made up for it!

    Hi gobsmack'd - I find I have the same bias towards Chinese roast duck. European-style roast duck can never come close!

    Hi Lil - Possibly but it seems like a huge effort given the cost of stall hire etc. It was great to see them there - I was quite in awe of the fact that Alex Herbert gave up an entire Saturday to man the stall!

    Hi DD - It wa a great atmosphere. I'm hoping its success continues next year.

    Hi R - Oh I had this stored in my phone calendar, I was so looking forward to it :) Hope you're well! We must catch up soon!

    Hi Annie - Hopefully you'll be able to get to the market next year :)

    Hi Implosion - There'll be plenty of time to store up those sleep-ins until the Markets start next year. I do empathise though!

     
  • At 12/17/2008 4:19 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I found the pork a little tasteless. Yes, it was very moist, but then didn't have much flavor. Also, the crackling is my favorite part and I couldn't eat it! I went at the last pig and the protions seemed smalled that ones I had seen earlier in the day.

    On the chorizo front, I had a bite of my friend's sandwich and it was gritty and full of cartilage. All of the chorizo I've had in Australia has been like this. Why?

    P.S. The French garlic was my friend's stall! We'll be in Chippendale on Jan. 3.

     
  • At 12/17/2008 11:56 pm, Anonymous kay said…

    pig on a spit! hehe.. lechon in the philippines is very crispy and moist.. though im not a fan because the taste is very subtle.. but u will certainly love the crispy skin! hehe

     
  • At 12/21/2008 10:11 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Anon - I think most young pigs have a very mild flavour? I haven't had a similar problem with the chorizo I've eaten.

    The garlic stall was great. Such a welcome sight to see real wild garlic!

    Hi Kay - Oh yes, crispy skin and I are very good friends! :)

     

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