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.
I made the short eight-minute stroll from Redfern Station, rows of fragrant pine trees greeting me at the entrance.
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
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)
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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
245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh, Sydney
Every Saturday from 28 February 2009
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12/14/2008 10:57:00 pm