Is the farmers' market the new fooding social scene?
It certainly felt that way on Saturday when I headed to the first official Eveleigh Farmers' Market . A weekly undercover growers market in the inner city is a much welcomed addition to the shopping calendar.
There were plenty of people milling about at 9.10am (and I can tell you it's a mere seven minute walk from Redfern train station - I timed it!).
Biscuit lollipops from Sugar, Spice and All Things Nice
Cupcakes from Sugar, Spice and All Things Nice
Lion cake from Sugar, Spice and All Things Nice
Mallow samples from SWEETNESS The Patisserie
At SWEETNESS The Patisserie, Gena is full of excitement at her recent success at this year's Sydney Royal Fine Food Show. Her banana streusel muffins earned just one of the seven medals she received. As she slices up more samples, she feeds me a piece of each one as she continues to talk non-stop.
Her enthusiasm is infectious though, and even though she talks about the trials of slicing each marshmallow by hand, of hand-packing every item on display, her joy in bringing a little bit of pleasure into people's lives is clear and unmistakable. It's this personal relationship between the seller and product, and the opportunity for customers to witness their shiny eyes, that makes farmers' markets such a memorable visit.
Sweet mixed mallow bags from SWEETNESS The Patisserie
Gena's award-winning English toffee from SWEETNESS The Patisserie
Spiced pecans from SWEETNESS The Patisserie
Sweet mixed mallows from SWEETNESS The Patisserie
Chai spice bread from SWEETNESS The Patisserie
Gluten-free cranberry and orange bread from SWEETNESS The Patisserie
Banana streusel muffins from SWEETNESS The Patisserie
Nougat de Montelimar from SWEETNESS The Patisserie
With so many tempting things on offer, it was hard not to choose them all. I restricted myself to one purchase, the large size nougat which is incredibly soft yet chewy with crunchy nuggets of pistachio and almond sweetened with crimson dried cherries.
As I come away from SWEETNESS, chocolatesuze--who had found me as soon as I entered the markets, and then prompty gone on an extended break from her stall, The Biscuit Tree--is standing with another female and grinning widely.
"I found you a stalker!" exclaims Suze.
"I brought you some juice," adds the female, brightly.
It's not the best combination of sentences to hear, but within seconds I'm at ease. The Pierogi Princess has been following this blog and Suze's for ages. She'd apparently sidled up to Suze after recognising her. "I could tell it was her because she was eating," she explained (!!!).
Orange passionfruit juice from Champion's Mountain Organics
The Pierogi Princess is helping out at the Champion's Mountain Organics stall. The present she's brought from the stall is an organic orange juice with fresh passionfruit. It's a sweet gesture matched by the gentle sweetness of the juice.
Full of conversation and enthusiasm, we're chatting like old friends in no time. Food does unite people, and my warmth toward the Pierogic Princess is especially cemented when she says "I used to read another food blog but then she stopped eating. I mean she was eating, but she was eating healthy food. All the time."
Spicy salad mix from Champions Mountain Organics
Later on, I find her back at the Champion's Mountain Organics stall and whilst there, the stallholder himself insists I try the spicy salad mix. "I've never met anyone who liked their food who didn't like my salad," he says proudly.
He insists on giving me a bag and he's right. The mix of beetroot leaves, rocket and lettuce have a peppery heat to them and a wonderful freshly-picked crunch.
Miss Pierogi isn't the only food blog reader I meet. I also meet Lilia and Chickpea, both of whom recognised or asked for Chocolatesuze, and then found me by association. We also bump into fellow food bloggers Christy and Reemski. I told you it was social!
At the next stall I'm keen to sample achacha, a tropical fruit originally from Bolivia that is now grown in North Queensland. Belonging to the same family as mangosteen, the flesh has a similar white coloured flesh with a sweet creamy taste and a touch of tartness. They're such a unique fruit, they're perfect for a dessert platter at my dinner party that night. Plus I love their name - who can say "achacha" without doing a little salsa dance at the same time?
Inside the achacha
Unfortunately we're told that last Saturday's stock is the last of the crop for the season, however if you're particularly keen you could check their website for stockist details.
Muffins, tarts and pastries from Deluscious
Filled brioche and Portuguese tarts from Deluscious
Hot smoked trout with herbed egg on brioche $6.00
Brunch with Suze is a hot smoked trout with herbed egg on brioche, eaten whilst sitting the pavement outside. It's rich and decadent, and I'm bemused by the fact that when I've finished eating, Suze is only one-quarter of the way done.
Little cakes from Manna from Heaven
"Do you have a food blog?" asks the lady from Manna from Heaven. I'm so taken aback at first, I take a few seconds to recover. When I say yes, and hand her my business card, she says "Thanks. I'll have to take a look."
Flatbreads from Manna from Heaven
Cheese scrolls from Manna from Heaven
Hazelnut scrolls from Manna from Heaven
Apple tarts from Manna from Heaven
Mini sweet capsicum from Kemps Creek Farm
The lovely lady at Kemps Creek Farm is even more helpful. She starts pushing all the mini sweet capsicum together so I can take a better photo. "If you're going to take a photo, you have to get all the different colours together!" she exclaims.
Prickly pear from Kemps Creek Farm
Italian eggplant from Kemps Creek Farm
Gympie Farm butter
At the Gympie Farm stall I only have eyes for the butter, despite the luscious range of cheeses on offer. A one-kilo tub is set to be divided into smaller tubs and then frozen. The flavour of true cultured butter is truly unbeatable.
Molten Gold cheese from Gympie Farm
The Bastard cheese from Bruny Island Cheese
Tarts from Healthy Feast
Biscuits and slices from Healthy Feast
Kalamata olive sourdough from Sonoma Sourdough Bakery
Breads from Sonoma Sourdough Bakery
Roast stonefruit with hazelnuts and Caparis Farm goats feta $10
from Danks Street Depot
Truffle cream from Pasta Emilia
Sample tasting jars from The Biscuit Tree
Shortbreads from The Biscuit Tree
Biscotti from The Biscuit Tree
At the Biscuit Tree, I purchase the pistachio biscotti and the coffee and ginger biscotti. I've eaten almost all of the pistachio biscotti already!
Stick from Pat and Stick's
Suze and I managed to convince Stick from Pat and Stick's Handmade Ice Cream to pose next to his picture on his company logo. It seemed to take him a few minutes to finally descend to a kneeling position -- Stick is impossibly tall but very accommodating. So are his ice cream sandwiches.
Cheeses from Binnorie Dairy
It was also a great sight to see a stall from Binnorie Dairy, a cheese company based in the Hunter Valley.
It was a slow but satisfied trundle home at the end of the day. If only I'd had a cute wagon like this to take home all my shopping!
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Eveleigh Farmers' Market
Every Saturday 8am-1pm
243 Wilson Street, Darlington
near the corner of Codrington Street
About a seven-minute walk from Redfern train station
Related GrabYourFork posts:
Eveleigh Christmas Farmers' Market
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3/02/2009 01:45:00 a.m.