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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Good Living Growers Market

Chestnut mushrooms

Once again it was the Good Living Growers Market on the first Saturday of the month, down by the water at Pyrmont Bay Park.

It's funny how when you attend the markets regularly, you immediately notice the absence of regular stallholders, your feet slowing down and your brow furrowing as you subconsciously ponder "hang on... shouldn't this section be occupied by...?"

At the same time, newcomers are pounced upon with great excitement and unabashed childlike curiosity. This month it was the wondrous display of exotic mushrooms from Li-Sun Exotic Mushrooms which had me loitering like a peverted fungi fan.

But first...

Buddha's hand or finger limes
Buddha's hand, also known as finger limes

A small box of finger limes were spotted for sale by the florist. The scent of these was pure deliciousness, sweet and limey and guaranteed to raise a smile.

Sitting amongst the chilli plants were these green babies. Yep, baby capsicums.

Capsicum plant
Capiscum plant (peppers)

Organic radishes
Organic radishes

The friendly people from Snails Bon Appetite were there again. This month they had de-shelled farmed snails on display:

Farmed snails or escargots, removed from shell
Farmed helix aspersa snails (escargots) removed from shell

enabling a comparison with their equivalent in imported snails:

Imported snails or escargots, removed from shell, from Thailand
Imported snails or escargots from Thailand, removed from shell

Apart from the visible variation in colour and texture, the local fresh snails still have the little coil of flesh from inside their shell still attached. I thought they looked rather cute. The imported ones have this cut off, with only the ventral foot remaining.

Close-up of farmed snails or escargots, removed from shell
Coils still attached!

As already confessed, much time was spent gawking at and admiring the mushrooms though. Previously featured on the SBS program The Food Lovers' Guide to Australia, Sun-Li owner Noel Arrold grows his mushrooms in an abandoned railway tunnel in Bowral (population 10,000) in the Southern Highlands of NSW.

The tunnel extends 70 metres underground and over the past 15 years Noel has perfected the delicate art of cultivating these "exotic" mushrooms. These are exotic to Australia only because they do not naturally grow here, as we do not have birch and oak forests. Instead Noel apparently uses a mixture of eucalyptus sawdust which has resulted in obvious success:

King brown mushroom
King brown mushroom

Pots of growing chestnut mushrooms
Chestnut mushrooms

Enoki mushrooms close-up
Enoki mushrooms

Pots of growing enoki and chestnut mushrooms

And breakfast?

Zuccherati
Zuccherati

The lightest, fluffiest creamiest ricotta-filled zuccherati pastry you could ever hope for from Formagi Ocello.

Li-Sun Exotic Mushrooms
PO Box 433, Bowral, NSW 2576
Tel: +61 (02) 4871 2879

Good Living Growers' Market
7.00am - 11.00am on the first Saturday of every month
Pyrmont Bay Park, Pyrmont (opposite Star City Casino)


Related GrabYourFork posts:
Good Living Growers' Market 2006: May ¦ April ¦ March ¦ February
Good Living Growers' Market 2005: November ¦ October ¦ September ¦ August ¦ July ¦ April ¦ March ¦ February
6 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (AugustusGloop) on 3/16/2006 10:07:00 pm


6 Comments:

  • At 3/17/2006 2:28 am, Blogger Catesa said…

    a feast for the eyes as well! those are some incredibly odd but fascinating mushrooms :)

     
  • At 3/17/2006 6:45 am, Blogger Reb said…

    fabulous fungi and terrific pictures!

     
  • At 3/17/2006 9:01 am, Blogger Ed Charles said…

    Jelous of the shrooms. We don't have anything as exotic down here. know what you mean when a regular doesn't turn up. j was especially disappointed when the two cup cakes stalls in St Kilda vanished. But for me there's always the excitement of discovering the newcomers.

     
  • At 3/17/2006 9:27 am, Blogger Julia said…

    Don't know how I missed it this time after your previous post, but rain hail or shine I will be at the next one!

     
  • At 3/17/2006 11:44 pm, Blogger fooDcrazEE said…

    wow! nice picture. I love the chestnut mushrrom mushroom and the baby capsicum the most. They are TEH GREAT

     
  • At 3/18/2006 1:01 am, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Catesa - The mushrooms were great. They were mesmerising!

    Hi Reb - Aw thanks, but the fungi really did all the work =)

    Hi Ed - I don't know nothin' 'bout shrooms mista. Or those cupcake stalls!

    Yeah newcomers are fun.

    Hi Julia - And I've kept that Good Living Growers Market up in the news section for at least a month now! =)

    Only two weeks till the next one. Or you could get to the Northside Growers Market today (Sat 18 March). 3rd Sat of every month.

    Hi foodcrazee - The chestnut mushroom was my favourite fungi too. And *blush* Thanks!

     

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