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Monday, March 02, 2009

Eveleigh Farmers' Market

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!).

Fresh figs

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?

Achacha fruit

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!

View Larger Map

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
34 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 3/02/2009 01:45:00 am


  • At 3/02/2009 6:53 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This is like my dream come true. It's 5 minutes walk from my boyfriend's place and it's every week!!!! It all looks absolutely delicious - and how great to see stallholders being welcoming of a food blogger!

  • At 3/02/2009 7:31 am, Blogger hazchem said…

    Eveleigh Markets are so HOT. Great stalls, fun atmosphere and lots of blog stalkers (not just me) by the sounds of things!

    Looking forward to next week when I can shop without a list and just buy what looks good.

  • At 3/02/2009 8:52 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    am absolutely kicking myself for not getting there on saturday! looks like a fantastic market with lots of variety - and also with plenty of photo opportunities (said in an asian accent holding fingers up in a peace sign)

  • At 3/02/2009 9:02 am, Blogger Debzillah said…

    I was there toooooo!! Pretty much at the same time as you guys... If ever you spy a wandering green haired maiden, that would be me. I tasted everything and it was all DELICIOUS. I bought preserved lemons and fresh figs and achachas and pastry... Best markets in Sydney yet!

  • At 3/02/2009 9:21 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Was such a nice surprise to bump into you and Suze! Shame I missed Reem...

    I am totally beside myself that this market is now weekly! It's only 10 minutes walk from my place. Excitement!

  • At 3/02/2009 9:36 am, Blogger Chick Pea said…

    Helen it was a pleasure to finally meet you in person! Fantastic pics, and yes it was a great day out. The food there was fabulous, no doubt we might bump into each other there again soon!

    Btw the smoke trout dip (can't remember the stall name but I think they're the only one there) was delicious. The tub we bought is almost gone!

  • At 3/02/2009 9:42 am, Blogger Renee said…

    I think I might have been standing next to you - I was watching that little kid pulling the cart too!

    It was a wonderful market and I suspect I will be making many more trips there in the future.

  • At 3/02/2009 9:52 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    wow.. looks good! i especially curious of achacha.. i love mangosteen .. hehe never seen this achacha fruit before hmm! nice taste?

  • At 3/02/2009 10:29 am, Blogger Jay said…

    This market was excellent. Since moving to Sydney from Hobart last year I've been looking for a decent market close by where I live (Erskineville).

    I registered my details at the info booth for their mailing list and they asked where I found out about the market. There was no option for Grab Your Fork or even 'food blog' or 'blog' so I made sure to mention you on there!

    It could have done with an ATM somewhere as I ran out of cash too quickly. :)

  • At 3/02/2009 10:46 am, Blogger Sarah D said…

    I'm so happy these are on every week - i always seem to miss the monthly ones! This saturday I'm going to go crazy with Cheese and butter purchases. ummm i might need to go the gym beforehand tho...

  • At 3/02/2009 11:31 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    OMG, is that the same butter place that was at Good Living markets? If so I must stock up.

    The little boy is so cute. How thoughtful of the organisers to hire out kids and wagons to help you with your shopping?

  • At 3/02/2009 11:34 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    this market sounds like a hoot! must come down one weekend follow with some bak kut teh for lunch :P

  • At 3/02/2009 11:40 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    awesome post Helen, It appears that there is not one stall that you left untouched. A great insight to what's available at the markets, shame I won't have the opportunity to visit it, I'll just live through your photos =D

  • At 3/02/2009 11:43 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I like the way the little boy has a pillow in his cart so that he can ride in it as well as pull it. Very cute! I'll have to get to the markets, they look great.

  • At 3/02/2009 11:56 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh, i can't believe I missed this! =( I'll have to skip training one saturday just to go!

  • At 3/02/2009 1:10 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Love, LOVE these markets! And love Suze's biscotti..I munched on mine fro the rest of the day until it was all gone!

    Was good to see you too Helen, and so sorry I missed Christie..

    And oh, the Achacha's! So delicious

  • At 3/02/2009 1:41 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh! I had every intention of going, but then all of a sudden it was Saturday afternoon and I never made it. Next week though, definitely. Thanks for the photos, it looks delish!

  • At 3/02/2009 3:07 pm, Blogger Implosion said…

    LOL- I must get me some bastard cheese really soon....:)

  • At 3/02/2009 5:19 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh the photos make my tummy grumble! This looks much better than the weekly markets at EQ. So many more decadent sweets to choose from! And sonoma bread is my absolute favourite. Where does everyone park?

    Thanks for the wonderful blogpost. I thought today would be the day that I would finally post a comment. I have been an avid reader and i have always been tempted to stalk a blogger (in a non-invasive, friendly way!)

  • At 3/02/2009 6:31 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sounds like you had a fun day :)

    The markets look good. Judging from the wide shot, it kind of looks like there are stalls located outside as well. Is that the case?

  • At 3/02/2009 7:24 pm, Blogger K said…

    You share the Achacha with us and tell us it's no longer in season??? That is just cruel! They were so delicious. I can eat a whole bag of them. I must go try out the food there, everything sounds and looks fantastic.

  • At 3/02/2009 11:13 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    bwhahahaha 'i found you a stalker!' LOL LOL LOL a lil fame never hurts =P was much fun sitting outside in the sun dude! much more fun than manning my stall hehe

  • At 3/02/2009 11:22 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Siiighhhh... I don't like working Sat mornings X| I wanna come play around in the markets too (00)

    At least I am lucky enough to see it through your camera hee hee so thhxx!

    Mmmmm thick cut biscotti...

  • At 3/02/2009 11:34 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi SydneyGal - It's a great location - hope you make it there soon!

    Hi hazchem - lol. It was lots of fun and well worth skipping my usual Saturday sleep-in! Have fun next week!

    Hi Shez - No problem, it's on every week so not long to wait to the next one! There was lots of photos - I actually culled quite a few because I had too many!

    Hi Debzillah - I don't remember seeing any green-haired maidens but I'll keep an eye out next time!

    Hi Christie - Ooh I'm sensing lots of tasty weekends for you. And yes I was good to see you (and meet The Bear too!).

    Hi Chick Pea - Lovely to meet to you - the perils of hanging out with Suze, the most recognisable food blogger in Sydney :) I'm sure I'll bump into you a lot more!

    Hi Renee - lol. Then you would've seen me snapping like crazy. lol. The markets were great weren't they - such a great addition to the fooding social calendar!

    Hi Kay - The achacha tasted very similar to mangosteen but a tiny bit tarter. I'll have to keep an eye for them next season.

    Hi Jay - lol. I would love one day for there to be an option box marked "Grab Your Fork"! Thanks so much for the mention - very kind and much appreciated! And yes I agree, it was very easy to buy so many delicious things!

    Hi Sarah - I've already scoffed so many things - butter, nougat, and constant nibbling on biscotti. Have fun next week, and hey, the markets are big already, just do plenty of brisk walking and at least 2-3 laps! :)

    Hi Veruca Salt - Yes yes yes. I was so ecstatic when I saw the Gympie butter stall I immediately bought a 1kg tub. I've divvied it up and frozen them into smaller tubs - was going to pass one onto you if you don't get there first!

    The wagon was adorably cute!

    Hi Billy - Yeah definitely worth a trip :) Where would you go for bak kut teh? :)

    Hi Linda - lol. There were lots of stalls I didn't feature although I must've visited each one at least twice! Glad you enjoyed the pics!

    Hi Arwen - I know, I want a cart with a pillow in it for easy napping!

    Hi Chris - It's on every week so maybe you can make a quick tour one Saturday!

    Hi Reemski - Oh I'm so glad I wasn't the only one. I consoled myself that it was very low fat... haha. Great to catch up, albeit briefly. Looking forward to checking out your pics on your brand spanking new camera!

    Hi lili - It was all very delicious. Hope you enjoy your visit next week - don't forget! lol

    Hi Implosion - I had to laugh too. Such a great name!

    Hi Maria T - There is street parking available but not sure about how quickly it fills up.

    And thank you so much for comment. I love first time commenters. I love second-time commenters even more :) And lol, I'll have to keep an eye out for you!

    Hi Simon - Well spotted. There are three rows of aisles, two under shelter and one outside.

    Hi K - lol. At least you got a taste! Would definitely recommend it - probably the biggest farmers market in Sydney with a great emphasis on local produce.

  • At 3/02/2009 11:40 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Chocolatesuze - Ja, it was much fun hanging out with you, although I'm not whether your folks were happy about being abandoned! And you seem to be a beacon for food blog readers! My cover is blown! lol

    Hi FFichiban - You'll have to get along to the weekday markets, although yes, I'm sure my copious photos could almost convince you you were actually there yourself!

  • At 3/03/2009 11:33 am, Blogger unclehunty said…

    Thanks for posting that photo of Stick from Pat and Stick's ice cream. It made me smile to see his beaming face, although it was strange to see him from that angle, it mostly a craned neck upwards looking at the bottom of his chin that you see.

    My local market where I live in London is quite good, with its vietnamese coffee stall but nothing compared to markets in Australia and next trip home will have to include the Eveleigh markets. And Stick.

  • At 3/03/2009 1:54 pm, Blogger Debzillah said…

    UNC: you, in London, are spoiled!! The Borough Market is one of the largest and most incredible in the world..


  • At 3/03/2009 3:19 pm, Blogger enchilada8me said…

    So I accidentally spent $18 on my lunch that day... labna from Binnorie Dairy and a big fat chewy loaf of polenta bread from, uh, I forgot the name but it was mentioned in the blog! Doesn't sound like too much, but for a poor first year student it was quite a purchase! No regrets though, the labna is delicious and since I was wearing my stall apron I got a little discount!

    - Pierogi Princess x

    P.S. Correction: Champions Mountain Organics.

  • At 3/04/2009 12:39 pm, Blogger Bean Sprout's Cafe said…

    I really wanted to go there last week but I had too much homeworks and exams... This week I am thinking about going to Pymont market first then go to the Eveleigh next week... Your pictures make me drool... I can't decide what to eat there...haha...

    You will go to Pymont market or Eveleigh market again? lol

  • At 3/04/2009 9:22 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Unc - lol. I know what you mean. Stick is really very tall!

    London does have some great markets. Borough is good and I used to love the Cockney liveliness of Walthamstow Market! But yes, definitely look up Eveleigh on your next visit. And Stick.

    Hi Debzillah - I agree, Borough Market has grown so much from its initial beginnings.

    Hi ehcilada8me - Hallo! The labna from Binnorie is fantastic isn't it? It was so good to meet you. Am sure I will see you bump into you again soon! And thanks for the correction. My bad!

    Hi Bean Sprout's Cafe - Ah that's the joy of weekly markets. Never too long to wait for the next one! Have fun and hope your exams went well too :)

  • At 3/04/2009 10:37 pm, Blogger Lilia said…

    I have no idea that it was the first official before you told me.
    I was curious about the butter, it can be frozen and will be soft like fresh one?

  • At 3/05/2009 12:56 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    For those interested Champion's Mountain Organics has got a website at http://championorganics.com.au/

    Me and my girlfriend (Champion's daughter) are currently rebuilding it to feature stock lists which show what fruit & veg is in season, and what is coming up. Also will have details of where and when produce will be available (e.g. next market).

    So watch this space!

  • At 3/06/2009 6:06 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi AG, I realise this may sound a little stalker-y, but I was SO convinced that this girl I saw at the market, carrying a big camera was you...were you wearing a black and white top with black pants, by any chance? My boyfriend kept saying I should just go up and talk to you, but I felt a little starstruck!!

  • At 3/07/2009 5:37 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Lilia - I've portioned the butter into little containers and then frozen it. When needed, simply defrost and use as normal butter. As it's pure butter, it will be quite firm out the fridge - the softened butters you buy from the supermarket have oils added to keep it spreadable.

    It's best to let the butter soften out of the fridge for 30min to get it to spreadable consistency. Otherwise you could very carefully use you microwave to soften it - in 5 second burts on low.

    Hi jtu100 - Ooh thanks for the web link. I'll update the post now, and the spicy salad mix was great! So great just plain without any dressing!

    Hi Tina - lol. Yep, that was me, and yes you should've come and said hello :)


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