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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sydney Royal Easter Show 2009: The Racing and Diving Pigs

Mogul Miss Fontenot 12th
Brahman cattle female

After covering the Woolworths Fresh Food Dome and the cake decorating at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, it was time to move onto the animals and the food.

But first we needed sustenance.

Cheese on a stick with fresh lemonade

Chocolatesuze likes her cheese. This was her second cheese on a stick for the day. She would later have one more for a personal Show best of three.

No, I have no idea where she puts it either.

My cheese on a stick $4.00

The cheese on a stick isn't as bad as it sounds. A plank of mozzarella cheese is dipped in a polenta batter then deep-fried much like a pluto pup, corn dog or dagwood dog. The batter is crisp and sweet, the insides molten to a stretchy gooey mass of goodness. Yes, it really is devilishly delicious.

Fresh lemonade $4.00

And it's impossible to visit the Show without having an icy cup of fresh lemonade sometime during the day. Tangy and sweet, fresh lemonade is one of those things that's so easy to do, but somehow neglected at home. Next summer I'm definitely rustling some up.

We continued on to the animals, one of the few times that city slickers get up close and personal with feathers and fur.

Angora goat

Pork Lane - my favourite street!

Pigs at the trough


Calf in the farmyard nursery

The farmyard nursery is not just for kids. A huge shed houses all kinds of animals, many roaming freely, eagerly patted and cuddled by children and adults alike.

Chicks hatching

A brave little duck heads down the slide into the pond

The pig racing and diving show returned to the Show after a one year break and the crowd queues were bigger than ever. We turned up at 1.25pm for the 2pm show and were greeted with a mass of 550 people already in line. It took about 20 minutes for staff to carefully herd us into the bleachers, a slow task that everyone involved accepted with good spirit and patience.

Pig racing

The race hostess

The spectators were split into four groups, with each allocated a pig for which to barrack. The races were fast and furious.

Race #1: featuring Pork Bone, Ham Bone, Pork Chop and Porky Pig

Race #2: featuring Homer, Marge, Bart and Lisa

The diving pigs were the main highlight, a crowd-pleasing spectacle that had everyone smiling. Click on the video clip below to view the show highlights.

Smokey cleans up

Ready for more food?

We were.

The Country Women's Association Tea Room

CWA kiosk menu

The CWA Tea Room is my personal must-do for the Easter Show. I love catching sight of the CWA ladies making scones in the kitchen, I love how the server carefully wipes off the excess flour from each scone with a tea towel, I love the simplicity of the Devonshire tea tray with its metal tea pot, and I love slicing my way through the still-warm scone to reveal its supreme soft fluffiness.

Devonshire tea $7.00

Light and fluffy

Chocolatesuze slathers her scones

Don't get between Chocolatesuze and her scones

Scones with strawberry jam and cream

Scone tally
- the top graph charts daily sales in 2007, 2008 and 2009

And forget tallying the sales on the ticket gate - I'm more interested in the total scone tally. On the day we visited (Wednesday 15 April) scone sales were up on 2008 but still down on the phenomenal numbers in 2007.

The CWA Cook Book $25

To the side of the CWA Tea Room is the table selling jars of pickles, jams and chutney alongside blocks and slices of fruit cake. I came away with a copy of the CWA Cook Book, a very professional-looking spiral bound collection that includes sweets, savouries and preserves and three recipes for scones, including a very promising-sounding "Prize-winning scones".

Pluto pup mascot

More food?

If you say so.

Hot dog on a stick (or pluto pup) $4.00

A pluto pup is another of the Show's guilty pleasures. Bite your way through the crunch of polenta batter to meet a sweet and soft frankfurter, all doused in a generous splodge of tomato sauce.

Potato massacre
A Makita drill drives the potato shredder

If you hear the strains of Chubby Checker, chances are you've reached the Twisted Chips stand. It's quite a show just watching the staff handle the potato shredder powered by a Makita drill. Whole Desiree potatoes are converted into a mass of curls which are unceremoniously dunked straight into the deep-fryer.

Our thoughts go to the staff who have to endure "Let's Twist Again" on a never-ending loop.

Twisted chips $8.00
with cheese sauce $1.00

The chips are a little under-done for my liking, and the cheese sauce tastes like the processed non-frigerated boxes of Kraft "cheese", but there's still plenty of appeal of eating a chip that's a foot long and has a coil like a corkscrew.

French fry mascot

The ferris wheel by night

Rubber duckies in sideshow alley


We didn't go on any rides but we did come close to winning in several games of roll 'em poker in Sideshow Alley. The showbag stand was delightfully empty at 8.30pm too, although after much scrutiny we ended up with novelty wigs instead (a hot pink bob for Chocolatesuze, purple tresses for moi).

After eleven hours at the show, we were well and truly ready for home.

And in justification of all the food we'd eaten, the pedometer I'd clipped on that morning counted 24,000 steps for the day. Who said the Easter Show wasn't good for you?

The Sydney Royal Easter Show runs from April 9-22, 2009 at the Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park.

With thanks to Elissa from Tourism NSW for the complimentary entry tickets.

Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Sydney Royal Easter Show 2010: Robosaurus Pics and Video
Sydney Royal Easter Show 2010: The Cakes, Food and Toyota V6 HiLux Heroes

Sydney Royal Easter Show 2009: The Cakes and District Displays
Sydney Royal Easter Show 2009: The Racing and Diving Pigs

Sydney Royal Easter Show 2007: The Animals
Sydney Royal Easter Show 2007: The Cakes
Sydney Royal Easter Show 2007: The Food
16 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 4/19/2009 09:37:00 pm


  • At 4/19/2009 10:08 pm, Blogger pojaya said…

    Love your blog!

    I would have thought that the scones would come with some luscious homemade jam, instead of ...

  • At 4/19/2009 10:19 pm, Anonymous Anita said…

    The chickens and ducks are soooo cute! Loos like you saw heaps and had a great time at the show :)

  • At 4/20/2009 12:20 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    OOhh yayy for more food on sticks ^^! Hee hee at Suze having 3 gjgjgj! Ahh makes me wish I went now...

  • At 4/20/2009 9:28 am, Anonymous shez said…

    gosh i love the CWA. they do such wonderful things. looking forward to see the creations that come out of that recipe book :)

    (and d'you think the pigs realise they're living on pork lane? poor things...)

  • At 4/20/2009 9:49 am, Blogger Betty @ The Hungry Girl said…

    so much food! yum. you didn't have any corn on the cob? or waffles?!
    yes, i agree - fresh lemonade is a definite must at the easter show!

  • At 4/20/2009 10:00 am, Anonymous Arwen from Hoglet K said…

    Great video of the pigs! The scones look lovely too. You'll have to have a devonshire tea now that you've got the book.

  • At 4/20/2009 11:43 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    So much fun! Went for the first time ever this year, and so sad I missed the CWA tearoom! Next year for sure..

  • At 4/20/2009 6:46 pm, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    heh no deepfried cheesecake ah the sadness! when shall we have a wig party?!

  • At 4/20/2009 9:41 pm, Anonymous Pete said…

    Awww the piggies are so cute!

    And they look delicious! Heh heh :D

  • At 4/21/2009 6:22 am, Anonymous Yas said…

    Hmmmm.... love food at this kind of festival events - everything seems so "deep fried". I'll have some extra calories on a stick. ;)

  • At 4/21/2009 7:28 am, Anonymous Veruca Salt said…

    Smokey the piggie looked so confident. No hesitation, just dived straight in.

    I hope the CWA ladies break their previous scone record. The cook book must be a treasure trove of honest traditional delights. Maybe there will be some prize winning recipes in there too.

    Did you manage to have a look at the doggies during your marathon 11 hour visit?

  • At 4/21/2009 4:13 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I tried to eat the Fried Cheese once at the insistance of my boyfriend because I couldn't believe such a thing existed.

    The batter was far too sweet for me and not at all what I was expecting. I ended up giving it away in disgust.


  • At 4/21/2009 6:48 pm, Anonymous Howard said…

    Pluto pops, so awesome! and couple with cheesy fries = my ideal late night snack combo! The CWA cookbook will have some interesting recipes for sure.

  • At 4/22/2009 1:31 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi pojaya - Ahh homemade jam would've been lovely, but given that the monies go to CWA fundraising, I was happy enough with the fluffy scones!

    Hi Anita - There was still heaps we didn't see. I always forget how much there is to see and do at the Show!

    Hi FFichiban - Suze is a champion cheese eater!

    Hi Shez - lol. The pigs seemed happy enough, and I agree, can't wait to get into some CWA recipes!

    Hi Betty - I do love corn on the cob, but at $4 each, even I was doing the math in my head. Lemonade on the other hand is too good to resist!

    Hi Arwen - There's always a good excuse for a Devonshire tea. I am still honing my scone technique - that supreme fluffiness is such a hard thing to master.

    Hi Reemski - Oh can't believe you missed the tearoom. Next time make sure you get there - it also doubles as a handy rest for the weary legs too.

    Hi Chocolatesuze - lol. Maybe we can have a wig party with deep-fried goodness? Followed by fondue? :P

    Hi Pete - Ha, that's what I was secretly thinking too :)

    Hi Yas - Yes yes, food on a stick always taste better, and deep-fried is the best kind of food group too!

    Hi Veruca Salt - True indeed. Smokey is the consummate professional!

    Alas we didn't get a chance to see the doggies, and yes, I can't wait to try the prize-winning scones, although they do sound a little more complex in execution (presumably worth the effort!)

    Hi Amaya - The batter is sweet but ah, isn't that why they call it junkfood? lol. At least you gave it a go!

    Hi Howard - I have a feeling I'll be concentrating on the sweet section of the Cookbook but yes, definitely looking forward to testing out a few recipes by Gladys, Mavis and Maude :)

  • At 4/22/2009 12:52 pm, Anonymous divemummy said…

    thank you for a delightful post on the Show - I might be brave enough to take the munchkins next year.

  • At 4/22/2009 10:51 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Divemummy - Ooh they will have a ball :) The farmyard nursery is great.


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