#navbar-iframe { display: none; }

« Home | Recipe: Hot cross buns » | Bodega Tapas Bar, Surry Hills » | Chefs of Merivale Gala Dinner » | One night of hot pot » | Behind-the-scenes at the Chefs of Merivale Gala Di... » | Nonna's Gourmet Sausages, Brookvale » | Wagaya, Haymarket Chinatown, Sydney » | Ching Yip Coffee Lounge, Haymarket Chinatown, Sydney » | Grab Your Fork on 702AM Sydney » | Red Velvet Cupcakes »

Friday, April 17, 2009

Sydney Royal Easter Show 2009

Ahhh the Easter Show. It brings out the kid in all of us doesn't it?

A celebration of agriculture and livestock, it's one of the few times in which we all earnestly celebrate our ties to the land.

Whilst childhood memories are inevitably tinted with sentimentality, attending as an adult gives you free financial rein to create your own version of an idyllic day out. Deep-fried food included.

Queuing at Lidcombe station

I headed to the Easter Show via public transport, and whilst the crowds at Lidcombe station seemed daunting at first, the queues were managed reasonably efficiently by station staff and regular running trains. It didn't take long to get there at all, even less time to find my Show buddy for the day Chocolatesuze, and mere seconds for her to find her Easter Show buddy, Mr Cheese on a stick.

Chocolatesuze is happy

Cheese on a stick $4.00
Mozzarella cheese encased in deep-fried cakey batter

Mmm.... melty

Like ants at a picnic, we were wordlessly drawn to the Woolworths Fresh Food Dome as our first port of call.

Fruit display

Sour worms, cola bottles and gummi bears

Beeswax pig

Waffles $5.00

If there's one thing that reminds me of school visits to the Easter Show, it's the District Exhibits, the huge displays of fruit and grains that we'd all stop and gawp at with wonder. And unlike a lot of things you revisit in adulthood, the displays are always as big as I'd remembered, huge expanses of creative scenery, meticulously arranged to showcase the best of the region.

The five regions--North, South, South East Queensland, West and Central--battle it out for best display. It's important to note that whilst effective arrangement is one criteria for judging, it is relatively minor compared to the 12 other judging elements, namely dairy produce, foods, wine, preserved fruit, fresh fruit & nuts, vegetables & ginger, cucurbits, grain, stock fodders, commercial fibres, pasture grasses and wool.

Northern District display

Southern District display

South East Queensland District display

Pages made of grain

Giant books covered with grain

Central District Display

The rainbow trout made of apples

Trout close-up

Chortling strawberry

Strawberries and marshmallows dipped in chocolate

Chocolatesuze lives up to her moniker
with a milk chocolate shot $3.00

Admiring the cake display

There are few things more torturous than looking at the cake displays too. All those luscious cakes slowly drying out in the cabinet! As I scrutinise each scone, each lamington and each marble cake, I'm always reminded of the documentary Not All Tea And Scones
which explored the Country Women's Association, the women who enter their cakes into CWA competitions, and the process by which submissions are judged.

Prize-winning cakes

Fruit cakes

Fruit cakes and puddings

Knitted characters

Knitted Charlie Chaplin

And then one of my favourite parts of the Easter Show: the cake decorating displays. The sugarcraft by entrants under 17 years was particularly impressive!

Mice in bed (children's age category)

Farmyard animals (children's age category)

Mice in a pumpkin (children's age category)

Kitchen utensils


Shoes and sugar

Homage (haha) to the Simpsons

Pied Piper Ducks

Crown jewels

Thistle and lace

Ship of leprechauns (we liked the mermaid!)

Miniature desserts


1956 FJ Holden

Dog (a huge crowd favourite)


Bathroom vanity


Chocolate and vanilla flowers

Credit Crunch by Annie Lo
(she of giant sushi fame)

Click here for part two, including pics and video of the Racing and Diving Pigs!

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
20 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 4/17/2009 02:04:00 am


  • At 4/17/2009 5:42 am, Anonymous Simon said…

    There's quite an amount of intricate work done with some of those display items. It's almost a shame to think that they're edible.

    Almost :)

  • At 4/17/2009 8:09 am, Blogger Y said…

    Great photos, Helen! You pretty much highlighted all the bits about the Easter Show that I love the best - (minus chocolatesuze's cheese-on-a-stick! ;P) the produce displays, and the craft competitions.

    Oh and I see Lorinda won a ribbon. Congrats, Lorinda!

  • At 4/17/2009 10:08 am, Anonymous Arwen from Hoglet K said…

    I love the credit crunch chocolate bar!

  • At 4/17/2009 10:19 am, Anonymous shez said…

    you're back! and with pictures of my favourite parts of the show :)

    i saw that documentary too - those CWA ladies are something else, really!

  • At 4/17/2009 10:37 am, Anonymous Veruca Salt said…

    Nearly all of my favourite things as well.

    Panther at work had never been to the Woolies Dome. Hello? How could you miss this? Anyways, he went this year and loved it.

    Panther was very disappointed that they did not have a jerky show bag this year.

  • At 4/17/2009 10:54 am, Anonymous divemummy said…

    What a lovely way to see the highlights of the Easter Show - without the crowds!

    I'm almost tempted to take Master 4 and Miss 2 just to hear them say "Look Mummy!".

    And performing pigs you say? Can't wait....

  • At 4/17/2009 11:02 am, Anonymous Jen said…

    I think it's time i braved the crowds and visited the show. Love the photos!

  • At 4/17/2009 11:30 am, Blogger Simon Leong said…

    looks like so much fun. i'm tempted to check it out next year.
    s :-)

  • At 4/17/2009 12:44 pm, Blogger OohLookBel said…

    Did you have any weird food like a dagwood dog? I was going to, but opted for a plain sausage in bread. And I think the iced cake dog was done by one of the instructors at Planet Cake.

  • At 4/17/2009 2:47 pm, Blogger Karen | Citrus and Candy said…

    I always go to the Show every 2-3 years and thankfully I'm due this year! I can't wait - the rides are always my fave but I'm determined to check out the food and animals too!

  • At 4/17/2009 3:25 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This was my first Easter show but certainly not my last! I didn't get to see the cute animals though as they were all asleep!

  • At 4/17/2009 4:23 pm, Blogger Karenwitchiepoo said…

    Thank you for your wonderful photographs. I went to the show this year but by the time we got to the food hall it was closed. I have complained so much at work about it; tummyrumble.net sent me your site. I feel at least I have seen what I would have been looking for, I just did not get to taste what I wanted. Thanks again.

  • At 4/17/2009 5:14 pm, Anonymous billy@ATFT said…

    I actually more interested to see you both went on the tea cup fun ride after all the fried food. That's more blog worthy :P

  • At 4/17/2009 5:23 pm, Anonymous Maria T said…

    That cheese stick reminds me of the deep fried baby mozzarella crumbed cheese balls I had at a takeaway pizza chain called Spizzico in Sienna, Italy. They came in a chip packet like at Maccas and they were just heaven! I couldn't finish them all but I still look at the photo of them today and dream of sinking my teeth into one of those babies.

    Who knew so much could be done with fondant! What artistic geniuses!

  • At 4/18/2009 10:16 am, Anonymous Howard said…

    Cheese on a stick, what a classic that is. It's up there with pluto pops.

    These displays just get better and better every year, shame I don't have a chance to visit this year. I have a tradition of getting the Berty Beatle showbag!

  • At 4/18/2009 4:56 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oohhh the show does look fascinating with all the artistic creations but I think the fried food would be the main reason why I would fight against the crowd and pay the hefty prices to enter. More fried foods!! I bet you guys tried the deep fried cheesecake yesh XD?

  • At 4/18/2009 9:10 pm, Anonymous Shefali said…

    Nice post with attractive pictures..i loved mice on bed and in pumpkin and the chortling strawberry...

  • At 4/19/2009 1:28 pm, Blogger hazchem said…

    great photos as always AG, making me think that I should go more often than every 5 years or so.

    Also, I'm pretty sure you can buy tickets to the cake and craft competition announcements which take place in the week leading up to the show opening to the public.

    Ms Pyjamas and some of her Ravelry/knitting friends went this year and had a good fun night by all reports. Plus, NO CROWDS!

  • At 4/19/2009 5:52 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Simon - The cakes are always amazing, particularly the ones done by kids. Most impressive, and yes, I do wonder if anyone could bear to eat them!

    Hi Y - lol. It's always good to go to the Show who shares similar interests. Chocolatesuze was perfect company!

    The Wall-E was so great - hard to believe it's made of icing. Congrats to her indeed.

    Hi Arwen - Me too. I always like Annie's entries which tend to be whimiscal takes on food.

    Hi Shez - lol. Yup, I'm back! I love that CWA doco - it was quite fascinating to see how much work they do.

    Hi Veruca Salt - What? How could you miss the Woollies Dome? lol. We spent hours in there!

    Hi divemummy - lol. Agreed. All you need is some fairy floss stuck to your cheek and stand up for 11 hours and you're practically there!

    Hi Jen - The crowds are a bit intense at times, but the Show is fun. It's not until you get there that you remember how much there is to see and do!

    Hi Simon Food Favourites - It's a good day out. Brings out the kid in you!

    Hi Belle - A dagwood dog isn't weird - it's mandatory! Check out the next post :)

    Hi Karen - Ahhh every year I am reminded of how old I am when I look at the dizzying range of rides. The food is definitely my highlight and it's fun to check out the animals too.

    Hi tummyrumble.net - Ahh congrats on your first show. Am sure it won't be your last!

    Hi Karenwitchiepoo - Oh the food hall is always prioritised to the top of my list :) And lol, glad you enjoyed the pics - I didn't take that many photos inside the food hall - too busy sampling!

    Hi billy - lol. I didn't go on any rides - I am getting old. After that one year on the Ranger, I realised my limits. Never again (and no, it didn't result in a disaster!).

    Hi Maria T - Wow, deep-fried bocconcini sounds like my idea of heaven! And yes the cakes are always amazing. So much skill and patience!

    Hi Howard - The Easter Show is a perfect excuse for eating fried food. Love it :)

    And ha, I was tempted to get the Bertie Beetle showbag too :)

    Hi FFichiban - Ahh we looked for the fried cheesecake everywhere but couldn't find it. Frustration! So very sad.

    Hi Shefali - Thanks, glad you enjoyed the pis. Hard to believe both the mice cakes were made by kids. Most impressive.

    Hi hazchem - Ahh I have seen mentions of the judging but never managed to time it with work. The no crowds element is quite attractive though! It took forever to find gaps in the crowds huddled around the cake displays.

  • At 4/19/2009 11:12 pm, Anonymous Lorinda said…

    Hi Y! Thanks! I had a lot of fun making the Wall-E cake, a bit of a change from doing wedding cakes for the previous 2 shows. Had a bit of a setback several days before the entries were due, when I knocked it over and had to repair the head and arms, bummer. But it got there in one piece,phew.


Post a Comment

<< Home

      << Read Older Posts       |       >> Read Newer Posts