I love markets. The smell of citrus fruits hanging in the air, vegetables spilling off the tressles and the crunch of brown paper bags being filled with treats for the evening meal. Then there is the tastings – honey, deli meats, scallops caught just hours ago and homemade greek treats made by the resident Yiayia (Grandmother). Adelaide’s Farmers Markets are no different.
Each Sunday produce growers from across the state meet at the Wayville Show grounds, five minutes from the city centre, to sell their wares without a middle man. This means you will get the freshest seasonal produce and often at half the cost you’ll find at supermarkets or even green grocers. It also gives you a chance to revert back to the old days when the fruiter knew their customers by name, something I had never experience but now wouldn’t trade and am hoping I can replicate it wherever I move.
A few Sundays back fellow Adelaide-based blogger Kimberley from Sleeping on Buses and I headed to the show grounds in hope to bag a bargain for dinner.
As soon as we walked into the shed the bright coloured glass bottles of Barossa cordials invited us to come and have a try. Passionfruit, blood orange, lemon, sylvan berry and of course sweet bottles of lemonade were on the stands for sale.
Moving past fresh fillets of kangaroo meats and the lingering smell of moroccan spices was the Honey Lady’s stand. Yes, honey may sound quite plain, and there were batches of the usual flavours – blue gum,….. – but there are also delicious modern takes on honey. From cinnamon honey, perfect for on top of a warm stack of pancakes, or chai honey which you can add to a cup of tea – there are about 20-flavours to try and change regularly.
I have developed quite a palate for the Honey Lady’s vanilla bean honey on top of freshly baked crusty bread… shh!
I love trying new foods and so I was right in my element when we approached the fruit & vegetable tables. I’m a fussy eater but soon had bags full of fennel, radishes, brocollini, red apples (I’m a Granny Smith kinda girl!) and tangelos, which have turned out to be my new favourite citrus fruit!
As I mentioned earlier, I love the service you get at a market in comparison to a supermarket or some big green grocers. Stall holders chatted with regulars, assistants talked about what their favourite uses of particular vegetables were and food was prepared right before you eyes using only minimal ingredients. Next time you have a fennel, slice it into thick slices, add a splash of good quality olive oil and a generous squeeze of lemon juice – hey presto! A super simple salad which is great for digestion!
I can’t say I’m a big fan of seafood but to see sea urchins up close… well, I’ve never seen them before so it was a treat to watch them be prepared, fresh, before the small crowd. Whilst the stall owner made it seem so simple I’ve heard it’s actually rather hard to break the sea urchins correctly otherwise you end up missing out on the small amount of tender meat they offer inside them.
Also on show was a BBQ full of scallops – delicious and perfect for the coming summer months!
Favourite photo of the day defiantly goes to this photo of the service button at the bush tucker ice cream stall and bush tucker bakery stall – not sure how I feel about their customer service but at least they’re up for a laugh!
The produce is grown across Australia, with a particular emphasis on the hills areas. In the hills region, about half an hour from the Adelaide CBD is Hahndorf, a small German settlement which tries to retains itss heritage. The strings of wurst which are found hanging in shop windows are also found at the market.
The best treat was kept until last (sorry Kimberley – I didn’t want to share!) One of the bakeries called ‘From Scratch’ specialises in sweet treats and of course I couldn’t resist trying. Having just gotten into the macaron craze sweeping Australia it was these soft circle treats.
Heavier than the macarons I tasted at Adriano Zumbo’s patisserie but still delicious in every way, the heavy chocolate filling left you feeling full after just one or two. Flavours to be shared – jaffa, caramel, strawberry… they were a delicious treat to end a fun day exploring with Kimberley.