Tuesday, 5 June 2012

To Market, to Market

I’ve always loved markets. As a child, my Grandfather used to take me to a fish market. We’d wind through the backstreets of Port Adelaide crowded with abandoned factories and warehouses, an industrial wasteland reminiscent of Fitzgerald’s valley of ashes. Eventually we’d arrive at the wharf, a dock crowded with boats bearing the morning’s catch and wild-looking fisherman wearing tall gumboots and overalls. In the shadow of the power station people would flock to buy the crabs still crawling over one another, bright eyed whole fish, handfuls of prawns and squid still drenched in ink. In the dusty adjacent carpark huge wooden packing crates held melons, pumpkins, tomatoes, oranges and whichever fruit or vegetable was in bountiful supply at the time. As a result of Grandpa’s purchases, I’d always return home to my parents laden watermelon, strawberries and whatever else we’d found.
Now the South Melbourne Market is my local weekend ritual, and for the highest quality produce I visit my favourite store, Georgie’s Harvest Potatoes and Herbs (Stall 50, 322-326 Coventry Street, South Melbourne, 9696 2288, Wed, Sat & Sun 8 am – 4 pm, Friday 8 am – 5 pm).
At the time of writing, Georgie is stocking 23 different varieties of potatoes including Dutch Creams, Kipler, King Edward and Blue Zarr. But for something a little different, purchase her fresh horseradish, turmeric root or fresh wasabi. The fresh wasabi is sourced from Shima Wasabi in Tasmania and is also used at Vue de Monde, Coda and The Press Club. The flavour, scent and texture is dramatically different to the nasty green fluro paste accompanying your takeaway sushi, that you’ll never want to eat the paste again.

Georgie's lovely store

If you’re lucky enough to meet Georgie herself, you’ll come away with cooking secrets to add a little something to your dish. For example, Georgie taught me to always use at least three different varieties of pumpkin in your pumpkin soup to achieve the best flavour and texture.

My three varieties
At this point add some orange zest, it adds a little something!


The finished product

I also visit Tom Niall’s The Organic Meat Specialist (T.O.M.S). Tom sells the best certified organic meat, game and small goods.  Every product I’ve tried has been of the utmost quality and freshness, and we’ve loved his rabbit, wagyu rump steak, beef cheek and his sausage rolls. Tom’s also an oracle regarding cooking times, particular cuts and is a well of general “meaty” knowledge,  He’ll also cut your meat in any way requested, as well as sourcing and preparing any meat you request. Bespoke meat anyone?


Feeling fishy? Vist Aptus seafoods, since 1969 they've been selling the freshest prawns, mussels, scallops, Moreton Bay Bugs and many different varieties of fish. I love their "oyster man", he shucks oysters on the spot, and they're yours for only $1 per oyster - choose from lemon, pepper, lime or tabasco accompaniments.

Other markets I love
·         Willunga Farmers Market – South Australia
·         Borough Markets - London
·         La Boqueria Market - Barcelona
·         Gasworks Farmers Market Victoria

1 comment:

Bonhal said...

I read about Shima wasabi in the Jetstar magazine on my flight from Adelaide to Melbourne last week. I never knew that the "green stuff in the tube" was essentially horse radish, water and green food colouring!

I also never knew what the real wasabi plant actually looked like. I'd love to try the real deal now!