Posts Tagged ‘markets’

I object

I’m really getting fed up with the writers and reviewers at good living/good food. The entire reason I have a subscription to the newspaper is to get the Tuesday liftout about food, but I’m at that point of cancelling the subscription.

1. Tomato sauce
There’s more to tomato sauce than the big American brand Heinz. So why did they review two products from Heinz in their GL tomato sauce taste test?

Why not include three-threes? It comes in a snazzy glass bottle, they’re stocked in IGA stores, they’re an Australian family owned business, and they do pickles and tomato sauce.

What about Rosella? Available in Colesworth, and it’s Australian owned too.

I actually shifted from Rosella’s to three-threes, mainly from when Rosella’s went into receivership in 2012 and I wasn’t sure if it was going to be available any more.

I’ve actually noticed that the little takeaway tomato sauce sachets from McDonalds have gone from being tomatoes/salt/sugar/vinegar/water to containing high fructose corn syrup, produced by Heinz.

2. Farmers Markets versus Supermarkets

I recently read Matthew Evan’s autobiography, who used to be a reviewer for the good living/good food liftout. In his book, he says that when he wrote for the food & travel magazine, there were a lot of puff pieces that had been paid for by an advertiser – such as yet another article about a Noosa resort that no reader was going to be able to afford to visit anyway. He said that it was a breath of fresh air to have a budget to eat out with and review food places during his time at Good Living. But I wonder, with the recent budget cuts, has the mood changed?

My objections to the “article” include
– why compare locally grown valencia oranges compared to imported navel oranges? They taste completely different! It would have been a fairer comparison to compare a local navel orange to an imported navel orange.
– fruit & veg that I buy from the farmers markets lasts much longer than that which I purchase from the supermarket. It also tastes better. Generally, I have found the prices to be comparable per kilo.
– Meat tastes better! Bacon Tastes better! (And you have to admit it is all about the bacon). I also find that the meat lasts longer from the farmers markets.

I try and do most of my shopping at farmers markets, the food co-op, or the local green grocer and butcher. I make a conscious decision to buy locally owned or made; or Australian made products. If the lemons, kiwi fruit or asparagus are imported, I will use something else.

What about you, dear reader? Can you spot the difference between farmers markets produce & supermarket produce? What do you go out of your way to purchase that is made or grown locally?

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Slippery Jacks!

Slippery Jacks! by A Sydney Foodie
Slippery Jacks!, a photo by A Sydney Foodie on Flickr.

Late February to early May is mushrooming season in Oberon, NSW. I’ve never made it out there … But I was super excited when I saw Slippery Jacks at the Castle Hill markets. Aren’t they pretty? I have seen saffron milk caps in the past, but first time ever for slippery jacks.

They had a very intense mushroomy flavour when stir fried with button mushrooms and garlic (nom!), and not as woody as the milk caps can sometimes be. This was a much more delicious (and edible) experience than the random grab bag of exotic mushrooms picked up from the markets on Las Ramblas a few years ago!

Castle Hill Markets

Castle Hill Markets by A Sydney Foodie
Castle Hill Markets, a photo by A Sydney Foodie on Flickr.

I love farmers markets. I’m used to running into town to visit the Eveleigh markets at Redfern or Orange Grove markets at Rozelle, but it was such an effort to get to. So you can imagine how excited I was when I heard about markets going on at Rouse Hill, and then how disappointed I was when they were cancelled.
So, I finally got off my butt and went to the Castle Hill market after getting a recommendation from a colleague.
I’m glad I went! There was cheese from Willowbrae, La Tartine bread (nom nom nom), Sweetness the patisserie, hunter valley pasta, Saltbush lamb, and organics from Nashdale NSW.
The markets on the second Saturday have a few more producers than the fourth Saturday, but the ones listed above are regulars.
One week, we met up with Russell and Mary from Vanilla Australia who were on a six week promotional tour, and living in a tent the whole time. I bought a bottle of their organic vanilla essence, which has been delicious in cookies, without that fake aftertaste you get from supermarket vanilla essence.
Hawkesbury Harvest Farmers Market
Castle Hill Showground
Harvey Lowe Pavilion
Doran Drive, Castle Hill
2nd & 4th Sat, 8am-12noon

Review: SIFF 2010 Night Noodle Markets, Hyde Park

This year I have been super lazy, and haven’t really looked into any of the events happening with the Sydney International Food
Festival/SIFF/Crave Sydney Food Festival. Plus, it is just so far for me to travel.
I got the brochure for the Mamre House 100 Mile dinner, but decided not to go based on last years experience. I do note that that there is now an onsite market selling the produce of the African refugee farming efforts, so I shall have to visit Mamre house again soon.

Onto the night noodle markets – I felt a bit “over” these markets a few years ago, not just because they shifted them to a wedge of land closer to the Botanical Gardens and the Cahill Expressway, but also the offerings seemed rather so-so and tired.

This year, they’re back at Hyde Park, so you can browse the photographic exhibition, whilst making room for more food. There is supposed to be a focus this year on Middle Eastern food. However, I only really noticed Efendy Balmain offering BBQ meatball kofte. Other stalls of note include two dumpling places (DTF, New Shanghai) – this must be the year of the dumpling; Umi Kaiten Zushi made an appearance with a few noodle dishes and Ginger and garlic endamame; but there are still more thai places than you can poke a stick at.

At 530pm, I thought most worker bees would still beavering away, however there was quite a sizable crowd. Waiting at the lights to cross the road, I could hear multiple excited conversations in anticipation of the food.

I started off straight away at Chat tThai desserts. They were offering sticky rice with mango, coconut icecream, banana fritters and Kai nok gatah. This was the first time I had seen these sweet potato dumplings, so that was a first choice. $8 got you a box of banana fritters and the dumplings – I loved the dumplings; sweet, glutinous and moreish with a faint sweet potato flavour. I couldn’t finish these all at once (they’re perfect for sharing), and ended up spreading the leftovers over three evenings. Heated up under the grill, they were still a treat.

Chat Thai itself offered sukho thai (noodles in a spicy chicken broth with roast pork, fish balls, bean sprouts and a bit of chilli $12.), and fresh spring rolls using a wrapper similar to the pancake used for a duck pancake (also $12) – that had a mixture of different things and was topped with a teriyaki-type sauce. Reports are that both were very good.

I was short on time, so I didn’t have a chance to linger.

Mizuya Japanese restaurant had four kinds of BBQ skewers – and were offering four for $13. The choices were cheese sausage, chicken, beef and prawn. You could pick and choose which ones you got, plus as much Japanese mayo as you liked.
The cheese sausage was sausage-like and …. cheesy. Terrible description I know, but it really wasn’t that memorable! The beef was tough, square. Prawns were tasty, and a little tough – to be expected having been Bbq’d. My favourite was the chicken. Also square in shape – it was juicy and tender, but also really fatty! I suspect that the fat is what made it so tender and delicious!

I ate the prawn and the cheese sausage en-route to my other function, and then the other two got cold and greasy whilst I was function-ing. I ended up cutting the rest of the meat off the skewers, and we used them in sandwiches.

The night noodle markets were a bit more fun this year – perhaps I’ll have to make the most of daylight saving, and go again!


Night Noodle Markets
,
As part of the Crave Sydney Food Festival
Mon – Fri 11-15th and 18-22nd October 2010
Hyde Park North
Sydney


Mamre Project Onsite Market

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 10am-2pm
Mamre Farm
Lot 1 Mamre Road, St Marys
Ph: 02 9670 5321

A visit to Eveleigh Farmers Markets


Far Out, Brussel Sprout!

Originally uploaded by A Sydney Foodie

A gig on the Friday night* meant that I was in town on Saturday morning, and had the chance to visit some good markets. It took me ages to decide where to go: Orange Grove or Eveleigh? Finally, I decided on Eveleigh markets, and arrived there around 11am.

There was such a wonderful *buzz* going on, and many shoppers walking up and down with their reusable bags, nanna trolleys, and their dogs on a leash. I have been before, but what struck me this time was the mingling smells of coffee, fresh food, and bacon and egg rolls in the air – something that you don’t always get in an open-air market. I did my usual wander down one side, and back up the other before deciding what to buy. There were at least three organic fresh food stalls, Darling Mills farm, Willowbrae chevre, Sweetness the patisserie, and three bread stands. I was amazed! Last time I came, the bakers were on a rotating weekly schedule, so that they wouldn’t be in competition with each other.

So, my purchase were:

– Bread from La Tartine. Surprisingly there were still three loaves of their amazing fruit bread left, so I snaffled one, as well as a walnut sourdough. Everyone else was buying their baguettes.

– Mixed olives from Darling Mills Farm. My favourite olive, with big meaty green ones, little cornichorns, tiny ones, and the usual kalamata. A friend told me that they’ve been buying 1kg tubs of kalamatas from the greengrocer, and then reusing the leftover Darling Mills olive marinating oil to flavour them. What a great idea!

– Fresh Kurrajong Cream (Unsalted goats curd), and fresh curd (salted) from Willowbrae Chevre. My favourite!!
– Kipfler potatoes, parsnips, brocolli sprouts and leeks from Block 11 Organics

One of the organic stands had their brussel sprouts displayed as they grown on the stem. How neat!

I even spotted Kylie Kwong, manning the Billy Kwong stand. She also featured on the front page of the herald this morning – perhaps something to do with the Masterchef TV series final tomorrow night?

Eveleigh Farmers’ Market
Corner Shepherd and Wilson Streets, Darlington/Redfern.
Saturdays 8am – 1pm

*Sally Seltmann @ the Oxford Art Factory. Fabulous Gig. Great intimate space.