Category Archives: markets

Easter – Growers Market Pyrmont

Easter is my favourite time of the year in Sydney. Everyone heads down the coast or to the country leaving the streets quiet and relaxing.

Many of the harboursiders who remain make the annual pilgrammage to the SMH Growers Market in Pyrmont.
The morning is already balmy with huge blue skies.

How pretty do the white canvas stalls look?
I’m stocking up on all my fresh organic veggies for tonight’s dinner.
maybe some orchids as well…
And it’s hard to go past daffodils this time of the year

 My mother-in-law Gwen is getting some of these chocolate filled easter eggs in real painted shells

ok… I’m getting some for me too!
If you missed them this month they’ll be back again in May. I might bump into you.

Paris – Vincennes Markets

Ahhh….. Barcelona is but a dream now. We’re back in Paris in the suburb of Vincennes where Laure lives with her partner Leo.
Hi Leo!
We’re shopping for lunch. I know – sorry to subject you to yet ANOTHER market. Can you tell I’m obssessed?
Beautiful blooms…..

… delicious salamis and wines from the rugged mountains of Corsica (Laure’s home island). We bought some wild boar saucisson
 under the menacing eye of this Corsican stallholder.
But it was the melons we were looking for. June is peak season for France’s famous Cavaillon melons grown in the rich soils of Provenance.
They have the most bewitching perfume simliar to Turkish delight…
And a juicy flesh like no melon you’ve tasted before…
And for lunch we feasted like kings……. on Cavaillon melon, Spanish jamon from Barcelona, fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese with tomato and basil and French champagne.
Au revoir Paris!

Barcelona – Mercat de la Boqueria

I have been fantasising about visiting these markets since reading that many food writers viewed the Mercat de la Boqueria as the best markets in Europe. Big call.
We visit on a bustling Friday morning when all of Barcelona seems to have squeezed under its roof.

The fruit at this stall and the freshly squeezed juices were like manna from heaven. We especially loved the fresh coconut juice.
Of course no market in Spain is complete without rows and rows of jamon.
Serrano ham is the most prized. The free range pigs are fattened on acorns giving the cured meat a deep nutty flavour.
Pity I had no carry-on room to take one of these back to Paris. But I did manage to squeeze a few slices on board.
These little piggies went to market …. but didn’t come home.
These snack-size saucissons were delicious and dry.
The cheeses we sampled included goat, sheep and the famous manchego.
Being close to Northern Africa means a wonderful supply of dried fruits and nuts
The fruit displays were breath-taking
And how about all these varieties of tomatoes?
Would have loved to have made up a fresh salad with these beauties!
And to finish your meal how about a cappucino chocolate?
or maybe some pebble toffees?
Folks, I’ve found my retirement village!!!

Paris, Rue Montorgueil Markets

Paris has a food market on nearly every street corner.
But my favourite market street is Rue Montorgueil in Les Halles which is a frission of people and fresh food.
 I am staying in an apartment a few streets away.
There are many food shops but the market shops are only opened from Tuesday to Saturday.
Everything is beautifully displayed on a street with oodles of atmospherre and character.
Parisiens are obssessed with good quality ingredients and will only buy
the freshest and tastiest poduce.
Of course cheese must be eaten every day.
And the range is truly spectacular from the smellies through to the hard cheeses.
Vegetable displays are works of art.
It’s ceps (mushroom) season at the moment.
These globe artichokes smelt so fresh.
Chickens are sold with heads and feet still attached so customers can see how fresh they are.
Like Berliners the bicycle is the transport of choice for many Parisiens
The mosaic tiles of the walkway
And of course when the shopping is done it’s time for some people-watching and a kir royale.

Berlin – The Turkish Markets

Still grey and overcast in Berlin. Sunny change expected on Thursday – when I leave for London. Danke Schoen!
On our way to the Turkish markets nestled on the banks of the Landwehrkanal, we take a little detour so Ria and Chris can show me the last remaining section of the Berlin Wall that’s been preserved as an ominous reminder of the communist era.
It’s covered for its length with grafitti-like artwork exploring the wall’s many evocations.
In fact much of the art work along this old east-meets-west border is confronting.

Ah yes, we’re finally here…… at the Turkenmarkt in Kreuzberg. Berlin has Europe’s third largest Turkish population and most of the city’s immigrant community comes here to shop for fruit and vegetables and exotic fabrics.
The makets only sell seasonal produce
This ginger smelt pungent and spicy
Lots of cool climate root vegetables but I was surprised to see limes
And of course with spargel season running hot there are phallic-looking white asparagus everywhere.
The marinated vine leaves will make delicious dolmades
And this stringy salty cheese is a local delicacy used in sauces and dips
This wasabi cheese was a taste revelation. Nice grab-you-at-the-back-of-your-throat finish.
Time for a warming ale… we grab the window seats at the bar across the road for a bit of people watching.
A sensible combo – a glass of wine comes wtih an obligatory glass of water.
But unlike the French and the Italians no complimentary nibbles!

Union Square Markets, New York

The Union Square Markets have an extraordinary assortment of farm and homemade products displayed rustically among crates and flapping canvas. This farmers market or ‘green market’ set the standard that other big city fresh food markets around the world have followed. They were established in 1976 to enable local farmers to sell their produce directly to consumers. Farmers set up shop every week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays and come from a 150 kilometre radius. There are over 1000 different varieties of fruit, vegetables, cheeses, breads, fish and meat sold. Even though the below freezing temperatures had numbed my feet and hands, armed with a cup of hot spicy apple cider, I managed to inspect every stall before retreating to the legendary Union Street Cafe for lunch.
how good do these carrots look?
honeycrisp apples
turnips and beets
a golden beet definitely from the underworld
wish I could have cooked up a dish with this broccoli and garlic
brussel sprouts are winter vegetable de jour over here.
The best way I have had them is peeled into individual leaves and deep fried with garlic and onion at ‘South’ restaurant in San Francisco
golden pears
acorn squash
hmmmm…buttered and baked
artisian breads
and biscuits
….apple pie, pumpkin pie and rhubarb crumbles
delicious fresh cheeses
farm fresh googs
every yoghurt flavour
harvested this morning
crays, clams…
…and Bluepoint oysters
The yanks love their turkey….
homemade jams and spreads
didn’get to try this unusal one
what an interesting pasta flavour

The High Line and Chelsea Markets, New York City

On Monday morning we left (part of) our heart in San Francisco and headed off to chilly New York.
The long flight was a chance to catch up with some blogging. A new inflight broadband service allowed me to join the blogging version of the Mile High Club!
We arrived at our Sohotel hotel in Soho late evening, grabbed some unbelievably good pasta nearby in Little Italy, slept soundly and set off on Tuesday morning to explore the High Line in the Meat Packing District. The High Line was an operational elevated railway line until the early 1980s. A shipment of  frozen turkeys was apparently the last cargo to be carried on its tracks! Instead of dismantling the railway line local conservation groups lobbied to have it preserved and transformed into open park space for hemmed-in New Yorkers. So glad they did.With the Chelsea Markets located at the High Line on West 15th this is a must-do for all garden-loving foodies.

locals and tourists enjoy some hard-to-find sunshine
The railway line was concreted and planted with grasses and shrubs. About two-thirds of the line has been completed.
the past provides structure for the present and the future
flowers amongst the concrete and steel
Parts of the High Line have been glassed in allowing visitors to experience the eery sensation of floating above the New York traffic
A section of the High Line at 10th Ave
Pop into the Chelsea Markets and do like the sign says and pack your picnic here
The markets occupy about half a block of old warehouses
Most of the original fittings, and pipes and brick facades have been retained
There was an exhibition showcasing recycled Christmas decorations
From afar it looks like an expensive high-tech wreath….
on closer inspection it is made up of dozens of old CDs
This seafood joint contained an array of crustaceans and fins I had never seen before
Everything was displayed so immaculately
dismembered claws…
the freshest lobster…
with a home-style butcher next door…
New Yorkers want to know everything about their meat
where it came from….
how old it was and was it happy when it died
New Yorkers are still in love with their cupcakes
loved these Sesame Street inspired ones
but this was my favourite