Monday, May 19, 2008

Victoria Market

I chanced upon the Vic Market Tour on my first day in the city having a walk about taking in the sights and sounds. Being a gastronomy student and with an avid love for all things related to food I booked my place on the Thursday market tour and set off on the three hour tour at AUD 30 completely excited!
Upon my arrival at our meeting spot I was given a complimentary green market big with VIC MARKET printed boldly across, a tasting plate and plastic cutlery - now I'm not pointing it out just giving you the information if you ever contemplate doing the tour yourself.
Located on the corner of Elizabeth and Victoria Streets and spread over seven hectares, it is the largest open air market in Southern Hemisphere. Open since 1878 the markest has 125 years of service! Closed on Monday and Wednesday with particular timings, the rest of the week, make sure to concult the website before making a trip to double check days and timings.
Many of the traders are second and third generation and reflect Melbournes cosmopolitian culture! Now enough of history take a look at the wonderful photos I got on my visit to the markets. On the particular day I choose to visit (end of April) it was the weekend before Greek Easter so there were an incredible line up of entire sheep carcasses hanging with heads on and even heads stacked neatly in piles with the eyeballs intact. Spit roasting the entire animal is a typically Greek Easter custom!

We move from the meat section to the fishy side of things...

A really, really big Octopus is stretched out by a fishmonger eager to creep us out - he really didn't know that I love having a close up look at everything before I eat it!

And here come the veggies... it was quite a turn out. Most of the tuber family was there in large numbers ... hehe !

From persimons to feijolas (a fruit native to New Zealand and one I have not tried - but will soon and will tell you about it) Check out the bulbs on these - simply gorgeous!!!
Beautifully baked goods made my mouth water. Those almond croissants are just sinful - filled with custard creme its a dream come true!

I had to have a taste of these two and bought one of each. The marscapone filled figs and apricots are just delghtful and would be beautiful on a cheese platter being served after a meal or just on their own with a dessert wine, perhaps along with a Semillon (a golden skinned grape used to make sweet whites found in the Bordeaux wine regions, Cotes de Gascogne as well as the Hunter Valley near Sydney as well in the Barossa - here is South Australia. Initially this varietal was mislabeled as a Reisling!)
Read it and believe it baby - this abatoir that specialises in game meats had a wonderfully wide selection to choose from...
I got to try the venison sausage and the crocodile that was seared on a pan. Being a sausage I would not use either as a benchmark for tasting the quality of the meat although both were incredibly tasty. I also got to have a taste of kangaroo fillet cooked very rare and it was exquisite. Having ordered kanga twice at restaurants both times it was overcooked (I love it blue - pink in the centre) and the meat turned stringy. I guess this butcher knew not only how to slaughter it but to cook a pretty mean steak as well!

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