Travel and food – for me they are inseparable, so I jumped at the chance to visit Eveleigh Farmers Market on a recent short trip to Sydney.
Brilliant Food produces an award-winning range of smoked seafood products.
I don’t get up to Sydney very often at all these days, so when I was there for couple of days last month for the Sydney Writers Festival and was invited for a morning trip to Eveleigh Farmers Market I jumped at the chance to squeeze just one more thing into an already busy schedule.
Housed in an old blacksmiths workshop in the historical Eveleigh railyards, Eveleigh Farmers Market began trading in 2009 and operates under a strict charter to ensure authenticity, origin, knowledge, sustainability and excellence. All produce offered for sale is required to be sourced directly from farmers, chefs and artisan producers who grow, rear or prepare them and must be grown or raised within New South Wales or the ACT. (In the case of value-added products, 50% of the final value must be added in NSW or the ACT.)
Organic, traditional fresh pasta and sauces from Pasta Emilia, made using locally sourced ingredients with some signature ingredients from Italy.
Set up and managed by the Bourke Street Bakery, the Bread & Butter Project is a social enterprise bakery. The project provides a paid, TAFE-accredited 12 month training program in baking for refugees and asylum seekers.
While Eveleigh may not be the oldest farmers market in town, it is certainly one of the most popular, if the crowds there during my visit were any indication. On a brilliantly sunny, winter (well, their version of winter at any rate) morning I found myself elbowing my way through the throng of local shoppers – most of whom appear to attend complete with small children, shopping carts and the family dog. I’m still a little surprised about the latter.
Ferment It produce a raw, organic fermented gourmet food range which includes krauts, kimnchi, chutney and do-it-yourself starter packs.
Yalla produces a delicious range of soups, dips, desserts and yoghurts much appreciated for their freshness and distinctive Mediterranean flavours – think strawberry and pomegranate yoghurt, beetroot sumac relish and green tahini.
There are over 70 stalls at the market which span a wide variety of fresh produce, meats, cheeses, pasta, nuts, baked goods, olive oils, native produce and a delicious selection of stalls selling a range of breakfasts. My guide and I did a quick whizz around all of the food stalls so that I could see what was on offer, before we refuelled. After agonising over the choices – omelets, crepes, pho, Vietnamese pancakes from Billy Kwong, I happily settled into a quiet corner with a ‘crooked madam’ – a toasted sourdough sandwich with ham, gruyere, fried egg, barbecue sauce and Dijon mustard from chef Alex Herbert’s Bird Cow Fish stall.
Of course, I was never going to leave without sampling some of the simply stunning baked goods and sweet treats available. I fell deeply in love with Sweet Acres Brownie Bar – what’s not to love about an entire stall dedicated to brownies?
However, I have heard much about the wonderful Flour and Stone, who also have a stall at Eveleigh Markets now, so was very happy to follow that up with some serious fieldwork. If I lived in Sydney I think I’d set about making Nadine Ingram of Flour and Stone my new best friend. Her products are simply exceptional – as you’d expect from someone who has worked at La Gavroche and The Ivy in London. Her glorious stall was utterly ravaged well before closing time, but I’d made sure to reserve some strategic purchases – purely for research purposes, you understand. It’s just a shame I couldn’t manage to carry more.