A trip to Adelaide shouldn’t come without visiting a few of the local markets. One thing I made sure of when I hit town late last year. Yes, there’s the obvious choice of Central Market, but when I learned of the Brickworks Market I made sure I fit it into my fleeting visit.
Many online reviews tout it as being they city’s largest; covering food, fashion, gifts and furniture. Even amusements and entertainment on the weekend for the little tackers. Whilst it may cover six hectares of the former Hallet Brick Industries site, in and around some beautifully industrial structures, what I saw on this particular Saturday morning was dismal, to say the least.
The majority of places were either closed or caged-up. A fruit & vegetable shop had the most clientelle; let’s say about eight people, with a few shop vendors standing around waiting for someone to make a puchase. A virtual ghost town. Very sad, but I have read that leases were not being renewed and good old Woolworths was moving in.
Now here’s a market that isn’t short of people. Central Market. An absolute hive of activity and serious magnet for gourmands. Stupidly I wasted time faffing around getting to the Brickworks Market and heading to Norwood for lunch. Not that lunch was a waste of time, mind you. By the time I walked from Norwood to Central Market, thanks to the lack of taxi’s and infrequent public transport, I got to the market 5 minutes before closing. Damn it!
I must have looked like a madman rushing around trying to take a gander at anything that was still open; but everyone was clearing up and pulling down shutters. A great range of vendors covering organic produce, coffee, tea, chocolates, smallgoods, you name it. I was under the impression they’d stay open until 5.30, just not on Saturdays.
The weekly Adelaide Showground Farmers’ Market, held every Sunday, showcases some fantastic local farmers and small producers. The urge to lay in bed at the hotel was short-lived when I drew the curtains and was greeted with a brilliant blue sky. Adelaide, you really are one pretty little town.
Rather than cab it to the market, not that any are around when I need them, I walked the half hour-or-so down to the show grounds.
At first I was a little disappointed when I walked into the large shed and found a rather small gathering of producers selling their wares. What? This is it? Mind you, the selection was fine. I was just expecting a lot more from Adelaide’s largest farmers’ market.
Irresistible smallgoods, breads, Moroccan-style salads, and my favourite … From Scratch Patisserie with its glistening baked treats.
It was when I stepped outside that I found the rest of the market in the car park. All the fresh fruit and vegetables displayed colourfully in boxes, crates and on tables. A real hive of activity.
Thanks to my love of native Australian ingredients, I couldn’t help but stop and sample something from Bush Tucker Ice Cream. A long list of Aussie fruits, berries and spices feature in the sugary (or non-sugary for the diabetics) treats, and they even do dairy-free.
Give me dairy any day! From a choice of 12 dairy flavours, I was drawn to the quandong. I’d cooked with the fruit previously and really like its tart and slightly sweet flavour. Sadly the flavour wasn’t as noticeable in the ice cream, but it was tasty nevertheless.
I could have easily filled bags with loads of produce, cured meats, crusty artisan breads and bottles of olive oil, but my minuscule overnight bag didn’t have an inch of space remaining. Time to head to the airport.