Sunday, August 05, 2007

Good Living Pyrmont Grower's Market: August

Lavender bunch

My hands, brimming with newly bought wares were slowly getting tired. Two bags on each hand, a bunch of flowers clutched under an armpit and a handbag slung over the other shoulder. I don't remember having to walk so far to get to the markets. Especially when I got there just a half hour after it opened. I thought I was early enough, but judging by how far I had to park it was clear that the markets was the place to be this morning.

Yes, that's right, it's the Good Living Grower's Market at Pyrmont again. It's been a bit of a spell since I last posted about these market- I was busy and sick the past few Saturdays, but this time I was determined not to miss it. Besides, with a winter's morning so hospitable as this, how could I resist?

The first thing I passed was a floral stall that for some reason is tucked away in a corner apart from most of the other stalls. If it weren't for the fact that I entered this way and its convivial proprietor and perhaps the chocolate truffle stall nearby, I don't think I would have passed it at all. But I much prefer their flowers to the larger flower stand on the other end of the market. But anyway, I got this bunch of lavender from them and its tender lilac blossoms are just the thing to brighten up my room.


If you're looking for photos of the markets, well there's none. I don't have any pictures as I was at the markets sans my handy market assistant who usually carries all my food stuffs. I had been deprived of being able to indulge in the sheer pleasure of market shopping that I decided to forgo the photo taking to concentrate on actual shopping. But here is a little sneak peek into some of the things I bought.

First up is a market staple of mine, Consummate's Olive Flatbread. It's crusty, yeasty, and is dotted with rows of black olives. I'm a sucker every time. If you have never tried this bread let me describe it to you. The crust is beautifully blistered and chewy while the interior is soft and fluffy and lightly tainted with hints of saltiness from the juices of the olives that have seeped into it. It can get a bit messy to eat but that's half the fun.

Olive Flatbread

Also from Consummate is this adorable cake- an apple and rhubarb mini cake. Don't be fooled by its meagre size, this little cake packs a punch. The cake itself is quite dense and moist and the fruit topping is chunky. They don't hold back with the flavours either, sweet apple and tart rhubarb, its the perfect tasty treat for the morning.

Apple and Rhubarb Cake

And I was so delighted to see that my favourite winter stall was back again. I thought they would never return but it turns out that these oranges ripen late winter so that's why they seemed a bit non-existent at the beginning of the season. The Rosy Red Oranges are my favourite oranges to eat, and what's not to like about them? These oranges have it all- their juicy, their incredibly sweet and is packed with more vitamin C than any other orange. This variety is actually a cross between a Ruby Grapefruit and Navel Oranges, and if they look familiar, it's because I posted about them last winter as well.

Rosy Red Oranges

After reading a recent article in SMH's Good Living about cheese in Australia, Serge Dansereau makes a statement that I think most might concur with, "Real foodies will always get excited about cheese." I don't often post about cheese, I don't know why although I cannot deny the fact that seeing a fresh wheel of cheese just begging to be sliced open excites me. I think it's because great cheese and cheese-making in particular embodies the central tenets to good eating and cooking- excellent produce, attention to detail and passion.

I never liked gorgonzola before. The first time I ate it was at a restaurant in Darling Harbour and I have to say, I almost vomited. It's taste was just too strong and peculiar for my layman's palate and I wasn't sure if I was ever going to give it a second chance. But after watching some non-descript cheese show on the food channel, that happened to feature gorgonzola, I knew it was time to give it an opportunity to redeem itself. After being engrossed by the entire program and seeing the amount of time and work, and not to mention the history that goes with the cheese, I was repentant that I even turned my nose up at it.

Gorgonzola Picante

This here is the gorgonzola picante, the stronger and sharper of the two types of gorgonzola and definitely the most pungent. Genuine gorgonzola is aged in limestone caves that produces the specific spores of the mold that give the cheese the blue veining
that is characteristic of the cheese and really makes it what it is. I ended up making a mushroom and gorgonzola pasta dish for lunch later that day.

I not only bought the gorgonzola, but today I decided to splash out on cheese. And I mean splash out. This cheese costs $100/kg! And with only $10 cash left in the wallet all I could splash out on was a 95g sliver. And when I say sliver, I really mean sliver.

What makes the Testun Occelli unique is it's casing which is made of the wine must of the Barolo grape. Basically the cheese is encased in the leftover grape skins and seeds from the process of wine making. It makes for a smooth, medium hard cheese that's crumbly to the touch. It's taste is quite sharp, although there are hints of sweetness. It's probably the most extravagant I've been with cheese and if I only get to taste it once, it was well worth it.

Testun Occelli al Barolo

And lastly, one of the friends I have made through these markets are the Australian Honey Cellar people. They have a great stall filled with an enormous array of Australian honey that is harvested in country NSW. It's always a delight to come by their stall and today I was even more elated when De presented me with my favourite product of theirs- the Tasmanian Leatherwood. I've talked about the Tassie Leatherwood before here and there really isn't a better way to end my market experience than with a slice of fresh honeycomb.

LinkTasmanian Leatherwood Honeycomb

Next up: The recipe for the Mushroom and Gorgonzola Rotini I made for lunch. It's so easy!


Anonymous said...

I love lavender! Was even once inspired to buy a pot of lavender for my balcony. It was a type meant to be kill-proof, but even I managed to disprove that :-/

Aimée said...

What a haul! The honeycomb is an interesting purchase. Will you nibble it as is? LOVE gorgonzola!

Jerry said...

Looks like fun. Sadly August brings the end of my peach season. Summer is fleeting here in Texas.

Abby said...

Beautiful photographs. Your trip to the Farmers Market is like one out of a book! Adventurous, entertaining and educational!

Kat said...

Creme fraiche was nowhere to be found this month and I felt so bereft. But it was a beautiful day for the markets.

Katie said...

Wow you can tell by your photos that the quality of the produce is amazing. I'm so jealous.

ioyces said...

wow!! beautiful images Jenjen!!! :D

Jes said...

You guys must have an amazing market--everything looks fab, especially the cheese.

Anonymous said...

such an awesome blog!Ireally like your photos....;)))
gorgonzola&barolo forever!

Ales said...

wow, you get testun in Australia!? I am (positevely) is one of my favourite cheeses and I love it with honey of some wine jelly. Nice, strong flavour. slurp

Eva said...

Each time I read your accounts of the Pyrmont Market, I want to slap my face - missed it, again!! Well, maybe I'll make it to this market for my second anniversary in Sydney - for the first time ever...

L Vanel said...

What beautiful photos, Jen. I love what you brought home!

We are... said...

Hi, I stumbled across your blog this afternoon and have thoroughly enjoyed looking around.

I hadn't seen many Sydney foodie bloggers, like myself, so its great to find you.

I haven't lived here too long, but have been meaning to check out these markets and will most defintely now I've read your post on it!

Thank you.

Sara - Piperita said...

I can't believe it!
I was chasing the internet for information and pictures of Testun al Barolo, as I'm writing a post for work about it, and one of your pictures came up and I thought: how is it possible that one of my favourite blogger, living in Australia, was able to put her hands over a piece of Testun al Barolo, which is a quite rare (and expensive) cheese in Italy too???
The power of food blogging will never stop to amuse me! Moving, really! :)