I was in Adelaide, South Australia, attending the Words to Go conference for food bloggers, held as part of Tasting Australia recently. The event program was excellent and offered a range of interesting and delicious things to do. I must admit, however, that I let out a tiny squeal of delight when I knew that we were going to spend time at Adelaide Central Market. That place is heaven on earth for foodies, as far as I am concerned.
You can see the look of excitement on my face in the photograph below, which appears courtesy of Carla, a fellow blogger from The Unitalian Wife. There we were, a bloggle of happy food bloggers, gathered outside the Market after breakfast at Jamface, our tour and lunch at Lucia's. (More about these in upcoming articles, lest I dazzle, or even bore, you with too many photographs).
With more than 80 traders all under the one roof, the Adelaide Central Market is one of the largest under cover markets in the Southern Hemisphere. It was established in 1869, when a group of market gardeners made their way to a site between Gouger and Grote Streets and started selling their produce. I love the idea that a thriving community hub can be established in such a simple fashion... and still be trading some 145 years later.
I was fortunate enough to part of the group that toured the Market in the company of Deputy Lord Mayor, Megan Hender - a knowledgable market-goer and food enthusiast, who has been a resident of Adelaide for a quarter of a century. Ms Hender has also served as the Council representative on the Adelaide Central Market Authority.
Our tour began at Something Wild - Australia’s first Indigenous-owned native greens and game providore - where Manager, Jo, introduced us to smoked crocodile and kangaroo, as well as samphire and other deliciously salty sea greens.
Next, we met the Market's octogenarian, Stephan Oulianoff (below). The Bulgarian gentleman is a veteran of the Market and his stall, Central Organics, has been operating since the 1980s. Originally, he and his late wife were selling home-grown produce. Stephan now specialises in selling Certified Organic fresh produce, locally-grown seasonal fruits and vegetables and a range of organic goods.
Our next stop was the Kangaroo Island stall, where we met Justin - an animated fellow who was keen to tell us about the extensive assortment of Kangaroo Island produce available. The range of foods and beverages from Kangaroo Island is most impressive. (Apologies for the blurred image).
It was a delight to meet cheese connoisseur, Valerie Henbest (pictured top of this article and below) at The Smelly Cheese Shop. Valerie was born in Normandy and confesses that she is a 'cheese tragic'. There are dozens upon dozens of cheeses available in Valerie's amazing store, sourced both locally and from around the world. Fresh cheese, traditional cloth cheddars, Bries, Camemberts and triple cream cheese varieties; as well as the classic blue cheeses: Stilton, Gorgonzola and Roquefort; and a range of cheese accompaniments. As you might guess from the next few photographs, I think I could have stayed tasting and talking cheese with Valerie all day long.
Marco Marinelli's Mushroom Man's Mushroom Shop was the final stop on our tour. The Marinelli family has had a long association with the Market and the store offers everything mushroom - from the humble buttons to kings, oysters, porcinis and even truffles.
The 'tour proper' may have finished, but I took great delight in investigating as many of the stalls at the Market as could in the little time I had on the day of my visit. I hope you will enjoy my postcards. In closing, I have just one last thing to say about Adelaide Central Market. "I'll be back".
Please stay tuned for more on my Tasting Australia and Words to Go adventures. Coming soon.
Disclaimer: While I attended the Words to Go Conference in Adelaide as a guest of South Australian Tourism, I travelled to Adelaide and stayed at the Adina at my own expense. This is not a sponsored post.
Tell me dear readers, are you a market lover like me? Do you find that food markets are like heaven on earth? And have you ever visited Adelaide? If no, you simply must!
Cooking and writing have been a lifelong passion.
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- Liz Posmyk
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.