Saturday, June 29, 2013

Queen Victoria Market

It's my first day off for 2 weeks so I deserve a decent lie in and a lazy day. However, life is too short so I was up and out the house before 6.30 am and heading to the Vic Market to stock up on some treats. Getting up early and heading to the Vic Market has become a habit for me on my first day off. The lure of the great foods on offer in the Deli and Meat markets is too big a temptation, and it was all I could do to restrain myself today. (I'll be back there next week so didn't need to go mad today)

It was a bit eerie at 7 am when I arrived at the market. There were few people about, even some of the stalls hadn't set up yet, and there was a mist hung over the city that had yet to clear. So after parking I headed straight to the Deli and meat markets. I have no interest in the main covered market, or the fruit and veg parts, though I walk through the organic section of the market to check out the goods. No, it is the deli that really captures my imagination bringing flavours from around the world. The stalls in the deli offer great cheeses, cold meats, butter, breads, cakes, salads, pasta and much more. I limited myself to some Warrnambool salted butter, Cheshire Cheese, Cambozola and a strong Cheddar, though it took an enormous amount of will power to drag myself past the expensive, but excellent, French deli stall which specialise in cheeses and pates.

The deli Market

The best for butter
It was then through to the fish and meat section which is truly excellent, with great quality food and an amazing selection. The one thing that I have noticed in Australia, compared to the UK where I was born, is that fish is expensive. There is a great variety in the Vic Market from basics such as snapper or whiting, to chunky fish such as swordfish or tuna, there are barramundi or ocean trout and loads of crustaceans such as prawns and crabs. I was lucky enough to find ocean cod which is rare in Australia, and according to the guy I bought it from, a winter fish caught when the seas are colder. As for meat, it really is a hard choice as everything looks so good. The red meats are great value, and can be brought cheaper in bulk, while the chicken is, I think, a touch pricy. There are also meats prepared to be cooked in certain ways, and I bought a mini lamb roast stuffed with sun-dried tomato and pistachio.
The entrance to the fish and meat market
All told, it took me about 45 minutes from getting out my car to getting back in it, and that was only because I was gaping every now and then at the delicious looking foods. As the first hour of parking is free, I was also lucky to get away without paying for that. A successful start to my 2 week holiday period and the joy of some good food to come over the next few days!

1 comment:

  1. During the night market around this time, the Melbourne chess club had up to 16 boards set up. Numerous people played.

    Bill Jordan