You know that feeling of a kid in a candy store? Well I feel something super akin to that when I visit farmers markets. It’s like I go crazy with the wondrous possibilities of the tons of fresh produce I can buy. And not just vegetables and fruits, there is an abundance of other stuff too; olives, cheese, dips, spices, sweets, meat, poultry, seafood, yada yada yada.
And one of the best things about Melbourne? It has an endless variety of markets in and around town. There are the old behemoths like the Queen Victoria Market and the Prahran Market, and then there are the seasonal ones like South Melbourne Night Market which happens during the bright and endless summer nights here. Every town that I have visited in and around Victoria has a special Farmers Market where everyone gets together to enjoy the sun, each other’s company, and take back with them a variety of produce and goods.
It is this variety of markets plus my over enthusiasm for them that has made me want to start a monthly series Markets of Melbourne. It is my aim to cover as many of these markets as I can and share them with you too. Arjun Singh thinks it’s just another excuse to visit these markets, and well, if it means fun for me, and content for you, who’s to complain.
So, presenting the first post in my Markets of Melbourne series, in which I am going to introduce you to
A lot of people, including me, might have believed the Queen Victoria market to be the oldest market in Melbourne. But na-uh, I present to you Prahran market, which has been an ever-present steadfast favourite in the South Yarra area since 1864.
Much like a typical spacious farmers market, Prahran market has it all. The fresh produce stalls selling countless varieties of vegetables and fruits, the meat, seafood, and poultry stores and delis, the million-varieties-of-olives stores, the fresh pasta shop, and the ever-present German sausage cafe. The unique thing about Prahran market is that it has a dedicated market square that allows for visitors to eat, catch up some live entertainment, have a coffee, and generally relax around the venue.
7 Things I Discovered at the Prahran Market:
- Chicken Gozleme: To the Indian in me, it was like eating a crispy chicken paratha, but to the finer tuned palates, Gozleme is a Turkish treat, made with pastry dough brushed with egg and butter, stuffed with a variety of toppings, and cooked on a griddle. The classic fillings are spinach and feta (*sigh*), and minced lamb/beef/chicken. I opted for the minced chicken stuffing, and it was satisfyingly yummy.
- Tequila and Lime Stuffed Olives: How good does that combination sound? If you are thinking that great, let me get a pack for those and my Friday night high is taken care of, let me stop you right now. These olives are more suited to the snacker who likes a little bit of tang combined with the sour-brine soaked olives.
- The Essential Ingredient: A treasure trove of cooking ingredients, accessories, and equipment. That’s what this store was for me. I spent a good half an hour here just browsing around the endless aisles of seasonings, bamboo chopping boards, sauces, pastas, the cooking pots and pans, serving dishes *sigh the serving dishes*, the knives, etc etc. There were like 20 types of Balsamic vinegar available in house. I know where to stop when I need any exotic Champagne Vinegar, in case I ever do. (doesn’t hurt to know my options)
- Chocolate Gnocchi: I discovered it exists at The Fresh Pasta Shop and it is on my HAVE TO HAVE eat-list for the year
- Prahran is a relatively expensive farmers market, if you compare it to Queen Victoria market, and even your local grocery stores. Could be the area it is located in, the South Yarra area is definitely not known for affordability, or could also be that unlike the QV market, there are only a limited, small group of suppliers (9-10). Just guessing.
- Closing Hour Deals: However, even though it is an expensive market (I bought a small box of olives and a small box of feta cheese for 20 dollars!), if you stick around until closing hours, you might just end up going home with a bargain or more. The sellers just want to get rid of their produce for the day so they start offering you 1 dollar deals. Whatever is on certain tables, goes off for 1 dollar. I actually got a box of fresh Zucchini flowers (6 to a box) for a dollar and a kg of strawberries for 5 dollars. Yayie! (now if I just knew what to do with them)
- I am not really adventurous: Okay, so it’s not a discovery and alright, so there is nothing super adventurous about picking up a camera and deciding to photograph a market to add to your blog. However, I think I just get a bit conscious and shy. It took me a while to get the courage to ask a few of the shopkeepers if they were okay with me taking a few pictures, and they actually didn’t mind at all. So I got a few normal shots of the market just to give you an essence of the market. Hopefully, with each post I get a bit more confident. (and click better shots!)
Hope you enjoyed this post on Prahran market. If there’s something that you would like to know more about this, or other markets in and around Melbourne, do drop me a note below.
Thanks for reading :)