To know me is to know that I am a Flemington Fan-Girl. That would be the Sydney Markets in Flemington NSW, not the Flemington where horsey races happen.
This 2-minute video shows but a part of my Saturday haul:
This heavily pictorial post is dedicated to readers from my old law firm who’ve undergone Project Milward training.
[Warning: Digression here.] For the info of all other readers: Project Milward’s aim was for people to use more pictures when writing papers, presentations, advices etc. “Investment bankers have been doing it for years,” the trainers intoned.
Before you giggle at the absurdity of stereotypically verbose lawyers drawing pictures, I gotta say the use of graphics indeed enlivened many a lunchtime Powerpoint show.
Pictures: Half of the market booty, and some end products
I braved the Saturday noon frenzy, being the market’s prime price reduction time. Consequently, my bargainhunter-gatherer instinct kicked in, causing me to buy more (and save more! Get my logic?) than I normally do.
For list-lovers, here’s the complete list of 34 items. Look out for quick recipes in yellow boxes.
Best buy #1: Giant tray of 25 perfect Calypso mangoes for $18.
I kid you not, the following week my local duopolistic supermarket was selling those mangoes – same brand, same sticker, same tray – for $3 per mango.
Yee-hah, I crowed to my shopping companions, my $18 mangoes are worth $75 here.
Best Buy #2: 1.2 kg of Johnny’s Love Hearts tomatoes for $5.
Okay, I’d never heard of this variety either. But by golly, where have they been all my life? These are the best tasting tomatoes I’ve ever eaten.
They’re shaped like roma tomatoes and have oxheart tomato striations near the calyx and a pointy bottom.
What else? They:
- are not too seedy or wet inside, perfect for making salads that don’t puddle up;
- emit a scent; and
- taste intensely, robustly tomatoey. Not like some tomatoes that look pale and taste pale.
Being sweet, Johnny’s Love Hearts are perfect for eating raw. I reckon it’d be a waste to cook them.
The Chive Splurge
In view of my massive savings on the fruit, I splurged on vegetables by buying:
- flowering chives – $4 for a large bunch; and
- yellow chives – $5 for 3 bunches. I’ve adored them since childhood, but I’m too stingy to buy them much these days.
Okay, so I’m a chivey sort of person. Aren’t you? What’s not to like about chives?
Yellow chives (gau wong in Cantonese) are garlic chives grown under cover sans sunlight, so the leaves don’t go green. They’re a similar colour to white asparagus. They taste like sweet, mild onions, with a squeaky smooth texture.
Being pale, yellow chives are susceptible to bruising, so I cooked them on market day. I fried them with chopped garlic and diced preserved salted fish, with a scant teaspoon of sugar to counter the slightly pungent salted fish.
You’re most likely to encounter yellow chives in braised E-Fu Noodles at Cantonese restaurants. As a kid, I had more than my fair share at Cantonese banquets with the extended family. By age 6, I’m told, I stayed seated throughout all 10 courses, eating quietly. Nobody intimidated me into behaving. I just liked eating.
These are more commonly available as currants, which are tiny dried Black Corinth grapes. I see the fresh form only a couple of times a year, usually at the same Sydney Markets exotic fruit stall.
Looking more like berries, this smallest variety of the seedless grape family has individual grapes of only 0.5cm in diameter.
This 1½-minute video shows you the best way to eat them (assuming you aren’t dining with the Queen):
Shameless spruik – Flemington Grazing Adventure: Asian Fetishes
Want to visit another part of Flemington, with more instant gratification (in the form of cooked food)?
Explore Flemington shopping village with FITK. Take in Malaysia, Hong Kong, India and Vietnam in half a day. Here are links to the Flemington Grazing Adventure and to the Bookings page. And something to whet your appetite:
Sydney Markets secrets
For top tips on shopping at the Sydney Markets, read this.