In every town I visit, markets are always a must-do, and my hometown is no different. Australia is lucky to have a strong agricultural industry, so fresh produce is never far away. My favourite farmers’ markets are the West End markets, held every Saturday morning.
We do our weekly fruit & veg shopping here, so we arrive around 6:30 to beat the crowds which come from 8:00-10:00am. Before it’s busy, it’s easy to dart around to the usual stalls and fill a basket for way less than we would at the supermarket. Not only is it cheaper, but the produce is so much tastier and there is so much more variety. Dragonfruit has been one of our favourite market finds – we’d had it from some supermarkets but it was never very nice. The pink dragonfruit from the markets though is so sweet and is perfect in desserts.
From our breakfast spot at the cafe (and by cafe, I mean a caravan selling brekky burgers), I can smell the baguettes when the vendor breaks the top off one, even though he’s a good 7 or 8 metres away. Before I started going to the markets, I had forgotten that fruit, flowers and vegetables are meant to have a smell. The flowers are pretty and last so much longer than expensive store-bought ones and at 30 cents a flower, I can walk away with a bunch for next to nothing.
I love seeing all the fresh seafood. Huge fish rest on ice and vendors are more than happy to help you pick the best one for the meal you’re cooking. The paella always smells delicious, fresh smoothies are everywhere and there are more Greek treats than you can poke a stick at. Arrive hungry, and leave full.
Apart from the delicious, fresh food there’s also jewellery, knick knacks, artwork, clothing, eyebrow threading and fortune tellers. You’ll want an hour there, but could move through faster if you were just after your weekly shopping. I like to wander though and just look at everything, because every stall is a new feast for the senses. More colourful, sweeter smelling, fresher and tastier.