I love markets, all sorts and types, especially flea markets and those selling fresh seasonal local produce. Growing up in Asia, market is such a part of one’s daily habit. In places like Hong Kong, people still go to the market at least once a day for their fresh produce.
I shop at the Prahran Market religiously every weekend. It is our Saturday ritual when Michael is not travelling. Our Saturday always starts with croissant from Alison’s followed by flat white at Jasper Coffee. Alison specialises in handmade bread and her croissants are form Melbourne-based third generation French bakery. IMHO, these croissants are the best in Melbourne. I used to live in France I know a good croissant when I see one. You can taste the butter in Alison’s croissants, and they are plumped and moist not at all dry and flaky. All of her breads are prepared from locally sourced ingredients.
Jasper is our caffeine dealer extraordinaire. The company tends to focus on single origin, organic and fair trade beans. All their beans are freshly roasted in house, plus they are also carry in-house blends. Different beans and blends are featured each week for their sit-in/take-away orders. I have not seen the place not packed with regulars queuing for their fix.
Prahran Market caters for all taste and culinary tradition. You can get just about anything from the market, even for obscure products like “chincalok,” fermented whitebaits sauce, a speciality of north east of west Malaysian. I love browsing through the chock-a-block aisles of the Asian groceries. Which is so different and contrasting from the professionally done visual merchandising approach of the up market Essential Ingredients.
My two main shops are the organic producers; Ripe Organics and Cleanfood Australia. The latter carries more fresh local seasonal organic produce. The former is a larger operation and supplies both fresh and dry goods. Ripe has everything you need for a 100% organic pantry; from spices and condiments to basmati/brown rice, other grains, lentils and pulses.
It is at Ripe Organics that I discover raw chocolate. You have not eaten chocolate until you have tried organic raw chocolate. You can taste all the goodness of natural raw cacao butter in each bite.
I also love the name of the company that makes these exquisite products – Loving Earth. Like Jasper, the chocolate is of single origin, organic and fair trade. The company is based in Thornbury, a suburb on the north side of Melbourne. Checkout the website: www.lovingearth.net
What’s exciting and local in you area?
REDUCE. RECYCLE. REUSE. REVITALISE. RELOCALISE.