I was recently reading ' Lunch in Paris' a newish chick lit 'memoir with recipes (how could I go past it) and it reminded me how much I love Farmer's markets. The author and narrator spends countless mornings wondering about Parisian markets, much to my envy. What a life. Whilst I was reading the book I found I was a little annoyed. It could have been a number of things 1) The book is monotonous (but still has some good recipes) 2) I was insanely jealous of all the food in the book and 3) there was something niggling at me. You know- the 'I know I have forgotten to do something but I'm not sure what it is' feeling? Annoyingly present throughout the whole book- in the last chapter it dawned on me! The products from the farmer's markets I was supposed to blog about...
As you may already know from my other posts, I LOVE FARMER'S markets. I love spending countless time wondering around with the soul aim of finding new and interesting things to eat. I often buy products and snap their pictures with the aim of telling you about them, but it always seems pointless to do a blog post on one or two items. For that very reason, I am blogging about products from two different markets that I have visited over the last couple of months. The marmalade is from the Jan Power Farmer's Markets at New Farm (held the second and fourth saturday of every month) and everything else is from the Noosa Farmer's Markets held every Sunday morning (rain, hail or shine!).
If I had to specify a preference for the markets, I would choose Noosa. I like the atmosphere more and the stalls are less crowded. For me, the best thing about markets is you find some really awesome products, or find out more about the product from talking directly to the producer.
The Grainge homemade marmalade is produced in Brisbane by a guy that originally sold the preserves through a butcher shop at Carrara when he realised there was a huge demand for high quality, old school preserves. There were several varities of jam available including raspberry, apricot, boysenberry, and boys and rasp, but I am a lover of marmalade (looking for an awesome recipe if anyone has one!) so had to go for the Marm for about $6. Impressively, all the ingredients for the marmalade (grapefruit, lemon and orange) are sourced from queensland growers. The care that has gone into making this product shows, as it was delightfully tart (not sweet like many mainstream marms) and melted onto my thick white toast and butter.
I have to admit, my Indian cooking skills are NOT up to scratch. In fact my knowledge of Indian food is pretty poor too (although attempting to word up!). I would love to make more curries but I really don't have time after work etc to come home and grind up all the required spices and am seriously not keen on the preservative ridden supermarket versions. I was really happy to come accross Lush Delights (not to be mistaken with Lush body products!! You can actually eat these pastes!) who make Indian and Thai curry pastes from all natural, fresh, local ingredients. The company is based on the Sunshine Coast. The pastes are reasonably priced i.e I got four 60 g different flavoured packets for $15. I think the small packets are probably only good for one or two people. As a bonus I think all(maybe most....) are gluten free.
The curries come with pretty specific instructions and although I followed them I didn't totally love my chicken tikka, I felt it lacked a bit of flavour. I was much happier with the Thai green curry paste which was sweet but spicy (and I added a little extra fresh chilli.)
Um... Sadly I can't really remember too much about the story of these sausages- but I do know that all the sausages are gluten free and pretty good. I tried the beef and chilli sausages, and they were not too chilli, but had a nice consistent flavour and texture for a sausage.. i.e not too dry or too oily. They have some pretty interesting flavours too i.e
1) chicken, mango, chilli, chutney and rocket lettuce;
2) chicken, honey and macadamia nut;
3) beef, sundried tomato and fresh basil.
The sausages are about $14.99 a kg.
So, tell me readers, what is your favourite product you have stumbled on at the markets?