As an avid food lover, one thing I love to do is visit markets and supermarkets. When on holiday, one of my planned activities is to spend many hours at markets and at supermarkets to see what food the locals eat. I'll walk around and eye at everything and want to buy all the good things I see. We're lucky in Melbourne to have our own very great markets to visit. One such market is the Prahran Market. The Prahran Markets have been around since 1864 when it first started at Greville Street and then since 1891 in it's current location. Fire has erupted through the market in the 1950s but has since been rebuilt and what is currently standing has been that way since the 1970s.
I was fortunate enough to go on a tour of the Prahran Market, led by the food loving Kathy. Kathy helped to highlight not only all the great food in the market, but also the history and people behind the stalls. I learned about Pino and his plight to get to Australia to join his childhood sweetheart Maria. While Maria was allowed to enter Australia, Pino wasn't and it was only after he rescued someone back in his hometown and was given a favour by his Government that he got to come to Australia.
Through the market, you will get to meet some very passionate food lovers, such as MJ Mow and Damian Pike, both of whom show such enthusiasm about their produce in potatoes and mushrooms. These two gentlemen are the only non-chefs to be honored by the food industry for their contributions.
Fresh fruit and veggies abound in the market, but you will also find a variety of other items, such as a shop specialising in various containers, wonderful fresh flowers, and some delicious Tad Lombardo chocolates.
The market has lots of meat and fish stalls, but one that caught my attention was Cester's Poultry and Game stall. These guys sell everything that is poultry and game related. You can pick up some rabbit, goat, quail, pheasant, guinea fowl and whatever else your mind can conjure up. I am totally eyeing off the rabbit and will be going back to buy some for a dish I've wanted to make for a while.
If rabbit is not your thing, they also make loads of poultry products, such as rissoles, pies, kebabs and sausages. The flavour combinations all look to be great matches and definitely worth trying.
Shopping around the markets can be tiring work so one must stop at recover, and my personal recommendation is recover at Pastry Twist. Here you will find this wonderful gentleman making Hungarian Donuts, or Kurtoskalaks. These donuts will blow your mind away. So you get the awesome donut yeasty taste, but you also get this caramelised sugary exterior. Blended with the cinnamon, they are knee-weakeningly good. While you may be tempted to go with the chocolate, or chocolate and nut version, please please please I implore you to stick with the cinnamon version. The flavours of the cinnamon really shine through and tastes so good.
Once you've purchased your fruit, veg and meat, you obviously need to visit the delis and pastry shops to buy all the essentials of cured meat and cakes right. Ok I joke but I do love my cured meats and desserts. I think I could live off those two things alone if my heart would allow me.
Be tempted by beautiful Salted Caramel Macarons or the rather erotic looking Marshmallows which they sell from a table outside Naheda's Choice. The lady stallkeeper will also encourage you to eat the marshmallows a certain way. I'll leave that for you to find out when you go yourself if you dare.
If eating erotic marshmallows are not your thing (of which I have to ask you why not), you can grab some delicious Lebanese pastries from Abla's, who sells the pastries out of massive metal pans.
As you can see, the market caters to everyone needs for your essential items, but will also tempt you with a huge variety of treats and goodies from all other the world. The stall holders are all passionate about their trade and will help give you loads of useful information, while also sharing some stories with you if you ask them. I'd highly recommend you go to the Prahran Markets and load your trolley up with heaps of good food.