There was one place I simply had to visit on a recent trip to Adelaide. My memories of the seemingly endless stalls of fresh produce, the tantalizing aromas and vibrant atmosphere had me yearning to return. Adelaide Central Market began in 1869 and until redevelopment in 1965 was known as City Market.
Photo courtesy of SA History Hub
With the establishment of Chinatown in the 1980s came traditional Chinese archways guarded by lions, pagoda style roofs and lanterns decorating a street lined with Chinese restaurants and grocery stores.
Central Market has an interesting history but that’s another story. This is about food. Meeting my two accomplices at the southern paifang (Chinese archway), we embarked on our journey of discovery. Join us as we wend our way along each aisle to ensure we miss nothing.
The House of Health offers bulk wholefood from grains, lentils, beans, rice, flours, nuts, seeds and dried fruit to Chia, Cacao and Hemp Seeds.
For authentic Latvian and Baltic foods using traditional recipes, the Latvian Lunchroom has a quirky cosiness.
The wall opposite presents part of an exhibition entitled, ‘The Market Through Our Eyes’, by Little Picassos Art Studios. 400 artworks fill the walls throughout the market for four weeks, capturing the spirit of Adelaide Central Market through children’s eyes.
A wide selection of nuts, dried fruits and confectionery waited at The Carousel Nut Bar
and Michael’s fruit & veg…well, it speaks for itself.
Something Wild is Australia’s first indigenous native greens, native game and meat wholesaler.
They have collaborated with Adelaide Hills Distillery to produce the unique Green Ant Gin.
The Green Ants are known for their medicinal benefits and protein content among indigenous societies and are harvested in the Northern Territory by the Motlop family of the Larrakia people. We enquired as to the flavor of the ants and were presented with a sample to taste. The intense citrusy lime flavor was quite unique and not unpleasant, ants are something I had never contemplated eating.
The Olive Tree Food & Wine is the cellar door of the market, stocking South Australian wines, olives, marinated antipasto and extra virgin olive oil.
The Elephant in the Room couldn’t be ignored. The wines are sourced from the cool climate vineyards of the Limestone Coast region in south eastern South Australia, they are now on my shopping list.
We were all smiles at Say Cheese, lingering a while to sample some of their local and imported cheeses.
The range of breads next door at Dough were boggling, I don’t know how we resisted the mouthwatering patisserie delicacies.
Even the simple egg looked enticing at the Happy Little Clucker.
Our cheese adoration came to the fore at The Smelly Cheese Shop,
the creamy Maison de la Truffe won my heart and my tastebuds. The Brie de Meaux style cheese is layered with fresh truffle pieces and tastes like heaven. I hope I can find it here in Tasmania.
Jamface by Poh (some may remember Poh’s Kitchen on the TV) is an eclectic structure of reclaimed timber and mismatched windows. A popular stop for coffee or lunch in a relaxed atmosphere.
There was a huge variety to choose from at The Mettwurst Shop, all naturally smoked, nothing artificial and you can try before you buy.
We could have stayed at the market for hours, something new to discover at each stall.
Unfortunately, my baggage allowance and border control prevented me from purchasing goodies but I did get a little something from The Mushroom Man. After tasting mushrooms cooked in butter and tossed in Truffle and Black Garlic Salt, I couldn’t resist.
I will return to Central Market one day, soon I hope.