This week Ines Shennan spins a few stories about her Farmers Market exploits, and delivers recipes for decadent, salty, sweet, soft, crunchy, spicy, and generally delicious mouthfuls of bliss. The kind of rich, heartwarming, beaming-smile-across-your-face kind of food that you can’t wait to share with your flatmates. Or maybe just scoff by yourself, you greedy thing.
Otago Farmers Market
Every Saturday at the Railway Station, Dunedin opens itself up to an explosion of flavours. From treats made before your eyes to produce ready for some TLC, everything just begs to be consumed. The Farmers Market is host to over 60 different vendors, including resident chef Alison Lambert, who demonstrates how to create fresh, playful dishes from the seasonal produce available. The market is open from 8am until 12.30pm, making it an ideal stop for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or all three. Trot along with a big appetite and some cash in hand, and you won’t be disappointed.
The steamed pork buns from the Jia He Asian Food stall in the north end. Glossy, plump, soft buns encase a hot filling loaded with minced pork, vermicelli noodles, cabbage, and peanuts. For the pig lovers (or haters, depending on which way you see it), there are also buns that have the same filling sans the pork mince, in plain or curried tofu varieties. An intensely spicy, tangy Szechuan-style dipping sauce sits at the front of the stall, ready to be liberally spooned over your tightly-guarded takeaway. Dumplings are also available, though yours truly was too busy going back for round two of the steamed buns to give the former so much as a fleeting glance. Oh, and at $2.50 each for a glorious mound, it’s hard to contend with them for the best value prize. So. Freaking. Good.
Check out the spreading, flipping and filling magic at La Crepe. Priced from $4 to $9.50, there’s an exciting array of sweet and savoury flavours to choose from. Banana, chocolate, and whipped cream is utterly divine: definitely the epicurean’s definition of good time at 11am on a Saturday morning. Lemon curd, honey and sliced almond, passionfruit and whipped cream, cheese and ham, “The Complete”, even a savoury special – there is something for every palate. Pack a delicate, sweet one into your belly with a strong coffee, or jump aboard the savoury crepe train and go for one of the combinations.
A fabulous vegetarian sidekick of mine raves about The Joyful Vegan, and I can understand why. Try one of their $7 burgers, officially crammed with amazingness, and you’ll immediately wonder if their beef patty-filled competitors might be knocked off their perch of popularity one day soon. Or maybe they already have been. A delightful caravan that also sells breads, slices and muffins, it’s a bustling, joyous little stall.
Bacon butties from the Bacon Buttie Man. North End. Salty. Mustard. Fatty. Tomato sauce. Greasy. Soft white bread. $5.50. Good for a hangover. Good for everyday life.
Grab a pie from Who Ate All The Pies if the thought of crisp pastry paired with flavours like beef, mushroom and red wine, chicken, bacon and thyme, and pork sage and caramelised onion warms your heart. Or your stomach. Or both. This is a legitimate breakfast. Not every week. But maybe once a month, treat yourself to a Farmers Market “shopping for seasonal veggies”-but-on-a-pie-for-breakfast mission.