Fresh smells, seasonal produce, local farmers and lots of variety—that’s how a produce market should be. Former Australia Captain Michael Clarke shares the insider’s guide on where to shop for food when you are in Australia.
1. Adelaide Central Market
Located in the heart of the city, Clarke says that this undercover market is South Australia's gourmet headquarters for fresh and multicultural products, such as native Aboriginal ingredients to a huge range of Asian ingredients, oysters and other locally fished and farmed seafood, olive oils, gourmet cheeses, organic fruits and vegetables, and premium meat and poultry.
This almost 150-year old market houses 80 specialist stalls of different cultural influences and operates from Tuesday to Saturday, where local chefs and foodies flock to for their fresh produce. Several stylish cafés and eateries serving everything from sushi to pizza dot this market; and tourists can opt for a local guided tour and interact with the well-informed stallholders, enjoy exclusive tastings, and watch guest chefs give cooking demonstrations or even sign up for a cooking class.
2. Prahran Market
Clarke recommends this vibrant market in Melbourne for its well-informed vendors, top-class butcher counters and much sought-after gourmet delis making it a popular foodie destination.
It boasts of being a premier food market since 1864 offering fine fresh produce, certified organic goods, unusual ingredients or speciality items that aren’t easily available, sustainable seafood, and free-range meat and poultry; the vendors being more than happy to dish out advice on all things food, making it a full-service market on Tuesdays and Thursdays to Sundays.
3. Sydney Fish Market
If you visit Sydney New South Wales, then Clarke suggests that you look no further than the daily Sydney Fish Market for all your seafood needs—the kind of big, juicy and flavourful seafood that has made Australia globally famous.
This large marketplace that sits on the Blackwattle Bay foreshore in Pyrmont, has predominantly seafood shops with hundreds of native species to choose from at any given time of the year, but Clarke also recommends the market’s mouth-watering deli items, wine and baked goods, and its restaurants that can supply the ‘catch of the day’—fish caught in local waters only hours earlier.
4. Noosa Farmers Market
This farmers market in Queensland sets up shop every Sunday, come run, hail or shine from 7am to noon and is perfect for shopping and breakfast (from the artisan bakers and coffee from the local roasters).
Clarke speaks highly of the market’s fresh organic produce and freshly squeezed beverages where all products are grown, reared, caught, baked or prepared by the stall holder. He goes on to point out his likes in the market: sumptuous marinades and sauces, nuts and seeds, olives and tasty tapenades, herbs and just-caught seafood, freshly-baked bread and creamy cheeses; reiterating about Noosa Market’s handmade quality olive oils, olive tapenade and fresh olives.
The market also offers fruit picking, farm tours and cooking schools, besides offering some of the Coast's best produce every Sunday morning.
5. Parap Market
This Saturday market in Darwin Northern Territory is one of the oldest running markets in the area, and besides local food and the finest tropical produce, it will enthral you with its diverse arts and crafts by local craftsmen.
Clarke endorses Parap market’s diverse range of fresh produce, locally grown vegetables, herbs, and Asian greens, besides a large range of Asian foods. Functional from 8am to 2pm, every Saturday of the year, this charming market proudly supports local made arts and crafts including clothing, jewellery and gems, artworks, beauty products, specialist crafts, plants and cut flowers, massage, tarot and much more.
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