Saturday, December 17, 2005

Smoked Trout and Cherries

Today was the first Saturday in ages I've been free to wander round one of the local farmers' markets. So notquitesobrightandearly, the Figster, Plumbaby and I headed off to the oval on Auburn Road, for the Boroondara market. This one is held on the third Saturday of every month and while it isn't nearly as picturesque as the one at the Collingwood Children's Farm, most of the same vendors attend and it is a great deal more convenient for me on this side of the river.

I've been going to these markets since they started up in Melbourne and it's always good to bump into the regulars - the garlic guy (one plait of garlic and 3 punnets of strawberries), the green guy (one huge bunch of watercress and 2 salad plants). Also interesting to see the new stalls cropping up and it's plain to see what's in season. There was rhubarb, rhubarb and more rhubarb to be seen. Also heaps of strawberries and apricots. And the cherries, did I mention the cherries?

When I was growing up, cherries were a once a year occasional treat. Hideously expensive and pretty much one variety fits all. But now, at one stall alone I found 4 different types and my favourite kind of sign "No Spraying. Feel Free To Taste". They had Ron and Bing and Rainier but my fave was definitely the Bing. And they weren't particularly expensive and came free of the nasty pesticides! Plump, firm and succulent, I gazed at three dangling from the same stem. And then I stuffed my mouth full with as many as I could at once, just to delight in this wonderful plenty.

We picked up heaps of other things - Swiss brown mushrooms, elderflower cordial, tomatoes and the best organic coriander I've seen in ages. And when we got home, I threw some cherries into a bowl and sliced open the packed of Smoked Buxton Trout. The Buxton Trout Farm is located near Healesville (Victoria's oldest commercial hatchery apparently), and while I've only gone past, I couldn't do the same to their stall. The trout was coral and slightly smoky, with a delicious oily texture that, well, went perfectly with the cherries! To be blunt, I ate half the packet standing up at the counter before the Figman even got a look in.

So note to self: Next time, get a whole kilo of cherries and another fish.


At 3:37 PM, Anonymous din said...

Yes the local cherries right now are something else. Years ago I discovered the cherry man at St Andrew's Market (mostly a crafts/trash-treasure market but some fresh fruit and veg). He'd be there about a month before Christmas and every week would have a different range of cherry varieties. My favorite after extensive testing was the Merchant. I think its an older variety and big and rich and very very satisfying. I've not been back there since my little girl has been on the scene. So I was very happy when I found a stall that sold them at the Collingwood Children's Farm two weeks ago. And you can never buy too many!

At 10:51 PM, Blogger plum said...

Ooh, I haven't seen that one. I'll have to check it out if they appear again! And yes, I definitely learned that they don't go to waste!


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