Red Hill Market

October 3, 2010

I adore going to the market. Setting off first thing in the morning and filling my bags with fresh local produce and bountiful blooms to brighten my apartment, tasting local delicacies and strolling the stalls blissfully unbound by any time restraints. Visiting the market is one of my favourite weekend activities. It all feels so European and old-world.

On the first Saturday of every month between September and May, thousands of market-goers flock to my little hill of red soil to browse and buy, munch and mingle, and taste and try. I have been looking forward to this day for a long time. It has been many months since my last proper market visit, as Ben and I were away for 7 months during 2009. Then, since the beginning of this year, every first Saturday has rolled around and I have found myself otherwise engaged. I have been positively itching to re-visit the market, a place I have frequented so much in my life, and which holds such a sense of home.

After a lovely and refreshing early morning walk, Ben and I eagerly set off for the Red Hill Showgrounds. We were keen to visit our favourite stalls for our regular purchases, and we were also excited to see what was new. I embrace the new vendors who pop up, however I feel rather abandoned and unsettled when old favourites disappear. The zealous sun seems to have finally embraced the new season, and was shining proudly down upon us as we strolled the grounds.

Dietitian tick πŸ™‚

We started with poffertjes. $6 for a plate, they are topped with butter and dusted with sugar (plus a cheeky drizzle of maple syrup). These little Dutch pancake pockets are uber fluffy and just delightful.

The famous Red Hill Cheese.

The fire was burning for the Billy Tea and Scones.

Birds for sale – I always feel sorry for the little budgies.

Animal farm – this is new, or perhaps I have always walked past without noticing.

These darling little cupcakes always sell out quickly.

Cookie cutter galore! Lots of creative shapes, such as this cute cupcake one below. We bought an easter egg shaped one, which I cannot wait to use come Easter time, and an airplane one just for fun. Link.

Corn on the cob, and Calamari.

This is one of the newer stalls, and looked to be fairly popular – Japanese Cakes!

Our favourite stall would have to be that of Paul and his incredible Pesto. Paul and his wife, Alva, are so lovely and friendly, and their pesto is out of this world. We bought the traditional basil and pinenut pesto, which I love with pasta. This time were were also tempted by their coriander and macadamia pesto, which Ben bought to have with fish.

Ginger Beer and Lemonade from the Barrel.

Ben loves these beautiful satay skewers, extra hot πŸ™‚

Fresh orange juice.

My love… Italian doughnuts. The friendly men who make these intoxicatingly delicious, light balls of cinnamon sugar coated heaven informed us of the origin of the Zippoli doughnuts. They are from Calabria, in the south of Italy. Apparently they also serve them as a savoury beer snack, with anchovies and a touch of salt replacing the cinnamon sugar. Also available with jam in the centre, but that is not traditional according to these gentlemen. I would have to agree – the original way is the best.

And of course, there were little old ladies selling homemade goodies. I limited myself to two mini jars – a banana jam and a green pickle chutney. Their hats were included in the tidy $2 price πŸ˜‰

I love the vibrant colour of lemon butter, but I always seem to favour other goodies. Perhaps next time I shall buy some, or better yet make some of my own. Mission lemon butter?…

Lastly we bought some apples and juice from the Delgrosso’s – a lovely local family. They make the best apple juice.

Then it was time to head home, we were spent – both physically and literally, our pockets were considerably lighter upon leaving the sunny grounds. Every penny was deliciously spent. I can’t wait for next month…

Heidi xo
  • Jennifer Davis October 3, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Thanks Heidi … can almost smell and taste the market and what a beautiful spring day to enjoy the sites and sounds too! Aunty Jen

  • β™₯Lola October 3, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    Wow I absolutely loved this post! Going to the weekend markets is one of my favourite things to do as well πŸ™‚ A few weeks ago I managed to find cherry blossoms, which was so exciting!

    The japanese cakes look so cute, although I've never seen them in Japan before, do you know if they're traditional?

    Also I've been meaning to ask, do you know if oats are ok to eat in moderation if you're trying to cut down on gluten? I've read conflicting thoughts and I'm rather confused.

    Hope you are having a lovely weekend πŸ™‚


  • Celeste @ Berrytravels October 3, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Are those cupcakes from crabapple bakery? I do so love their cupcakes…

    And I too love a good market day out. It's so refreshing and I always leave the market feeling energized.

  • mimi October 3, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    food heaven! everything looks delicious!

  • ClaireyH October 3, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    I think I am a market groupie, north melb market today, tiny but gorgeous, I ate something called a mmm, what was it, gouvelch, no, that can't be right, Gouve….something, blueberrie brioche for the little ones, and sausologist special for SS. Picked up some amazing salad dressing from Robinvale Estate…what more could you want from a morning?

  • Angela (the diet book junkie) October 3, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    wow, what a great day! i would've been all over those cupcakes and Japanese cakes πŸ™‚

  • The InTolerant Chef October 3, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    I am intrigued by the thought of salty, anchovy donuts….Hmmm,I adore anchovies but would have to try these before making up my mind.

  • Kath October 3, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    Markets are so lovely! I love they still have those old scales and suitcases there, and it's amazing they make the tea and scones in an earth oven! The produce looks so good! Pumpkin and artichokes, yum! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  • Heidi October 3, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    Glad I could help, Aunty Jen! πŸ™‚

    Thanks Lola! I don't think they are traditional cakes – Ben has been to Japan a few times & he said he's never seen them before. I didn't ask the owners of the stall, next time I might investigate!
    Regarding oats and gluten, it is recommended that oats are avoided on a gluten free diet as they contain a protein that some coeliac sufferers are sensitive to. & there is a risk of cross contamination with gluten containing products during processing too. BUT if you're not a strict gluten free eater (i.e. coeliacs) then oats are fine πŸ™‚

    Celeste – the cupcakes are by 'create great cake' (forgot to include the link earlier). They all look so lovely! Beautifully decorated.

    Mimi – food heaven indeed πŸ™‚

    Clairey – yum! It all sounds scrumptious. I must try nth melb market. I love all the exotic eats you can get!

    Angela – I was far too enraptured with my doughnuts and poffertjes. Next time I should pay more attention to the other cakes πŸ˜‰

  • Heidi October 3, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    Celeste – oops! Just looked at the site further & yes it is crabapple bakery – Jennifer Graham. All her cakes look amazing!

  • Leah October 4, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Wow what a great day out! I love going to the farmer's markets and buying and eating my way through it πŸ™‚

  • Sam McMillan October 4, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    What a superb blog. And the market doesn't look too bad either. I will be making a trip down shortly I think.

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella October 4, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Everything looks magical there! I'd love to order ginger beer from a barrel and eat those delightful cupcakes!

  • Xiaolu October 5, 2010 at 5:36 am

    Wow it all looks fantastic, especially the poffertjes.

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) October 5, 2010 at 7:35 am

    What a delightful market indeed! I love Red HIll!

  • littleaspects October 5, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Those markets look great! Have you ever cooked fresh artichoke? I've seen them everywhere now that they're in season and I want to try – those ones are cheap compared to the ones I've seen!

  • Heidi October 5, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    I have never cooked fresh artichoke, little aspects! I just find them really pretty, I love their shape. I saw Jamie Oliver eat them on 'Jamie's Italy' at a market place, I think I would try and cook them like that. Just really simply done, with lemon, I think.
    Heidi xo

  • Hannah October 7, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    I just went to Floriade where I sampled many a delicious treat, so I'm completely in the mood for a wonderful market post! Love dorayaki… wish those had been at Floriade!

    But you're right, those budgies are sadface. Sigh!

  • Heidi October 8, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Ahuh! Dorayaki! Thanks Hannah πŸ™‚ so apparently they are a traditional Japanese cake, made of two small pancake-like patties (made from Castella, which is a Japanese sponge cake) and filled with a sweet red bean paste – thanks Wikipedia! Brilliant, Hannah xo

  • Kiki Chaos October 8, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Ooh, so it's started again? Thanks for the reminder. Will definitely be going to the next one. Great photos. You can really 'feel' the market atmosphere πŸ™‚

  • Julia R October 12, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Yum, reading your post made me so hungry. We haven't been to the Red Hill market in ages, will have to add it to the calendar!

    Julia from the Vogue forums here by the way!

  • Iron Chef Shellie October 13, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    I really want to try those Japanese pancakes. I saw them at the Flemmington market, but already had bought 7 cupcakes, and other desserts…
    I shall have to try them soon, your most just reminded me how much I MUST TRY THEM!!
    Oh and those Italian doughnuts.

    I also feel like apple juice…
    HEIDI!! what are you doing to me!

    I really want to make stewed apples on greek yoghurt with granola clusters and fresh blueberries from one of your previous posts… nom nom!

  • Heidi October 14, 2010 at 8:25 am

    Yes Kiki, must go to the next one!

    Hi Julia! Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

    Michele,hehe it is just so cruel that it only comes around once a month!! I'll be dreaming of the doghnuts until then…

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