Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Adelaide Central Market...Fruit, Vegetables, Noise and Nibbles

We were in the city last saturday morning, and made use of the time by checking out Adelaide's Central Market. This is an Adelaide institution - having been around in one form or another for around140 years. It may have started off servicing the relatively small central city of Adelaide - however nowadays it provides a very important focal point to the whole of Adelaide.

There's plenty of fresh fruit and vegetable stores to buy cheap produce in... although not all of it is locally produced... but the veg is always fresh, and come the end of the trading day, you can always pick up an even bigger bargain.

Not only is it a great place to buy  fresh fruit and vegetables, but also any number of delicatessan and continental goods.

There's cheeses, and coffees, organic produce and meats of every description.

And the good thing is that unlike the local supermarkets you can talk to the people that really know their products.

Hmmm... I love mettwurst, a german-style sausage... yumm-o! I quickly got T-chan into mettwursts too... as a way of educating her on South Australia's strong German heritage.

And if you're looking for variety, there's always a lot to choose from, if you know what you're after. I love olives, but don't even pretend to know all the different varieties of flavours. T-chan however is not an olive person. That's always a good thing when it comes to eating pizza as I automatically score all of her olives as well.

And there are some really nice small stalls (in fact there's 200+  stalls in all)... and who can resist a fountain of chocolate? Especially two of them. There's lots of nice delicacies, and quite a few nice cafe's or eateries around the market to grab a coffee or a bite to eat.

Fresh fish is a selling point in the market - though don't expect a cheap price. At least this is one place where you can buy sashimi quality fish in the city. I wouldn't call Adelaide a seafood city, but you can get a decent range of fish.

The Central Market has a number of different associated areas, including a Supermarket (strangely enough), several small arcades, a hotel (pub), and the Market Plaza which joins the Central Market with Chinatown. Of course, none of these things are unique to Adelaide (and I always think of Queen Victoria Markets in Melbourne as the best), but it's a good place to shop; though it's a bit of a struggle with small children given the large number of people.

The market originally began in 1869, with the red-brick facade dating back to 1900. There were two markets in the city, with the East End Markets being another important element to city life. The Central Market remains the only functioning market in Adelaide City (but I might post about some of the other markets around the city later on).

The market is open every day except Sundays and mondays, and only partially open on wednesdays. Other than that, the markets generally open early till 5:30. On Friday's it's open till 9, but on Saturdays it closes at 3pm (2-3 is a good time for bargain hunting).

And the other good thing about the market is that it sits on Gouger St (on the southern side), one of the great food streets of Adelaide, if not Australia! (ok... that sounds a little parochial).

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