The Addison Road Street Food Markets have been serving up an array of exotic cuisines to diners for over a year. And behind the tantalising curries, pastries and sweet desserts are stallholders from countries such as Syria, Iran and Sierra Leone, getting the opportunity to set up their businesses in Australia and connect with the locals. Mina Bui Jones from the Addison Road Community Centre gives us the background on this popular Sydney market and explains how food can help overcome barriers.
When and why did the Street Food Markets start up?
The Addison Road Street Food Markets were launched in April 2016 in order to create a platform for new businesses run by refugees, asylum seekers and recent migrants. It started as a partnership project between Addison Road Community Centre and STARTTS (NSW Service for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors). The risks and costs of setting up a business can be prohibitive, especially for people who are still getting settled in a new country. The Street Food Markets provide an opportunity for these emerging enterprises to test the Sydney food market, as well as for sharing skills, knowledge and some of the risks by becoming part of a community of stallholders.
Which countries are represented by the market stallholders?
You’re likely to meet stallholders from Iran, Ethiopia, Syria, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, north-eastern Thailand and Sierra Leone.
Because the Street Food Markets are an enterprise-development project, the stallholders are always changing. Some have come to nearly every single market since the first, which was a surprise sell-out with over 6,000 people turning up! Others have honed their business model at the markets and moved on to open restaurants or pop-up food stalls elsewhere.
How do the markets involve people from refugee and migrant backgrounds?
The idea behind the markets is that the stallholders are sharing their own food cultures. It’s not food which you would normally find in restaurants, or food that has been adapted to suit an imagined Australian palette. The stallholders are involved in a very personal way. It’s not just a chance to earn an income, but also to share recipes that might have been learned from a grandfather or aunty, or a special dish that’s only found in certain regions of their homeland.
How does food help overcome cultural barriers?
Through pure pleasure! When you enjoy the taste of something, you’re happy and your heart opens just a little more. It can also make you curious and want to learn more about differences, whilst recognising the many similarities we share across the world related to preparing and sharing food.
There is an Egyptian lady who sells the most delicious comfort-food style dish called kushari, made with rice, lentils, macaroni and onion. Some people say it’s Egypt’s national dish, but it’s also found in Lebanese cuisine and is related to the Indian dish kedgeree. We are connected by our enjoyment of food and also the wonderful, complex histories of the foods we eat.
Why is street food so popular?
There’s a saying that eating food with cutlery rather than your hands is like courting a lover through a go-between. Maybe there’s a similar difference between eating indoors and eating outside under the sky. There’s something fundamental and direct about being outdoors when you eat, and of course it’s much more social. We’re not in our little boxes at home, or marooned on a specific table in a restaurant setting—it’s fun, it’s relaxed and it’s shared. That’s why we also always have live music at the Street Food Markets, adding to the atmosphere of celebration and inclusion, of cultures meeting and mingling.
What are some of the mouthwatering dishes on offer?
Where do I start? It’s always hard to choose, so sometimes I order extra to take home to eat on Sunday. A new favourite of mine is Persian coconut ice-cream. It’s just beautiful— silky, smooth, flavoursome and, surprisingly, it’s vegan too. Then there are rich, saucy curries from Sri Lanka eaten with a soft steamed coconut bread, and the extraordinary vegetable-filled, spiced pastry triangles from Iran called sambooseh. Ethiopian flat bread with a little cluster of meat and vegetable dishes on the side is very popular, as are the dosas and satays… it just goes on!
What else is on offer for the diners?
For the diners who come along, the Street Food Markets are a way for them to say ‘Welcome to Australia’: we are interested in and appreciate the cultures, the flavours and the richness you bring with you from your homelands to add to the mix here.
Addison Road Street Food Markets
Open on 1st & 3rd Saturday
4pm to 9pm
142 Addison Road
Sydney’s boutique Christmas markets are on again. And they start this week! We’ve compiled a list of Sydney’s best Christmas markets. You’ll find beautifully unique gift ideas and the freshest produce to make your Christmas a special and delicious affair.
Make your Christmas shopping a joy
There really isn’t any reason to battle the big department stores or shopping centres when you’re looking for gift ideas this year.
With great food, live music and activities for the kids, Sydney’s Christmas markets are joy to be at while you tick off your gift list. Many are twilight events, so you can enjoy a drink after work on a balmy night as you shop.
Every gift you find will be unique - made with love by one of Sydney’s talented designers. And don’t forget the farmers markets for local produce and culinary delights in the week before Christmas.
We’ve made a list of the best markets so all you need to do is decide how many you want to go to. Let’s get started!
Hand crafted gift ideas
This is a yearly market that’s always a favourite, and it’s on this Thursday. Head to the historic Lindesay house on Sydney Harbour to get your Christmas shopping off to a great start and take a tour of the house and gardens while you’re there.
The creative makers of the Blue Mountains are hosting their annual series of Christmas markets again. Peruse beautiful handmade work that would otherwise only be available online, such as art, fashion, jewellery, kids clothes, toys and homewares.
Held once a season, the Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability is getting ready for their Christmas special. Nestled in a pocket of bushland on the Harbour at Waverton, this is a great one for families. Come for unique handmade art, fashion and homewares.
Take the ferry to Watsons Bay to be part of this boutique market, either next weekend or at their Twilight Market in December. There’s an even bigger selection of stalls this year, so plan to come home with a bounty of handmade gifts, fashion, homewares, jewellery, art, beauty products and kidswear.
2 & 3 December
With an emphasis on showcasing emerging designers, these special Christmas events from Sydney Boutique Markets are a great option for ticking items off your gift list. Expect unique art, homewares, fashion and accessories, plus live music and much more up in The Hills.
Bundle up the whole family, drive up to the Central Coast and stay for the day - you won’t be disappointed. Over 150 stallholders will help take care of your gift-buying and Christmas meal planning, and the kids will be happy with a play area, free activities, rides and games.
Mosman Twilight Market
Experience the Mosman market at twilight and find some treasures at this special annual event. There’ll be a festive feel with live music and plenty to eat as you take in the offerings from over 150 stalls in one of Sydney’s classiest shopping spots.
Another twilight market as the nights grow long and hot. This event is known for delicious food and boutique bars, but this year there will also be a selection of food-related gift stalls, carefully selected by the Australian Design Centre. Perfect for gifts and for your spread on the day.
16 & 17 December
This two day summer series of the Market Tales is the place to be in 2017. Among the twisting laneways of Precinct 75 in Sydney’s inner west, the boutique stall holders will have something a little different if you’re looking for special gift ideas.
Fresh Christmas Trees
Northside Produce Market
Thanks to 1st North Sydney Scout Group, pick up your freshly cut Christmas tree
Fresh produce for the big day
Naturally, Sydney’s produce markets will be bustling in the week before Christmas. If you want the freshest and most delicious ingredients in the days before Christmas, we’ve chosen a few for everything you’ll need.
On the Friday before Christmas, head to Warriewood for fresh produce, preserves, sauces, sweet treats and more.
23 & 24 December
We all know where to get the freshest seafood. Retailers will be open for 36 hours straight, starting at 5am on the Saturday.
Nothing could be fresher than organic produce freshly harvested and sold on Christmas Eve. French Forest and Marrickville are trading on Sunday 24th so you can stock up and get ready to cook a sensational meal.
Sydney’s markets have everything you need for a special, meaningful and delicious Christmas season. Make your Christmas unique this year by supporting local growers and designers.
Sydney’s Hawkesbury region is known for it’s fresh produce, meats and preserves. So there’s no doubt that a farmers market from the region would be one of the best spots for fresh market goodness.
Well here’s the really good news. On the 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month, Castle Hill hosts the Hawkesbury Harvest Farmers Market with a collection of NSW’s finest producers from the Hawkesbury region and beyond. With over 60 regular stallholders just 30 minutes north of the Harbour, it is well worth the trip.
What’s on offer?
Naturally, you’ll find seasonal produce (like strawberries!), sourdough bread, meat, fresh herbs, nuts and plenty of sweet treats. Some less common delights include traditional Scottish fare, Jersey milk from real Jersey cows, authentic French cheeses and handmade desserts from Sydney’s The Choc Pot.
Plus you can grab a coffee made with beans grown locally by Australian Coffee Estate.
That community feeling
The market in Castle Hill began as a partnership between Black Castle Events and Hawkesbury Harvest.
Hawkesbury Harvest is a community-based collective of local growers. The group works to maintain the high quality of local produce and improve the financial security for those working in the region.
Starting with 25 stalls in 2002, the farmers market gave the Hawkesbury growers a chance to showcase their produce to Sydney’s weekend market goers. As it has grown, stallholders have joined from all over NSW, making it a diverse market with reliably high quality produce.
Are there any handmade art and crafts?
Yep, you’re in luck. On the 4th Saturday the Hills Artist Market sets up alongside the fresh produce - offering artist-made jewellery, fashion, kids’ clothes, toys and timberware. Oh, and if you’re a fan of handmade candles you’ll be in heaven.
On these alternate Saturdays there’s also a bolstered showing from the farmers and growers. You’ll find more eateries, fresh cut flowers, plants, organic tea and gourmet preserves.
If that wasn’t enough, you’ll have the chance to buy some post-organic lamb from High Steaks Farming, who claim it’s the closest thing you’ll get to eating wild meat without hunting.
While you’re in the neighbourhood
If you’re looking to make a weekend of it and want more market action, there’s plenty to keep your tastebuds busy.
Black Castle Events organise two more markets so you can experience the best of the region all weekend.
The Blackheath Growers Market is on the 2nd Sunday of each month if you fancy a drive through the mountains from Castle Hill. The Springwood Growers Market is on every 4th Sunday, where the baked goods and desserts are next level.
Hawkesbury Harvest also run the Farm Gate Trail, which you can follow to meet the local producers and restaurateurs as you sample their delicious food, wine and hospitality.
Castle Hill Farmers Market
2nd & 4th Saturday each Month
Castle Hill Showground
8am to Midday
Hats are as important as the horses at Melbourne Cup, but even if you’re not attending the race that stops the nation, there’s always a need for a good hat. Done well, a hat can transform your look.
Sydney milliner Maya Neumann is a self-confessed market girl. Her first batch of hats, a strange assortment shaped on pumpkins and flower pots, sold at London’s Camden Market in the early 80s.
Maya Neumann Hats have flown off the shelves of luxury department stores Bergdorf Goodman and Le Bon Marché, yet it’s the thrill of meeting her customers that keeps Maya on the market circuit.
Local Market Guide recently spoke with Maya about her signature handmade hats and got her tips for looking your best, whether it be at the Melbourne Cup or lounging at the beach.
How long have you been a milliner for, and how did you get into it?
I've been making hats for just over 30 years. I’d been a teacher but wanted to do something else, but I wasn't sure what. Just to amuse myself while I was travelling (through India in the early 80s), I started collecting all kinds of different religious headwear. In Turkey, I ended up staying with the family of the only Whirling Dervish hat maker left in the world. So I went off to Whirling Dervish hat making classes, my first lessons in how to make a hat.
I didn't know what a hat block was (what you shape hats on) so I started making hats on pumpkins and flower pots! They were strange hats but people liked them.
My first hats were sold at London’s Camden Market. Then I came back to Australia and started teaching myself and learning from a milliner. I started with cocktail hats and bit by bit I learned what to do.
How has hat wearing changed over the years?
I think what brought hats back into fashion was Princess Di, as she started wearing them and people adored her. Also people started becoming very aware of UV damage and realised that they had to look after their skin better.
What do you love about hats?
They enhance someone's total look. If you've found the right hat and it doesn't wear you, you wear it, it adds to your personality. You always notice someone wearing a hat before anyone else, as they stand out. If you get a great style, it really sets you apart.
What can you tell us about Maya Neumann hats?
My hats are incredibly light and extremely durable—you can totally trash them, so they're great for wearing on the beach, on a bush walk or for travelling. They're bad for business because they last forever! But people just buy more, and I'm extremely lucky because everything I've made has sold.
Which are your most popular hats?
My Squash Hat and my Panama Style Hat. A Panama hat isn't actually from Panama; that’s a misnomer. It's woven from a palm that only grows in Ecuador. The hat that I do is a Panama style, but it’s not woven in Ecuador. All of my hats are made out of the same fibre (I only work with organic, non-synthetic material) and no two are the same.
Where do you source your materials from?
I have a fair-trade organisation that I set up with a church in the Philippines to promote their indigenous weaving skills.
What do you love about the markets?
I just love people. The best thing about doing markets is that you meet such a fabulous range of people. I've got to say, I've just got the loveliest customers. I am a market girl through and through. I've never wanted a shop. If I had to choose where the hats are sold, whether it be at markets or the most upmarket shop in the world (and I've sold through Bergdorf Goodman in New York and Le Bon Marché in Paris), markets are more important to me.
Any tips for Melbourne Cup?
Wear something that makes you feel good, brings out your best features and matches your colouring. There are no hard and fast rules about wearing a hat that is very small or very large, because there are always exceptions to the rule.
To find out more about Maya Neumann Hats and which markets to find her, check out:
A bumper crop of fresh fruit and vegetables has taken over our Sydney markets early this season, so it's time to dust off those Summer recipes and get inspired!
From avocado toast to the classic Aussie pavlova, we’re a nation of fruit and vegetable lovers. Thanks to hot temperatures up north, we’ve got delicious fruit and vegetables at our Sydney markets just waiting to bring your creative recipes to life.
Because of the dry weather up north, we're reaping the benefits of early season fruit and vege crops at our Sydney growers markets. While supply peaks, prices are plummeting as our farmers markets are saturated with the overflow of fresh produce.
What fruit and vegetables can I get early at Sydney markets?
Mangos, tomatoes and practically everything in between are on offer from our fruit market sellers.
Sweet Queensland pineapples have doubled in supply compared to the usual harvest, with farmers expecting their numbers to increase.
Strawberries are also bursting from our stalls, with very low prices and highly quality produce bring the sweet taste of Summer closer with every punnet.
We’re even expecting the early arrival of the highly-coveted mangos which generate a unique hype around the Christmas season. Compared to the low yield last season, this year’s harvests are expected to fill thousands of extra palettes.
Zucchini, lettuce, Lebanese cucumbers and tomatoes, the staples of delicious Summer salad recipes, are also coming in abundance.
Cauliflower and broccoli have burst from the ground to greet the warmer weather, providing the perfect accompaniment to the traditional Sunday roast.
Avocados, fast becoming a firm favourite Aussie staple, are making an early arrival as well, with the good harvest expected to continue into next year thanks to the mild Winter temperatures.
All this over-supply means lower prices and lots of choice, providing the perfect inspiration to get creative in the kitchen.
While this early start may have left our farmers in a bit of a sticky situation, increasing the need for fruit pickers (feel like lending a hand on a sweet staycation?), it's our duty to make the most of this home-grown goodness.
How to make the most of your fresh produce
*Jump on the avocado toast train
*Celebrate those sweet Summer fruits
The Wiggles got it right when they said, “Fruit salad, yummy yummy!” Fruit salads are a Summer favourite, but that doesn’t mean you can’t jazz them up! If you haven’t perfected how to cut a mango yet, learn how to cut a mango here.
*Bring back the pav!
The classic Pavlova, traditionally crowning tables during the Aussie Christmas season, has seen many innovations over the years. Why not tap into your inner artist and decorate your pavlova with some creative flair?
*Say hello to cocktail season
Warm Summer nights & cocktails go hand-in-hand, so start testing out some new recipes with the sweet fruit from our sellers. Whether you blend up the on-trend frosé or the timeless piña colada, you're guaranteed to be the toast of the town with our fresh fruit and berries.
*Reach MasterChef level with these salad recipes
Salads don’t have to be boring. Add a twist to the traditional green salad and take salad inspiration from the king of wholefood cooking, Jamie Oliver. Our market sellers will also be full of ideas for how you can make the most of their prized produce.
Why you should go local for your fruit and vegetables
Our market stalls source a wide range of the freshest, and not to mention organic, fruit and vegetables, ensuring that what ends up on your table is also tasty and good for your tummy.
Plus, with the over-supply of produce comes low prices, meaning supporting our local Aussie growers and sellers is good for your stomach and your wallet!
Also, anyone who's visited our farmers markets before knows that the stallholders at our Sydney farmers markets are a wealth of knowledge and meal inspiration. The only thing more satisfying than tasting the delicious produce is hearing the stories behind how it got from farm to feast-ready, which is something unique to our local Sydney markets.
Find your local Sydney market
From Bondi to Blacktown and Castle Hill, our stallholders are ready to deliver the freshest fruit and vegetables. Our community farmers markets and fresh produce markets are the best spots to pick up all the fresh produce you need for your tasty recipes.
When it comes to Sunday markets and Saturday markets, Sydney really does deliver. View a full calendar of all our local markets here.
While you’re shopping at your local market, why not take a minute to discover what else is on offer? Visit Sydney’s best markets to discover not only delicious Australian produce, but also a wide range of artisan and boutique products.
Receive local market updates straight to your inbox and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date.
Fruit and vegetables going cheap as Queensland's warm winter causes bumper crops – ABC News
Pineapple farmers in oversupply this winter after summer heatwave – ABC News
Blooming good outlook for Queensland Christmas mangoes – ABC News
Australia, our mango dreams have come early – National Geographic
Farmers picking an early and extended Queensland avocado harvest – ABC News
Spoilt for strawberry choice ruining lush fruit industry – The Queensland Times
Prices wilt as heat brings on big crop – The Queensland Times
We chat to Madelienne Anderson and Rebecca Fox, co-curators of the Cambridge Markets, about their love of delicious food, their passion for supporting new businesses, and their tips for what to look for at this year’s market in Watsons Bay.
This spring, Cambridge Markets co-curators Madelienne and Rebecca are bringing Sydney’s best boutique market to one of Sydney’s most iconic and beautiful locations - Watsons Bay.
Having started off as a small local market in 2015 at Vaucluse Public School, Cambridge Markets is now one of the biggest mixed markets in the whole of Australia. Its reputation has grown with it, becoming a firm favourite thanks to its unusually high-quality offering of local, environmentally-friendly, and uniquely hand-crafted goods.
And this September, as part of the Cambridge Spring Markets, we’ll be able to enjoy it in a wonderful new location – down by the waterfront. This exciting move is sure to make it one of the most enjoyable market experiences yet – as well as the most accessible. Situated right by the ferry terminal, it’s the perfect location for tourists as well as local day trippers.
We hear from Madelienne and Rebecca about how we can make the most out of our visit.
Why do you love markets?
We love them because they’re a hive of activity. They bring people together. They’re friendly places where stallholders are passionate about their products they sell, and where you a get a personal, one-on-one service. Our markets are located under the trees, so not only can you shop, but you’re also outside enjoying the fresh air.
What makes a great market?
We think a great market is one that’s well-curated, catering for what the community needs. For example, with Rose Bay Farmers Market we try to provide stalls with products, produce and food that aren’t readily available in Rose Bay, like organic and gluten-free options, or home-made hot food that isn’t in Rose Bay already, for instance dumplings, gözleme and pho.
At Cambridge Markets in Watsons Bay, we make sure that all 120 stalls are different to one another, providing a variety of quality stalls and delicious international hot food stalls. We love it too that many of our stallholders are the owners or creators; We love their passion behind it, and we love supporting small and new businesses.
Have you noticed any trends in the market stalls?
Yes, we think there are more and more small, online and new businesses finding that markets are a place to sell their wares, and to also promote themselves. Markets used to be thought of as either junkie or hippie or second-hand, but now they’ve evolved to professionally-run events with a range of different quality products. They’re a great point of sale opportunity, a way to connect to customers, and overall an amazing tool in helping to establish businesses.
They’re also happy places that cross over all ages and socio-economic groups. The quality of the stalls today are outstanding and the food you can get from these passionate stallholders is simply scrumptious. We love the food businesses that are started by the matriarch of the family and run as family businesses. A perfect example of this is Eat Fuh, started by Mama Fuh, a refugee from Vietnam. Now her whole family is involved, and it is a very successful market stall business - in fact, she has such a following that people go specifically to markets to find her beef pho soup.
What should we look out for at the Spring Markets?
We have 120 great stalls, with the most amazing array of products, produce and food. For instance there’s Coco Ribbon offering divine childrenswear; Kata Official selling their stunning crystals; For Artists Only offering cool labels; Feisty Little Mouse kids clothing, toys and accessories; Black Star Pastry, The Mill from Bowral’s glamping tent with Carousel clothing and Surface Store photography.
On top of that, you have all your favourite types of international hot food, like tacos and paella from Watsons Bay Hotel, dumplings and ramen from Rocco’s Ramen, Kingsmore Hamburgers, Hooked on Pokè, Sisters Gözleme, and many more.
Can’t wait to visit?
The first market will be held from 10am-3pm on Sunday 17th September. Simply head down to Robertson Park, right on the Watsons Bay waterfront.
On the day, you can enjoy gourmet food, fun rides, or simply browse the work of some of Sydney’s most talented local designers, artists and creators.
Dozens of new stallholders will be announced each week.
To find out more, or keep an eye on future market dates, visit www.cambridgemarkets.com.au.
Blacktown Markets are an institution, operating since 1994. Open every Sunday, they are located in the grounds of the historic Skyline Drive-In theatre, the last surviving drive-in in the Greater Sydney Area.
Just 30 minutes west of the Sydney CBD on a Sunday, Blacktown Markets offer fun for the whole family. For the last 30 years, they have been attracting people from all over Sydney. If you like your markets vibrant, friendly and unique, with delicious food on offer, this is the place to be.
What’s on offer?
Blacktown Markets are held every Sunday and are a feast.
*Stalls: Here you will find almost 240 stalls offering everything you could wish for, including, collectables, vintage and retro treasures and bric-a-brac, fashion, toys, plants, hardware, books, and handyman tools. Another reason people come here is for the food, both produce and hot food stalls. Taste for yourself the incredible range of different food on offer, there are Dutch delicacies, Cook Island dishes and donuts, Malaysian street food, Cambodian cooking, essential Italian coffee and plenty more.
*Atmosphere and entertainment: This is a place to bring the whole family, with different types of entertainment each week, maybe a jumping castle, or vintage pinball machines. They have even had comedy wrestling. Their promise is to always have something new on offer, to keep it interesting and fresh for everyone. You can even bring along your dog to enjoy the fun.
The most popular stalls, certainly when the markets first open and people rush in, are the “garage sales” also known as flea markets or car boot sales. These are casual stalls offering serious bargains. These stalls are so popular, that some people come to Blacktown Markets for the biggest and best garage sale in Sydney, rather than combing their local streets.
There are so many other popular and unique stalls here, such as The Beard Mantra, selling a wide range of beard oils. Te Kina Wahine sells delicious Maori honey. There are stalls dedicated to collectables, such as Matchbox cars, both new and vintage.
Your mouth will be watering when you smell the hot food on offer. Here are just a few:
*Nhem and Co. offer incredible Cambodian cuisine;
*Master Sticks for Malaysian street food that is authentic and delicious;
*Sir BBQ sell amazing pork sliders with a vast range of different sauces;
*Dog Daze for the perfect Sunday burger;
*Panino Espresso for your essential caffeine hit and tasty Italian food; and
*take home treats from Tee-Lish Brownies—the best brownies in a wide range of flavours. These take-home trays always sell out. So too do the boxes of donuts from QuinkyDink Fresh Cream Donuts.
What has changed over the years?
Over the last thirty years, Blacktown Markets have been getting a lot bigger and busier. An incredible 4,000 to 4,500 people come to these markets each Sunday. They now have almost 240 stallholders, half permanent and the other half casual. This mix of stalls makes for an ever changing market that is as popular as ever.
So you want to host a stall?
Blacktown Markets let you begin as a casual stallholder and you can work only the Sundays you choose. If you are after a permanent stall, there are many reasons to come here. Aside from the popularity of the markets, letting you have access to thousands of shoppers without a storefront, there are no waiting lists, no contracts, set up fees or leases, just apply.
See their website for more information on becoming a casual stall holder or permanent stall holder.
Where and when?
We’re a nation of passionate tea drinkers, with half of Australians drinking at least one cup a week. To celebrate Sydney’s Tea Festival, we find out more about this much-loved beverage, from its history and growth to its potential health benefits, and why markets are the perfect place to find the best blends.
Where does tea come from?
Apart from water, tea is the most popular drink in the world. Tea drinking has been taking place for centuries, and remains a special, timeless routine for many.
All tea comes from the same plant, called Camellia sinensis, which is native to Burma and parts of China. Tea was first drunk by Chinese royalty as far back as the 2nd century BC, where it was primarily known for its medicinal properties. Some Chinese emperors liked it so much, they’re thought to have been buried with it!
European tea drinking was thought to have been started by tea aficionado Catherine of Braganza, wife of Charles II, who brought her favourite drink across from Portugal and gave it a fashionable, popular status in the UK. By 1750 it had become the UK’s national drink, and was traded as a valuable commodity (and, not unexpectedly, it also increased the demand for imported sugar).
By the time the UK introduced a tax reform, cutting the tax on tea from 119% to just 12.5%, tea consumption went up so much that the government actually saw an overall rise in revenue. New tea plantations started springing up around the globe, and with the invention of the teabag 1908, tea-drinking became accessible to people across the world, including Australia. The first Australian tea shop was thought to have been founded by Alfred Bushell in 1883 (Bushell’s still being a popular supermarket tea today).
The rise of tea
Where once you might have only had the choice between English Breakfast and Earl Grey, in recent years more diverse tea options have taken off, with seeming endless varieties of green, fruit and herbal teas being cultivated, bought and enjoyed. So whilst many people stick to their traditional ‘builder’s brew’, others have delved into a whole wealth of loose-leaf teas from around the world, particularly in Australia, where we’ve seen a boom in popular ‘wellness’ blends.
Many people still promote the health benefits of tea and its antioxidant properties. Some studies have shown it to help fight disease, boost immune energy and reduce stress.
What’s the difference between black tea and green tea?
Made from the same plant, the differences between green tea and black tea are simply a result of different processing methods.
Black tea leaves are oxidised, a process which turns them from their natural green colour to a dark brown/black. Black tea is one of the most popular teas, and it contains caffeine as well as a stimulant called theophylline, both of which help people feel more alert. It also contains substances called polyphenols and flavonoids which have antioxidant properties.
Green tea leaves are unoxidised, which means they keep their original green colour – the greener they are, the less oxygen they’ve been exposed to. Like black tea, green tea is thought to have a range of health benefits, and is the most popular tea choice in Japan, where it comes in a huge range of different varieties, from matcha to sencha.
Buy your tea at a market?
As well as offering fresher, higher quality teas, made in smaller batches, markets are a fantastic place for you to experience and discover more about tea. You can learn about different varieties, where the leaves are grown, how they are processed and blended, and how the different methods subtly impact the taste.
Many Australians are passionate about farming and getting their food directly from the source, and this is a great chance to find out from stallholders exactly where their teas are sourced from, and how buying them can support tea-growers and their local communities. You can also sample tea from a wide range of different countries, and taste some of the rarest teas in the world.
The Sydney Tea Festival
The vibrant, busy Sydney Tea Festival gives you the chance to visit lots of tea stallholders, offering a huge range of loose leaf blends from many different countries. And you can do more than just browse the stalls too – enjoy interactive tea tastings, workshops, and ceremonies, and listen to insightful talks by Australia’s leading tea experts.
Why not pop down to the Sydney Tea Festival on Sunday 20th August and take a look for yourself? Or if you want to find tea sellers at a local market near you, check out our Market Calendar or subscribe to our Local Market Guide Newsletter.
Alan Macfarlane; Iris Macfarlane (2004). The Empire of Tea. The Overlook Press. p. 32. ISBN 1-58567-493-1.
Timeline: A short history of Australian tea - Australian Geographic
Food Culture: Drink your Tea - Australian Museum
"Archaeologists discover world's oldest tea buried with ancient Chinese emperor". The Independent. Independent Print Limited.
Tips for buying organic produce
The higher premium for organic foods, because of the more expensive farming practices, means that consumers often want to know whether they should spend a bit extra and buy organic. What does organic mean? And how can you find out whether a product is actually organic?
What is organic?
Organic food is produced using organic farming practices, that is, without the use of chemical pesticides or fertilisers and sold to the consumer without added preservatives.
Organic farming practices are designed to:
*use best environmental practice in farming activities and regenerate the land and soil;
*not use genetically modified organisms (GMOs);
*provide healthy livestock habitats, and
*use recycling and promote self-sustaining biological cycles.
Is organic good for you?
There have been various studies to try to determine whether organic food is more nutritious than non-organic food. There is no one conclusive study. However, it appears that there may be some health benefits, including a higher level of antioxidants in organic food. One study estimated this difference to be between 19 percent and 69 percent higher in organic foods.
One of the main attractions of organic food is the lack of harmful pesticide residue that can be found on non-organic food. Chemical pesticides are used in conventional farming to prevent damage from weeds, insects, rodents and fungus. Pesticide exposure has been linked to increased rates of chronic diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s. However, some experts warn that the amount of potential pesticide residue left on food is not sufficiently high in concentration to be harmful.
Another attraction for consumers in purchasing organic food is the farming practices used in producing organic meat and milk which are perceived as being kinder to animals. The livestock are raised without the use of hormones, antibiotics or food treated with pesticides.
Finally, but importantly, taste is another reason people buy organic produce. The taste of organic vegetables, meat and milk is regarded by many people as far superior to the taste of non-organic produce.
The labelling debate
Any food products advertised as “organic” must follow strict guidelines. Countries have different organic certification standards. In Australia, there is a voluntary standard for growers and manufacturers wishing to label their products ‘organic’ and ‘biodynamic’ (AS 6000–2009).
Some organic products are labelled as “certified” organic, whilst others are not. What is the difference and does it matter?
1. Certified organic
Some products bear a symbol, logo or other trade mark to show that they are certified organic. This certification is provided by various third party, private bodies that have minimum standards required for certification. In Australia, there is a move to try and standardise the organic standards across industries.
A business that labels its product as certified organic must ensure that its product is actually certified and conforms to the relevant certification standards on an ongoing basis.
Being certified as a producer is a big undertaking. In the case of farming practices, it requires developing and maintaining a whole system approach to farming. This process usually takes three years. For example, certified organic status as a farming producer requires a minimum period of three years of verified conformance with standards.
2. Non-certified organic
It is expensive for small producers to have their products certified and many do not pursue certification. In order to claim their product is organic they must still use organic farming practices, however, their farm and products have not undergone a strict certification process.
Come to the markets
For products not “certified” organic, it is difficult for consumers to know whether the product is entirely organic. At the markets, you can speak with stallholders and learn about how their products are farmed or made. Market stallholders also tend to make smaller quantities than large commercial producers and have quality produce.
Come and visit your local markets and speak with the stallholders directly about how they made their product.
[Sources/references] Research with thanks to:
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) “Organic claims”
“Clear differences between organic and non-organic food, study finds” The Guardian, 11 July 2014
Australian Certified Organic “Farming certification”
 “Clear differences between organic and non-organic food, study finds” The Guardian, 11 July 2014 https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/11/organic-food-more-antioxidants-study
Two Creeks Honey make pure honey, harvested from the bushland in East Lindfield, Sydney. We find out more about how they started, their prize-winning honey and the benefits of beekeeping.
Owners of Two Creeks Honey, Lynda and Rod Kay, started learning about beekeeping less than three years ago when they joined the North Shore Beekeepers Association and undertook a beekeeping course. They started with two hives and now have twenty hives scattered around East Lindfield and a busy honey-making business.
Lynda says she and her husband “fell in love with beekeeping at the same rate”, enjoying a pastime they can do together. They also found their garden improved ten-fold having its own bees. For example, an orange tree and lemon tree without fruit for about fifteen years are now full with fruit.
The proliferation of hives meant more and more honey which Lynda and Rod wanted to capture and sell. Their honey and honey products are made in East Lindfield and sold at That Great Market in East Lindfield. It doesn’t get more locally made than that. Some of their twenty hives are now hosted by neighbours in East Lindfield who are also enjoying the benefits of having bees in their garden.
Bees will travel up to seven kilometres for food, but they will move to the strongest and nearest source. For the bees at Two Creeks, this is the Garigal National Park. Lynda says, whilst every extraction has its own individual taste, the distinctive flavour of Two Creeks Honey comes from the gum trees in the National Park. These trees produce a lot of pollen and nectar, so the bees can “feast” here.
The flavours in Two Creeks Honey you won’t find in commercial honey, which is usually a blend of honey from different sources. Commercial honey is also heavily processed with heating and filtering. This blending and processing leads to honey that has lost its particular nuance and flavour.
Each hive at Two Creeks makes about 50 kilograms of honey. When there is “nectar-flow” the honey is collected once every two weeks and, otherwise, once a month. At the end of autumn, there must be enough honey left in the hive to sustain it through winter. In late August and September, the hive expands with the birth of thousands of baby bees.
The end of bees?
Bee colony collapse is happening all over the world. Lynda says, about thirty percent of our food requires pollination in order to be produced and bees are the most successful pollinators. This bee crisis doesn’t just impact fruit and vegetable production, but also meat production because of the reliance of livestock on grasses, crops and lucerne for food.
Lynda noticed a lack of bees in their own garden, before acquiring their hives. She thinks the widespread reliance on pesticides and insecticides nowadays is probably largely responsible for this decrease in bees.
Do you want to find out more about beekeeping? There are lots of beekeeping groups and information now available as more and more people are interested in keeping bees and helping pollination.
Come down to That Great Market, East Lindfield, and meet Lynda and Rod and check out their beautiful honey, in the form of liquid honey, creamed honey, and chocolate honey hearts. Their creamed honey is wrapped in paper, old-style, like butter. Last year, they won the Blue Ribbon at the Sydney Royal Easter Show for their creamed honey.
Two Creeks also sell a range of honey products, such as wax candles, lip balm and leather conditioner. Last year, they won the Blue Ribbon and the Champion Ribbon at the Sydney Royal Easter Show for their wax candles.
They are also happy to sell from their premises and will post products too. They make local deliveries of larger quantities of honey.
That Great Market is open on the 3rd Sunday each Month
East Lindfield Community Hall & Surrounds
9 Wellington Road, East Lindfield
9am to 2pm
A guide to the best chillies for your cooking
Some people can eat them straight, but for most of us chillies are added to our cooking or maybe our drinks. Chillies can make or break a dish. Here is a guide to the best chillies to buy and use in your cooking.
Chilli – it’s good for you
Chillies belong to the capsicum family, which also includes cayenne pepper, paprika, jalapeno and, of course, capsicum. They are thought to have originated in Mexico.
Chillies are rich in vitamin C and vitamin A, which is often called the “anti-infection” vitamin. They can help with fighting sinus congestion.
Capsaicin is the chemical compound that makes chillies taste hot. It is found mostly in the seeds and white membrane inside the chilli, although some also seeps into the flesh. Their spiciness is measured in Scoville heat units. The hotter the chilli, the more capsaicin it contains.
The power of capsaicin is well known. Herbal therapeutic creams use capsaicin to soothe muscles. Pepper spray also uses capsaicin.
Types of chilli
Much of the flavour of a chilli comes from its flesh. Chilli features in cooking all around the world, especially in Asia and Mexico, where they have perfected the balance of flavour and heat.
Here are some of the main types of chillies available in Australia and the types of dishes they are best suited to:
*Bell pepper (very mild): we call these capsicums in Australia. They are not spicy and can be eaten raw or cooked. Add to casseroles, sandwiches, pasta sauces and pizza. Or try them stuffed with rice or quinoa, meat and or vegetables, sprinkled with cheese and baked.
*Long chilli (medium): these can be up to 15 centimetres long. They ripen from green to red. They are the most common type of chilli sold in Australia. Their heat levels will vary depending upon the season. The long green chillies are milder and are perfect for vegetable curries. Add long red chillies to salads, pasta sauces and meat curries.
*Jalapeno (medium): these are five to nine centimetres long. They are picked while green, but will ripen to red. Red jalapeno peppers, dried and smoked, are chipotle peppers. Jalapenos can be eaten fresh or pickled. They are often added to sandwiches, burgers, dips or sprinkled on dishes. Try adding them to your tuna salad.
*Cayenne pepper (medium): the thick skin of these chillies makes them suitable for grinding. They are usually ground to make cayenne powder which can add a kick to your cooking. The peppers were first grown and traded in the city of Cayenne in French Guiana. Try cayenne added with lemon juice as a dressing for dark green leaves, or add a little to an omelette.
*Bird’s eye (hot): these tiny two to four centimetre chillies can be exceptionally hot. They are often used in south-east Asian cooking, such as salads and Indonesia’s sambal ulek (chilli paste).
*Serrano (hot): these small chillies look like bird’s eye chilli but have a rounded tip like jalapenos, and when they ripen they are red, yellow and orange. They are often used in Mexican cooking. Add these to a salsa or chutney.
*Habanero (very hot): these are about five centimetres long and are named after the city of Havana, Cuba, where they were traded. They ripen to yellow, orange and red. These chillies are so hot that you must wear gloves to avoid burning your hands. Add a small amount of these to a spice blend for meat.
To deseed or not deseed?
In the world of chilli, there is considerable debate as to whether or not to deseed chillies. There are two schools of thought:
Seed lovers say do not bother deseeding chillies. They argue you will remove all of their heat and you would be better off adding less chilli, or substituting altogether with capsicum.
Seed removers argue that there is nothing wrong with deseeding chillies. Most of the flavour is contained in the flesh and you will still get some heat from using only the flesh. Also, the majority of the nutrients are contained in the flesh.
If you want to deseed a chilli, snap off the green stem at the end of the chilli, using a sharp knife cut down the length of the chilli to split it into two halves. Using either a knife or a teaspoon, scrape out the seeds.
You can keep the seeds and dry them to use in cooking or plant them to grow your own chilli plants.
When handling chillies, some people like to wear thin gloves. Usually, gloves are only needed for very hot chillies. However, it is good practice to thoroughly wash your hands after handling chillies and be cautious about touching your hands to your eyes—chillies cause a burning sensation if they come into contact with your eyes.
At the markets
Talk to your fresh produce stallholder for the chillies they have available and the best ones for your dish.
Try adding some chilli to your favourite recipes, or try a chilli that you haven’t eaten before. If you overdo it, remember milk based products, like cucumber raita, will soothe the burn.
Research with thanks to:
SBS Food: “The burning question: Do you deseed chillies?” http://www.sbs.com.au/food/article/2016/04/19/burning-question-do-you-deseed-chillies
Good Food: “A user’s guide to chillies” http://www.goodfood.com.au/recipes/a-users-guide-to-chillies-20130405-2hczq
Chasing Chilli: “Types of chilli peppers (Chilli 101)” http://chasingchilli.com.au/types-of-chilli-peppers-chilli-101/
The World’s Healthiest Foods “Chilli pepper, dried” http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=29
Margot Warre, owner of Margot Design, speaks with us about her love for Sydney, her textile design work, and how she makes the products that have won her a loyal following.
Margot Warre loves Sydney. Her textile designs reflect the natural beauty of its beaches and landscape, and her time overseas, including studying design in Paris, has taught her that Sydney is where she wants to be. Now we can buy a piece of her Sydney at the markets.
A designer through and through
The creator of Margot Designs is internationally recognised textile designer, Margot Warre. Margot always knew she wanted to be a textile designer. Her grandmother was a founding partner of the iconic lingerie store, White Ivy, in Double Bay, and even created some of the lace and underwear for Queen Elizabeth II for her Coronation. And Margot’s mother is a painter and illustrator. Margot inherited the creativity of these women and also their love for fabric.
Margot learned to print, weave and dye. She has worked for Mokum Textiles, Warwick Fabrics and Sheridan. She lived for a couple of years near Sacre Coeur in Paris, during which time she attended the Parsons School of Design and studied Fine Arts, majoring in textile printing. It was here that she appreciated how different her aesthetic was to her fellow students from Europe and the US. For Margot, her colours were so bright and clear, and her designs and patterns were fresh, modern and based in nature. She wanted to bring this aesthetic home to Sydney, the city she loves.
Sydney – a palette
For Margot, Sydney is her inspiration—the light that is unique to Sydney, and its flowers, smells, summer heat, freshness and “the sparkle that Sydney gets”. A self-confessed water baby, Margot regards the beach as medicine and goes to the beach every chance she can, often ending her day there. The colours and movement of the beach landscape give her daily inspiration, as do the intricate shells and seaweed.
Margot’s designs tell a story.
Mélange (French for “mixture and medley”) – Margot’s first collection is a mixture of colour, pattern and textiles inspired by the flowers of Sydney in summer. This collection comprises six floral designs printed on 100 percent silk Georgette, a beautiful draping, lightweight fabric with a crepe-like texture.
*Popular design: Yesterday, today and tomorrow is a stunning blue, floral design, colourful and vibrant. The design is inspired by the plant of the same name which Margot’s mother used to point out to her as a child.
La Mer (French for “the sea”) – Margot’s second collection is inspired by watching storms roll in and change the colours of the sea in winter. This collection comprises four designs printed on a silk, wool twill base cloth.
*Popular design: Jardin de la mer (French for “garden of the sea”) features a Jacaranda blue that rains down upon Sydney.
Her upcoming collection will be released shortly and is inspired by the art deco buildings of Sydney.
Margot’s designs are available as cotton linen throws, which can double as beach towels or picnic rugs, scarves, cushions, and framed, limited edition prints. She also has available, at the markets only, small artworks priced at $15.
Making the art sustainable
Margot uses sustainable, natural fabrics in all of her designs—silk, wool, linen and cotton. There are no synthetic fabrics used, no mass production. All of her work is hand finished.
The work is produced in Sydney, because Margot wants her work to come from here. She oversees the production and works directly with the people who manufacture the work. They also care about the quality of the product and are proud of it too.
Margot Design products are available at markets, the first being The Market Tales, Precinct 75 at St Peters, with potentially some upcoming markets in Paddington and Avalon. You can also purchase direct from www.margotdesign.com.au or you can contact Margot to visit her in her studio.
For more information see her website or visit https://www.facebook.com/margotdesign.com.au/
The Eastern Suburbs have welcomed Rose Bay Farmers Market with open arms. The new weekly market is perfectly located in a leafy park, mid-way between New South Head Road and Old South Head Road. The market offers a quality line-up of produce stalls and a range of gift items too. Whether you are after a quick stock-up, a leisurely morning or a lunchtime snack, you won’t be disappointed.
Piles of fresh produce are ready for the taking including The Regional Store which is laden with fresh Macleay Valley grown fruit and vege. Once a month the market is also proud to be collaborating with the Rose Bay Community Garden who are harvesting their seasonal produce for purchase. Boasting a zero food mile footprint, it is showcasing sustainable practice at its best!
Locals can also stock up on fresh eggs and organic, grass fed meats thanks to The Ethical Farmers, there are delicious breads and baked treats from Organic Bread Bar, raw desserts from Cream Fork, nut butters from Yummee Gluten Free, hand cultured butter from Pepe Saya, fresh creamy milk from The Pines in Kiama (milked the day before!), fresh seafood and beautiful native flowers from Sweetpea and Honeybee to name a few..
The organisers, Cambridge Markets have created a lovely local market with a range of core stalls and a handful of changing merchants to mix it up each week. From French market baskets to gourmet and organic goodies as well as an activity space for the kiddies, there is something for everyone.
Spread the word – this local market is here to stay!
Avoca Beachside Markets always impress. They offer a range of select, unique stalls, are visually stunning and even have a shuttle bus to and from the local pub. Come to Avoca Beachside Markets and see for yourself.
Just over one hour north of Sydney, Avoca feels like another world. Avoca Beachside Markets offer a special experience for market goers. So if you like your markets unique, relaxing and beautiful, this is the place to be.
Creative duo and owners of Fixx Events, Bianca and Brad Cardis, first started the Avoca Beachside Markets seven years ago. They wanted high quality, selective markets in their own community. With their extensive experience in the arts world, together with Brad’s background in organising big events, they have brought a new creative vision to the Central Coast.
What’s on offer?
Avoca Beachside Markets are held on the fourth Sunday each month and are a feast.
*Stalls: These markets have had a waiting list of stallholders from day one and you can see why. There are over 120 stalls with local artisans selling exceptional fashion, homewares, jewellery, art, plants and foodie goods. These markets pride themselves on their Australian produce, with eighty percent of their produce locally made.
*Atmosphere and entertainment: Bianca and her team have made the markets visually attractive and distinct. The markets have a creative, bohemian vibe, with flags, backdrops and quirky, hula hoop signs. All add to an outdoor space that is welcoming and reflects the relaxed Central Coast. Performers take centre stage here as part of the Avoca Beachside Markets Music Momentum Programme, so be prepared to be entertained with live acts by excellent, local and emerging artists.
*Transport: A shuttle bus runs every fifteen minutes from the Avoca Beach Hotel to the markets and back again. This lets you have a beer at the end of a day of shopping and relaxing at the markets. It also cuts down on the traffic going to and from the markets. There is even an “after party” at the Avoca Beach Hotel which everyone is invited to come along to. This is great for live entertainment and some cheap, tasty food before heading home.
Neon Garage - Cretive Space & Workshops
In March last year, Bianca and Brad launched the creative space, Neon Garage, co-ordinating events and workshops and helping performers get their start.
Neon Garage’s workshops offer you the opportunity to learn directly from local artisans and producers. More of these workshops are coming up later this year. Here are some of the big hit workshops:
Avoca Beachside Markets are held at Heazlett Park Foreshore every fourth Sunday, from 9am-2pm, with the next one being held on Sunday, 28 May 2017.
Put it in your diary and see you at Avoca Beachside Markets. See their Facebook page for more details: Avoca Beachside Markets
With approximately 1500 women diagnosed with ovarian cancer every year in Australia alone, it’s time to take notice. The Rozelle Collectors Market Charity Auction is supporting the fight against the disease with a unique antiques roadshow and charity auction.
Rozelle Collectors Market will be hosting a roadshow and fundraising auction to help raise awareness of Ovarian Cancer on Saturday 20 May 2017.
From 10am you have the opportunity to have your vintage treasures professionally valued ‘Antiques Roadshow’ style for a paper note donation (from $5).
The charity auction will kick off at 12pm and will be hosted by Adam from Aussie Pickers and Lawson’s Auctioneers.
The eclectic auction items range from vintage leather bags to tribal art, a retro robot, an antique library chair, an old netted fisherman’s buoy, workshops, framing, food and shopping vouchers. You can even bid for a marketing internship or a tour of Atlassian.
About Rozelle Collectors Market:
With a history spanning over twenty years, Rozelle Collectors Market is widely regarded as one of the first in Sydney’s now bustling market scene. An essential component of Rozelle’s eclectic community, Rozelle Collectors Market is loved by locals and out-of-towners alike.
The open-air market is dedicated to pre-loved goods and takes place every Saturday and Sunday within the grounds of the historic Rozelle Public School. Packed full of stalls, from one-off pop ups through to longstanding stallholders that specialise in vintage, bric-a-brac and antique wares, Rozelle Collectors Market was taken over by a new operator in 2016, and has continued to evolve whilst retaining its original charm.
The market also prides itself on showcasing local entertainers and artisanal provedores alongside its range of stalls, making for a fun day out for all the family.
Supporting an important cause:
Organised by longtime stallholder John Moran and his family, the Rozelle Collectors Market Charity Auction is supporting the fight against ovarian cancer.
John and his wife Megan decided to organise the event following their own experiences with the disease. Megan was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in December 2015 and after a 17 month battle, is now in remission. Nevertheless, with an average of four women in Australia diagnosed with ovarian cancer every day, the Morans are determined to continue raising awareness of the silent killer.
The five-year survival rate for ovarian cancer currently sits at just 43%, so it’s important women of all ages know what to look out for. As well as the auction, the Morans have organised an information stall where visitors can find out everything they need to know about the disease.
How you can get involved:
Head down to Rozelle Markets from 10am and enjoy a great day at one of Sydney’s most popular antiques, vintage, retro and collectibles markets. All donations will go towards ovarian cancer research and can be made on the day, or via the fundraising page below:
Rozelle Public School, 663 Darling Street, Rozelle.
Saturday, 20 May 2017
10am – 12pm