As January is our summer holiday period in Australia, the markets don't reopen until after the middle of the month, and often some of the stallholders don't come back until February. So these are just some images of people who braved the potential lack of customers and came to show their wares at Everleigh, North Sydney and Orange Grove markets. We managed to talk to a few newcomers, including Olsson's Sea Salt, our local "Guérande" and a great paella maker, no less!
OlSson's SEA SALT
The Olsson's family is the the only and longest established sea salt harvester and producer in Australia. They produce a range of salts from the less refined, Guérande like table sea salt sold in very traditional packaging, to a more refined and industrially produced sea flakes, a process which mimics the natural evaporation process traditionally occurring in "marais salants" but more suitable to mass production. The result is a very fine flake rather than the more common pyramidal crystal found in most other products. You would use the flakes for cooking where you would reserve the "gray" salt (fleur de sel) for seasoning. Beware that it is full flavoured and more salty than the salt you might be currently using.
ORANGE GROVE MARKET - Rozelle
PRINCE WINE STORE SYDNEY OPENS in ROSEBERY
Jon Osbeiston, arguably the best expert in French and Italian wines in Australia, not to mention his encyclopaedic knowledge of the Australian wine scene, had sold his Ultimo Wine Centre store to Vintage Cellars, part of the Coles/Westfarmers empire in April 2013. He stayed behind the counter for anther 18 months up until late last year when he joined forces with reputable Melbourne wine experts, the well named Prince Wine Store. I bumped into Jon a couple of times over the last few days quite by chance and I decided to pay him a visit last Friday. And I was impressed!
Obviously, PWS is not yet stocked with the old and iconic wines that are still awaiting clients in Ultimo, but Jon and the team in Melbourne have certainly assembled a great choice of wines from the humble 10$ bottle to more upmarket Australian, French and Italian labels.
The success of the Prince Wine Stores in Melbourne was in part due to their very successful wine tasting evenings. An upstairs room has been fitted in the Sydney store and I will report in due time!
Great location, near the most up and coming, growing suburb of Sydney, south of the CBD in Rosebery, Zetland and near Alexandria. Warehouses are replaced by designer apartments and new and fabulous cafes and restaurants are sprouting all around the place to cater for a cashed up , multicultural and savvy younger generation, like Milano Torino, Da Mario and the quirky Kitchen by Mike to name my three favourites in the area. We wish you all the best for this new venture, Jon!
Finally made it to this recently opened Maille outfit in Mosman, a posh suburb of Sydney on the North Shore of the Harbour. It is promoted as a shop, but it is barely a "computer" at the cash register exit of an IGA supermarket. The good news are that you will find all the various mustards, some available "on tap" and guaranteed to be less than two weeks old. It is believed to be even better than the mustards sold in the traditional clay pots (top shelf) and a fortiori much better than the regular product that we - mere mortals - can buy from all good supermarkets. Available as well are some lesser known varieties that you can actually taste there and packed in smaller jars as you might use them as often or as generously as the traditional Dijon mustard.
And the good news are that we finally get access to the famous Maille cornichons, best in the World and closely ranking to the ones grown and pickled by my own late paternal grandmother!
Crunchy, tasty with a hint of estragon, perfect acidity thanks to the amazing homemade vinegar!
You will also find all the other products from the range, as in vinegars and gift packs, a lovely range of presents for your foodies friends. Don't expect to be harassed into buying anything, and I think the customer experience could be improved by the presence of a more dynamic and dedicated person at the counter, rather than relying on the goodwill of a knowledgeable but rather shy automatic cashiers attendant. IGA are trying to market themselves as a "boutique" supermarket and have another Delicatessen "shop in a shop" at the same location. They need to lift their game!
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.
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