Our farmers’ markets provide us with produce straight from the grower, however they also serve several other purposes: they provide a community hub for locals to shop and socialise at the same time, for growers to sell their goods directly to the public, including those specialty food makers and producers whose business rests on only one or two items.
Many startup businesses use a market environment to test their products on a captive audience without the commitment of premises and staff. From bakers to ethnic food purveyors, our markets provide us with a diversity of food experiences. Do you know the difference between brownies and blondies, donuts and cronuts, gyoza and gozleme?
Let’s look at a few of these market treats that you might like to try:
Nobody needs an excuse to eat cake! As the sign on Reid Street Kitchen’s stall says, “I eat cake because it is somebody’s birthday somewhere.” That sounds good to us!
Former owners of Boutique Bites, Michael and Liz Healing are artisan bakers specialising in old-fashioned recipes handed down through Liz’s family. Check out their gorgeous slices, or the range of huge lamingtons: Jaffa, Salted caramel, White chocolate, Passionfruit or Dark chocolate. They might even be a treat to share!
If it’s doughnuts that you’re after, you can’t go past a Donut Boyz brioche-based donut. Your only problem will be choosing the flavour: Mixed berry, Chocolate and peanut butter, Passionfruit with strawberry glaze and sumac, Lemon meringue, Caramel pecan or just ‘plain’ Jaffa. And what do we spy underneath the cloche? Yes, it’s a cronut (a mix of croissant and donut pastry)! Watch out for a Donut Boyz store opening soon in Surfers Paradise.
Love may have brought Jani to the Gold Coast, but now he’s sharing a little Hungarian love with us: Langos, the only street market food that Hungarians eat for breakfast. With a base like a giant doughnut, the traditional Langos only had garlic and salt on top. But things are changing, even in Hungary, and now you can have your Langos with garlic, sour cream, sundried tomatoes, feta, olives, cheese and more… even avocado! Jani has a sweet version of this dish available as well, with Nutella and cinnamon sugar on top. Oh my!
Norm Hagan is best known for his preservative-free and gluten free baked goods: biscuits, bread and all sorts of cakes, including a delicious Christmas fruit log. It’s all scratch baking (everything made by hand, no premix), and there’s also a range of dips available. Mainly wholesale at present, Norm has plans to expand the retail facility of his shop in Nerang, but for now you’ll see his stall at the weekend markets.
There’s nothing like a good brownie, and Melissa Kennedy makes some of the best handcrafted gourmet brownies and blondies we’ve tasted. Although she’s only been a stall holder for a few months, Mel’s range has expanded to thirteen flavours including Malteser, Caramel and Salted caramel brownie bombs (a Nutella-filled brownie dipped in chocolate). Sounds wicked? Tastes divine!
Seriously? Chef Ken Tezuka’s steamed gyoza are the best we’ve tasted. Ever. Period. A former O-Sushi chef, Ken went out on his own three years ago, his product winning gyoza fans from first bite.
While they may look like the ugly bridesmaids of the food world, Ken’s gyoza are made from scratch, MSG and preservative free, fall apart in your mouth delicious! A tender translucent dumpling pastry encloses your choice of fillings: vegetable, prawn, pork or chicken. Top with a little sauce and Ken’s own shallot and coriander sauce and eat. Trust me. You won’t need a second invitation!
Oh, and don’t mix them up with gozleme, another delicious savoury treat which you’ll find in many of our markets!
Angie Carrara’s Italian mum is the inspiration for her sweet treat stall. Angie makes a range of heritage biscuits and slices, some adapted to be gluten-free. We spy Orange kisses, Raspberry and coconut slice and Hazelnut biscuits. But it’s the freshly filled Cannoli which take our eye. Who could resist this Italian delight!
Catering for the dietary needs of her coeliac son, Sharon Anderson saw the need for a niche product: gluten-free donuts. What is surprising, however, is the number of mainstream diners who also enjoy her treats. Cooked in rice bran oil, which has a higher smoking point than other oils, Sharon’s treats come in seven popular flavours including Salted caramel, Jam, Nutella, Passionfruit and lemon, and Strawberry, cream cheese and coconut! You can’t miss Gluten Free Donuts – just look for the pink tent!
There’s no more fervent food advocate than Ilias, who’s just won another nine medals from the Sydney Royal Fine Food Show, bring his medal total to 19 in just two years! His medals now stretch across the entire range of sweets including Gold for the Baklava, and Silver for the Halva, Nougat, Pastelli, Revani, Sokolato, Friands and Tsoureki.
Following on from this recent acclaim, Ilias was invited to participate in an all expenses paid trip to Foodexpo GR, Greece’s biggest food show.
“I feel honoured to be invited to my mother country representing our sweets which are steeped in tradition from northern Greece and were inspired from family recipes,” said Ilias. “When I return to Australia, my intention is to create a ‘hero’ product to share the love through the food Australia wide and beyond!”
Owned by Christine and Olivier Labeyrie, Montmartre is a Gold Coast institution. Everything is freshly made, the vibrant colours of the cake display showing off glazed fruit toppings and rich chocolate delights: Paris Brest, Trianon, Opéra, Truffle Cake, Bavaroise…
“Everything in moderation,” Giselle tells us, but where to start? Making a choice is so difficult! Montmartre’s market stall brings their wonderful French store to the marketplace, or you can place an order for your birthday or wedding Croquemboche to be made to your specifications!
Check out your local markets for more tasty treats. We’d love you to tell us the ones we’ve missed!
NOTE: This review has also been published on More Gold Coast.