The Subi Farmers Market opened its gates for the first time on Saturday 17 October, and I went to check it out yesterday to see if it lived up to how good its website seemed to suggest it would be. Unable to sleep in with the early spring sun glaring through my blinds, I was at the market bang on 8am with a hungry belly, hoping that this expedition would not be a repeat of last week's hungover shamozzle of unrequited crepe love.
The tagline for the market is "the natural way to shop" and there is a real focus on organic, biodynamic and sustainable practices. They apparently have a strict 'no plastics' policy, and sell Subi Market branded reusable bags and trolleys. I like the idea of a trolley, as my eyes are generally bigger than my arm and shoulder muscles, but I just can't bring myself to buy one. According to the useful blackboard at the Information stall, they also have 'Story Time under the Tree' at 9:30, which I assume is for children and doesn't involve farmers regaling each other with tales of how big the bugs are whose plots they managed to foil through non-pesticide means, but I had made good my escape by this time so I can't comment further. Oh and there's a "Bike Parking" sign which you might be able to see next to the bikes. I'm surprised the Subi parking inspectors haven't utilised this potential parking ticket revenue stream.
First up in the tasting stakes was the Ringwauld goat cheese stall. They keep their goats in Redmond, near Albany in the south west of Western Australia, and I can say that these goats make a tasty, tasty cheese. We tried all four on offer, and though they were all really nice I was most taken with the Ringwauld Blanc fresh goat's curd (in the little tub). It was mild, deliciously creamy, and would make a perfect mayonnaise substitute.
Next to the tasty cheeses was the Loafers organic bread stall. According to their little sign, they make their organic breads using traditional slow fermentation methods, and thus their sour dough takes one week to make. The breads really did look great, with the crust on their "Bayern Brot" looking particularly tempting. Given that I don't each much bread, and knew that I already had a loaf sitting in my freezer, I resisted the urge to buy a loaf and rip into it there with a pot of that goat curd.
By now my belly was starting to grumble and although the sweet treats on offer at Passion Ate looked quite tempting, I really needed some savoury action. Just as well the next stall was Diablos Oven. On the menu today were two types of calzone - "Porky Pig" of organic pork sausage with fresh tomato, feta and fresh herbs or "Garden Gnome" of organic portabello mushrooms, roasted pine nuts, fresh spinach and feta. We ordered a Garden Gnome and waited as patiently as we could, distracting our hungry selves by looking again at the Passion Ate products, including some giant avocados they were selling. These were massive. You could kill someone with one. Luckily for the unsuspecting public our calzone was soon ready and my mind was taken off such thoughts.
The calzone was piping hot but luckily had been cut up for us so was soon ready to get stuck into. It was a little messy to eat, as the spinach and mushrooms had released a lot of moisture out and my napkin was soon soaked through, but it tasted good and I managed not to spill anything on myself so I was happy.
Although my hungry tummy wasn't entirely satiated by my calzone half, I resisted the cinnamon buns at Spirals to make sure I had plenty of room for more tastings. I did however complete phase one of my breakfast with a long black made by Luke or possibly Pat at Luke & Pat's Coffee Shack, and then we continued on our merry perusal.
I like beetroot, and apparently I also like chocolate beetroot cake. Thank you Sophistibakes for enlightening me. I asked if they grated it to use in the cake, like a carrot cake, but they cook it and puree it before adding it to the mix, similar to adding pumpkin puree I guess.
After being reminded of the great fudge I had in Niagara-on-the-Lake last year after reading a couple of fudgey posts recently on Iron Chef Shellie, I was happy and a little scared to next find myself in front of Fudge Fusion. They had sealed little samples (good for the swine flu conscious sampler) of both their soft fudge and their crumbly fudge, and I discovered I'm more of your soft fudge kind of girl. Take from that what you will. Although tempted by the Mint Chocolate fudge, I decided on the Cherry, Chocolate and Coconut fudge and after getting stuck into it at home about 5 seconds after walking through the door I was overjoyed to discover it packed a great coconut punch in the face. I tasted each layer on its own, and found the chocolate and cherry flavours to be quite subtle in comparison to the coconut layer which also contained little bits of coconut within it.
I didn't think I liked fudge until I tried it in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The fudge stores there are all open plan, so you can see the (generally older men) making the fudge and be horrified at the amount of sugar and evaporated milk that you will soon be ingesting as you fail to resist temptation after trying the little samples. I wish now that I still thought I didn't like fudge.
After smelling one tea at this stall I instantly knew it had to be mine. I also bought some of it for a friend, who I'm yet to give it to, so I'll be coy and not tell you which one it is.
I've seen the Turban Chopsticks retail store on Bulwer Street in Northbridge before and been puzzled by the identity crisis of a name. I now know it sells a range of sauces, marinades, pastes, spices etc and the name appears to be due to their coverage of Indian style and Asian style flavours. Actually, it's funny how in Australia we don't seem to mean India when we say "Asian", which I assume is due to our closer proximity to south east Asian countries. I have noticed in the UK however (which you may particularly notice if you happen to be a fan of The Bill) that when they refer to an Asian person they often mean someone of Indian descent. Interesting.
Anyway, Turban Chopsticks products look like they'd come in very handy to whip up something tasty when you're time poor or just can't be arsed doing something completely from scratch. The meal packs in the left of the photo above looked particularly good, containing all the nonperishable things you need to make a range of dishes like "Royal Festival Briyani" and "Puy Lentil Stew". I didn't take note of how much the packs cost though, so I can't comment on value for money in comparison to just buying the components yourself.
I didn't try or buy anything from this stall but wanted to include the photo as it looks like the stallholder is wearing leopard print pants. He wasn't, but I think he should.
Again, I didn't try or buy anything from these guys but I like the action shots. Chop chop chop! Scoop scoop scoop!
No room for a Raw Kitchen smoothie this time, but next time I'm keen. Maybe to wash down some Simplee Yummy turnip. Also, is it just me or does it look like there's a little boy up in the background doing a wee in the bushes?
Well, I didn't actually manage to check out every single stall as I ran out of time and needed to get myself to the gym in time for a class, but I was pretty impressed with what I did check out. Seems like more stalls are on their way too. Conclusion: Subi Farmers Markets are well worth a visit and I'd recommend going with an empty tummy. And possibly a trolley.