Ultimate Foodie Tour, Queen Vic Market

2/18/2018 , 0 Comments

Last weekend, I was lucky enough to be invited along to the Ultimate Foodie Tour, hosted by the Queen Vic Market. The tour runs three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, with each tour running for 2 hours and consisting of a range of tastings, learning about the history of the market, and picking up on some interesting tidbits here and there regarding the stalls and its produce. Each tour comes with a Vic Market shopping bag as well as a $5 shopping voucher that can be used at the market itself.

Our tour started off in the Meat and Fish Hall, where we got to try oysters from the Seafood and Oyster Spot store. These were really fresh, didn't have too strong a fishy flavour that some people don't like, and were a decent size. At the next store, we got to try turkey sausage, which was juicy, but a little on the salty side, as well as peppered kangaroo meat. This was my first time actually trying kangaroo meat, and I found that it was similar to beef, though a lot more lean and similar to eating game.

At Tribal Tastes, an African store, we got to try candied salmon as well as dried beef biltong. The candied salmon is similar to the texture of jerky; the fresh salmon fillet is marinated first, then smoked before it's dried, and still retains a really strong natural flavour. The candied salmon was served on a sweet potato chip, and was really enjoyable. Biltong, like the candied salmon, is lean pieces of meat that is salted and dried in strips. It tasted similar to beef jerky, just a thicker slice with a hint more moisture to it.

There's nothing better than fresh baguettes and warm foccacia bread, and we got to try both with eggplant and hummus dips from Andrew's Bread Shop and Hellenic Deli in the Dairy Hall. We also got to try saganaki olives, dolmades (a Greek vegetarian appetiser made from vine leaves wrapped into small rolls and stuff with rice and herbs) and pickled octopus. The olives were quite salty, even stuffed with saganaki (fried cheese), and I couldn't really taste much flavour in the dolmades, but it was an interesting experience and something I probably never would've otherwise tried!

We also tried Moroccan mint tea from Gew├╝rzhaus Herb & Spice Merchants, which taste like a fusion of green and peppermint tea, with the mint flavour quite subtle and only appearing in the aftertaste, which I actually prefer, as well as a really cool spice blend called Mukhwas. This is an Indian spice that is actually an after meal snack/digestive aid, and  tastes quite strongly like liquorice for some reason! After this, we moved on to a Polish deli where we had a range of ham sausages, as well as rose and sparkling wine from Swords Wines, an Australian wine company that specialises in boutique wines, craft beers and artisan ciders.

No foodie tour is complete without trying cheeses, and this was no exception. At the Epicurean, we tried out camembert cheese, blue cheese and 20 month old vintage cheddar cheese. I'm not a big fan of blue cheeses as the flavour can be a bit overpowering, but this was really enjoyable, and camembert, similar to brie, was a lighter cheese with a very soft texture.

To finish up, we visited the fruits and vegetables section, and tried out a finger lime, which looks a lot like a lady finger, but when squeezed out of its shell actually looks a lot like caviar! The taste was extremely sour and acidic, but tasted great when we tried it with some fresh sweet strawberries.

Our final stop was the Gelosa Gelateria, where we got to try a bunch of the flavours they had, and pick out a cup of our favourite. There's a good mix of fruity sorbets and sweet flavours, and I ended up getting the choc mint one. I found that the sorbets here were a bit creamier than others I've tried, but with a great fruity flavour still. The choc mint gelato was light and creamy, and had a good balance of chocolate to mint.

Big shout out to our tour guide Sarah, who made the experience so enjoyable! I definitely learnt a lot, both about the market itself and random facts as we went through the different stalls. For example, eating/drinking honey from a 5-10km radius from where you live helps negate the effects of hayfever/the pollen build up in your body?

Massive thanks to Darinka for organising this foodie tour, and I would definitely recommend trying it out. Different seasons means you get to try different things at the market, for example in winter they have pastas and mulled wine, as well as the famous jam doughnuts, so there's always something for everyone.


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