Rumour had it that there’d be some fine roast pork on offer for the last Eveleigh Market day for the year. There was no official word on their website giving any indication of an encore performance. However, if the last market day of the previous year was anything to go by, there should be trough-loads of whole roasted pigs lined up waiting to sate the appetites of a ravenous Christmas crowd.
With little more than a rumour, an appetite for roast pork and some unfinished Christmas shopping, this little piggy went to market.
Quite a throng gathered in the undercover markets, whether it be to purchase last minute Christmas gifts, groceries for the impending Christmas feast or just their usual weekly shopping run, albeit the final one for the year.
A trio play to the tune of a cool jazz-inspired set, thankfully and somewhat surprisingly free from the burdensome cliche of traditional Christmas carols, or their more modern adaptations, either of which are usually played ad nauseum around this time of the year.
The festive-free music, perhaps ironically, gets me into a more festive mood.
I finally come across one of the reasons for my half hour journey to the markets.
Well, ok. It was really THE reason why I was at the markets but why wouldn’t you make the trip in for this?
Three whole roasting pigs pirouette leisurely, perhaps to the tune of an Austrian waltz. A hypnotic scene that would not seem out of place in a Kubrik film. They’re fewer in number than the previous year. Perhaps a sign to these harder economic times. Perhaps a lesson learned from oversupply from the year before.
A single bench that seemed to stretch on forever (or around 10m) serviced as a communal table. It was likely for the consumption of the roast pork as this is the only time that I’ve seen this sort of setup at the markets.
Flora, apples and pine cones ran the length of the communal bench serving as a festive centre piece.
A $10 plate gets you a generous serving of roast pork, a sizable portion of what should have been crackling if it didn’t have the consistency of tanned leather, a stewed fruit sauce which I believe was apples, plums and various spices, as well as a crusty bread roll.
Value for money seems oddly like an understatement.
The ultimate pork roll. A breakfast of champions.
I proceeded to consume my roast pork roll and the surplus roast pork with gusto.
Well, perhaps a little too much gusto…
Despite what the image of the broken fork may imply, the roast pork was tender, moist and somewhat sweet. Though somewhat under seasoned, the fruit sauce more than made up for that shortfall. The bread roll was chewy and quite fresh. So too was the patch of leather, but in that distinctly unpalatable kind of way.
With breakfast out of the way and feeling quite satisfied, I moved onto last minute Christmas shopping.
Having received a recommendation from Mama chocolatesuze manning the Biscuit Tree stall (an obligatory stop whenever I visit the Eveleigh Markets for biscotti & shortbread), I made my way to the Mistletoe Wines stall. A friendly gentleman by the name of Amand (pictured above) serviced the stall, offering advice as well as tasting samples of their whole range.
Figuring that reds seem to be significantly more popular than whites, it didn’t seem a bad place to start.
I’m by no means a wine connoisseur but, to paraphrase a well known idiom on art, I knew what I liked. I found the 2007 Grand Reserve Shiraz ($40) to be quite to my liking so I’d purchased that, along with the standard 2007 Shiraz ($25).
Though I found a number of whites to my liking, I was specifically after a dessert wine. The 2007 “Gold” Botrytis Semillion ($22) was just what I was after; sweet, fruity and clean tasting.
Having sorted out what I could of my Christmas shopping, I made my way back home, content with having taken a chance on a rumour. The last Eveleigh Market day of the year will likely become an annual pilgrimage for years to come, mostly due to the fabulously succulent roast pork.
The first Eveleigh Markets for 2010 will be on this Saturday, 16 January.
Eveleigh Farmer’s Market
243 Wilson St, Darlington (Adjacent to Carriageworks)
Every Saturday from 8am – 1pm.
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