Saturday, January 20, 2007

Saturday Cityblogging: Adelaide Central Market

This is one of the places I drag interstate and overseas visitors to. I remember it from the time I was in high school, when the dominant cultural influences in South Australia, other than Anglo-Celtic, were German (a huge influence in SA since early settlement, when the state, founded by idealists, was a haven for religious refugees) plus Italian and Greek, by far the two biggest ethnic groups to end up in Adelaide in the postwar wave of immigration.

The Central Market in those days was where you went for imported groceries. There was an ornately fronted continental-cake shop run by a Viennese woman with whom our German teacher had an arrangement: every now and then for our German lesson we'd walk down to the market from school, which was less than 100 metres up the street, and buy a cake each. We had to ask for it in perfect, polite German before she'd hand it over.

It's got bigger and bigger over the years. Adelaide's Chinatown now kind of melts into it. There's a stall that sells Russian food. People queue up in droves to buy Asian greens. You can buy artisanal cheeses from the Adelaide Hills, or really seriously stinky cheeses from France at $86 per kilo. You can buy everything from bottom-of-the-range mega-shoddy mass produced statuettes of Ganesh the Elephant God to black pearls and unique gold jewellery of great beauty. You can buy fresh roast turkey and cranberry sauce baguettes, that morning's field mushrooms, corn-fed chicken, organic beef, giant chocolate crackles and still-warm wood-oven bread. The noise is overwhelming. The smell is fabulous.


Part of the car park is an old warehouse ...



... and when you get out of the lift, you see this.



These are the people with the gold, but their amber is even better.



I wonder where they keep the Mundane Fruit and Veg, and what it is. Parsnips, chokos and cabbage?

8 comments:

Mindy said...

I knew there had to be more to Adelaide than I'd seen before. Looks fantastic. Now all I have to do is wait until the kids are old enough to behave while I have a lovely wander around. Think the market will still be there in, oooh 18 years?

Anonymous said...

... and when you get out of the lift, you see this.

that's what Footscray looks like.



Cast Iron Balcony

redcap said...

And don't forget the dried fishywhatitses hanging from in the Italian stall near the Gouger St end, or the giant adult chocolate crackles, or the piles of pain au chocolate, or... or... or...

Pavlov's Cat said...

No no, I mentioned the giant chocolate crackles! I mean, how could anyone leave them out?

'Course, if a comprehensive list is called for, it gives me a good excuse to go back soon.

lucy tartan said...

Yes, she did mention the giant chocolate crackles.

I'm very glad you got that camera.

R H said...

'that's what Footscray looks like'


Totally.

Gala said...

I love the markets. I've hosted 2 German exchange sudents and they both loved it. My favourite place in China Town is the China Town Cafe Mmmm! Might go there on tuesday!

David Campbell said...

The Central Markets are terrific, but unfortunately they are under used and are only open for 5 minutes a week.

We need to kick a few things off in Adelaide to bring it to life :)