A freelance writer living and loving in the northern beaches of Sydney...travelling, writing, outdoor activities, gardens, and Pilates are a few of my favourite things. Visit me www.potpourritravels.wordpress.com or www.facebook.com/potpourritravels/
Published December 11th 2016
Fresh, local and Australian olive oil, flowers and produce
At No. 3 Danks Street, Waterloo, a new shopping experience has recently opened. Open 7 days, Danks Street Produce Merchants is a grand market place, replicating the European-style of fresh food artisans, bakers, fish mongers, butcher and deli meats, plus dining all under one roof. As I strolled past recently looking for somewhere for lunch, I was drawn in by the bunches of fresh flowers.
Once inside, I felt like I'd stepped into a French or Italian marketplace; a delicatessen, bakery items, cheeses, free-range butchery and middle eastern spices were all lined up surrounding the central displays of gift hampers, home-made jams, juices, and bottled produce.
Too often missing from fruit and veg that we buy from big supermarket chains, is the smell. It's been sitting in cold storage too long or has been picked too green - usually they may look wonderful and perfect but the smell is missing. And being a country girl, I'm always drawn to fresh, beautiful produce that reeks of ripe goodness and local farming. The smell of tomatoes is the best part, I think. And this time of year it collides with the aromas of fresh stone fruit, such as peaches, nectarines and apricots.
you just can't beat the real taste of fresh tomatoes
A quick chat to Dominic, whose family owns this new venture, reveals "we go to the markets every morning to see what's freshest, what's best, what's in season", he says. "If there's a surplus of anything in particular we'll grab it. For instance, today it was raspberries, so we buy it, take it back to our factory and make raspberry jam. In April and May when we harvest our Hunter Valley olives, we bring the fruit here and crush it fresh on premises so people can buy the fresh, unfiltered and cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, straight from paddock to plate" he enthuses. For 20 years, using traditional recipes, Dominic's family has been making salad dressings, pickled vegetables, and condiments using seasonal produce. They pride themselves on local and Australian produce wherever possible.
Sitting high overlooking the marketplace, I could easily pass a few hours here watching the passing parade, the eclectic mix of locals who want something in particular and know they'll be able to find it here. I didn't come out needing to do grocery shopping but I can't help but pick up some fresh apricots, dates, cherries from Young, some avocadoes and a loaf of freshly baked sourdough. That's breakfast tomorrow sorted.