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Published October 30th 2017
Generations of Secret Foodies Business - Uncovered
Can you believe this stall takes 8 hours to set up everyday!
Generations of families have worked tirelessly to bring Melburnians the best quality produce for the last 139 years. During this time, the market has grown to be the largest open-air market in the Southern Hemisphere! So do yourself a favour and book a spot on the Queen Vic Market Ultimate Foodies Tour. I promise you won't regret it!
After my visit on Saturday, I could start by telling you all about the fascinating history of the Queen Victoria Market, which has been operating since March 1878, but unless you're standing on the original bluestone step below the facade of the Elizabeth St 'Meat Hall', you're not going feel the same connection as seeing, touching and listening to the stories on this tour.
I can hear you say "I thought this was a foodie tour?", and you're right, it definitely is a foodie tour, but without knowing the history of the market, you can't fully appreciate the food and the traders who make this market so wonderful.
Fast forward onto the food - first up we visited the fresh seafood stalls. The quality and freshness of the seafood is outstanding. The eyes of the fish are crystal clear and not cloudy like you see in the supermarkets. Prawns were enormous and the first taste of the day were Coffin Bay oysters.
After the oysters were devoured, we visited one of Melbourne's original organic butchers, 'Hagen's Organic Meat', to find out how much the flavour of meat has changed since the introduction of growth hormones. I found it very interesting to then head across to another butcher to find out how different meat 'waste products' were used to create delicacies all over the world.
Peppered kangaroo and gourmet chicken and chive sausages
The main dish of the day was from the Traditional Pasta Shop. This shop provides fresh pasta, gnocchi, ravioli and more to many of Melbourne's finest restaurants. I honestly don't like pasta, but even I have to admit that this was the best tasting pasta dish that I've ever eaten.
The sound of the 'cheese mites' in the Mimolette cheese was almost enough to make me not want to taste it, but I promised I'd step out of my comfort zone and give it a go. The BEST cheese that I've ever tasted!
Let's not forget the wine tastings from ReWine and the fruit platter to finish of our 90-minute foodie tour.
To my surprise all of the foodie tour participants were Melburnians! Two of us were local bloggers and the remaining participants were there thanks to friends and family who generously gave gift vouchers as presents... which I might say is a great idea with Christmas quickly approaching!
Overall: The consensus between participants was best summed up by this lady "I probably wouldn't have ever thought of buying a ticket for myself, but it's been such a lovely experience and I have enjoyed every bit of it." "I'm going to buy this as an experience for my friend now."
Personally, I think our guide Sarah was brilliant! She had a genuine connection with the traders and an authentic love for the market. I would say $69 for a 90-minute tour is great value for money as it includes 10 tastings along the way, a QVM bag and a $5 gift voucher. Tour sizes are kept to a maximum of 10 participants. Food portions are generous, but if you have intolerances you may struggle a little with food choices on offer. I enjoyed stepping outside of my food comfort zone and learning the history of this great market, and I'm sure you will too.