This weekend could not have been more glorious in terms of weather. Clear blue skies and not a wisp of cloud in sight, the Saturday sun was the “perfect pairing” to the kickoff event for the second annual James Street Food and Wine Trail.
Arriving early (rather fortuitously) meant I had minimal crowds to combat and could indulge in longer conversations with stallholders and providores alike. Having held out on breakfast I made a beeline for the “To Market” zone. It was there I happened upon the lovely team from The Nut Market (the original shop of course located in Montville, which Mama and I visited during our stay last month) and was quick to discuss the goodies on offer. Tamarind spiced roasted almonds, caramel corn and a variety of their signature “incred-a-balls”. I opted for the latter and was rewarded for my desire to try them all, receiving two samplings to satisfy the tastebuds – ginger and macadamia and tropical. The tropical combination was utterly scrumptious with deliciously pungent organic banana bursting onto the palate. It was the perfect pre-cursor to my free tub of intensely thick but perfectly light organic banana yoghurt from the Barambah Organics. After lining my stomach I swiftly moved on to order a smooth and creamy skinny cap from local roasters Blue Sky Coffee, which I smugly sipped at after receiving a complimentary full size cup instead of a sample.
I continued to mosey along the market precinct. There was the wonderfully salty, velvet-like French butter from Pepe Saya layered on fresh baguette, the array of antipasto featuring Persian fetta, mushroom dip, balsamic octopus, smoked Kalamata, Moroccan and pitted herb Sicilian olives, beef with “perfection” sauce and chicken with Japanese soy (it was a serious mid-morning picnic!) and the rich, brightly hued hard cheese Mimmolette Beffroi from the North of France, which had a considerable depth of flavour and was perfect served atop freshly baked bread – all courtesy of The Standard Market Company.
But how to finish my “food trail”? With dessert of course! The ladies from James St Cooking School had just plated up a fresh batch of “not quite right brownies”, which were entirely gluten free and held together by meringue. Dusted with snowy white icing sugar, it was balanced and not too sweet, gooey on the inside with a crisp outer layer and provided just the right amount of crunch and texture with the pistachios within.
With the tastebuds well and truly satisfied I proceeded into James St Market itself to purchase some Mimmolette Beffroi and Barambah unhomogenized milk and then across to The Nut Market for creamy cashew butter and some more of those incredible “incred-a-balls”…this time the full sized version (they are most definitely a MUST try).
Saturday’s daylong celebration of food and wine certainly delivered on its marketing promise with “a delectable edit of all things James Street”.