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Saturday, 1 July 2017

Prahran Market Hidden Gems Market Tour - FREE!

We spent nearly 7 years in living in South Yarra/Prahran, including living at the back of Prahran Market, about a 3 minute walk away.  We nibbled our way around on a fair few Saturday's, but pretty much took it for granted.  Since leaving the area (wow it's been nearly 6 years), we've probably only visited a few times. So when I heard 2 of my favourite words "free and tour", I thought, gotta do that - and of course added it to the list!  Speaking of which I have no idea what's happened to my lists - they've gone wonky (too many bubbles maybe, my new addiction).  And as I am absolutely hopeless when it comes to all things technical, might just have to start again. But that's for another day.

So I booked myself into one of the free Prahran Market tours and on this freezing cold, but beautifully sunny winter's day headed off.  Our group of around 10 met our lovely guide Giovanna who gave us a quick rundown on the history of the market.

First established back in 1864, makes it Melbourne’s oldest Market.  Back then it was smaller and actually in Prahran before moving to its current location on Commercial Road in South Yarra in 1891.  Yep, that's right, Prahran Market is actually not in Prahran!  Over the years it's been extended and renovated and the fruit and veggie section was gutted by fire on Boxing Day in 1950.
The ‘60s migrant explosion meant plenty of new produce being available at the market. Since then it has become a mecca for foodies looking for hard-to-find ingredients and today it remains a community of highly skilled traders and specialty stores. 

Look at that jamon!
Large (free) shopping bags in hand we set off to smell, taste and chat to a few of the stall owners.  Hot gozleme straight off the grill, cheeses, dips, mussels and baklava. On through the seafood and meat hall (plenty of free samples along the way being cooked up on the BBQ's) and a quick tea stop before heading into fruit and veg.  There really is an amazing assortment of things, some that I have never heard of before.

Tea tastings for all - they even do tea ceremonies
Highlight was meeting and chatting to Damian Pike the Mushroom Man (loved his apron, it declared him a "Fun Gi"). Tempted by the Chanterelles, imported from France, but at $150 kg, maybe next time.  Apparently they are delicious cooked with butter, butter, butter, pepper and just a bit more butter.  And we all know that lots of butter makes everything taste pretty delicious.

AKA as Fingered Citron, one of the oldest citrus fruits

With that our tour came to an end (around an hour and fifteen minutes) and it was time to head over to Casa Delicatess that I'd spotted when I went in and tried some of their fabulous chorizo, jamon and queso.  Lots of yummy Spanish and South American goodies, so I did an Emilio and spent $100.   Just made up some hot chocolate with a Mexican chocolate "tablet' and OMG it is good.

All up, fabulous.  Had forgotten how much fun the Prahran Market was and what an amazing  range of produce they have. So as Molly would say, do yourselves a favour and book in to do this tour.

Tickets: FREE Book here.
When: First Saturday of every month, at 12 noon.
Duration: 1 hour'ish
Includes: A guided tour, a Prahran Market Shopping Bag and some exclusive tastings

Very tempted to pop back next Sunday 9 July for their Truffle & Charcuterie Celebration.

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