Market Update: Avondale

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A visit to Avondale Markets was well overdue for us – it always seems to rain on Sunday mornings which puts me off going – but this Sunday was bright, clear and an unseasonable 20 degrees or so, perfect for a market jaunt. Citrus were looking great, with lemons clocking in at around $1-2/kilo, mandarins about the same and limes around $5-7/kilo. I went for the mandarins labelled ‘picked yesterday’, beautifully fragrant and sweet.

Met a lovely Thai woman who said she only comes to Avondale a few times a year, with produce from her Clevedon garden. She had lovely wee organic limes which I’ve been using like mad this week in just about everything – they’re tiny but so so juicy! She also had beautiful fresh Thai herbs, bay leaves and kaffir limes.

There are a couple of stalls selling Isaan Thai snacks like sticky banana rice wraps, fresh spring rolls and laab. We picked up some chicken laab, zingy, spicy and a of a drier consistency than the laab I make at home; nice.

There’s a stall on the far Western side that sells produce imported from Fiji. We always head there for green papaya to make Som Tam – I wish Thai restaurants in Auckland would do the same, instead of making an inferior carrot version! This week I spotted fresh white turmeric there, as well as the more common yellow turmeric. The stall holder said the white variety was mostly used for pickling, in Indian cuisine. They also had the long snake beans that are so excellent in Thai and Vietnamese salads.

Oh, and Pukeko Bakery is now at Avo, having taken a permanent stall a few months back. Will more artisan stalls follow? I hope so. I think it would be great to mix it up a bit, without changing the face of the place too much. It’s lovely to be able to buy freshly baked artisan bread along with your fruit and veg. Hoorah.

Among other things, we also bought fennel bulbs at two for $1.50, a huge bag of tart Granny Smiths,  green papaya Asian Bride eggplant, nice fresh coriander by the kilo, bambino bread rolls and little Roma tomatoes. All far, far cheaper and fresher than the supermarket.

Over in the non-food area the stalls were abuzz with all the latest junk picked up from inorganic collections. Yes, all that crap you throw out migrates here. Ten year old cans of carpet shampoo, anyone?

I had to include a photo I took of some stall holders’ lunch of McDonald’s juxtaposed against all the lovely, healthy produce. Why would you?!

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8 thoughts on “Market Update: Avondale

  1. I love your blog Anna. From an expert to a still-learning-even-at-my-old-age cook, can you store coriander, or any herb for that matter, in the freezer? I find I buy a bunch and a lot of it goes to waste. How long will it last in the freezer?

    1. Hi Holly, sorry for my tardy reply. Unfortunately, no, coriander doesn’t take well to either heating or freezing. In the freezer it will ‘rust’ (go black) and lose its flavour. Now I’m thinking, though (but haven’t tried this myself) that you could blend up fresh coriander with some oil (rice bran, probably) and freezer the resulting paste – something akin to making and freezing pesto; the oil helping preserve the colour and flavour of the herb. But still not the same as adding the fresh herb, is it. Coriander also doesn’t like heat that much, so if using it in cooking either do so at the end, or make sure the cooking method is long and slow as in a Mexican stew where you could add the coriander early on. Hope this helps x

  2. Hey Anna, next time you head to avondale markets, hit the people who drive up from Te Kauwhata, always at end of the 2nd/middle veggie row, they have the best and usually cheapest coriander. I buy it there for my cafe and it keeps for ages longer anywhere else and take some home and it last and lasts at home too.

    1. Hi Sarah – do you mean at the end as in away from the carpark end? Sounds like where I bought my coriander from last time; they weren’t selling much else and had loads of coriander by the kilo. Fresh as fresh, mine lasted for a while as opposed to going slimy within one day! Thanks for the tip 🙂

      1. Yep , yesterday I grabbed some more and looked and Lowe Farms is what they have on their truck.

      2. Choice, will know which one to go for next time in the coriander department. I was at Avondale again yesterday, we may have crossed paths! Stocked up on ingredients for my mother in-law to make us a big batch of Middle Eastern pickles they call dolshi, can’t wait, I love pickles!

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