Sunday, 1 December 2013

Inner North Discoveries (a.k.a. I am so late to the party)

First off, I must express my embarrassment about past disdain for the inner North. Since moving here this year I am completely converted, and though I haven’t managed the requisite Bushranger-style facial hair and tattoos, I can muster skinny jeans and a hankering for a fixie. In the meantime, a 25+ year old Raleigh (from the days when there was still a manufacturing industry in England) is transporting me around town.

Now I want everyone I know to move here.

Fortunately almost everyone I know already does live here.

Now, for the food.

I’ve frequented Wholefoods for years, but it’s a heck of a lot easier now to peruse both the East Brunswick and Fitzroy/Collingwood shops. Yesterday I finally got my act together and remembered to bring a jar so I could get some peanut butter from the on-site machine.

The following quantity, minus weight of the empty jar, only cost $3.30 which is a bargain compared with the rubbish at supermarkets, and it’s organic, and it’s the best peanut butter I’ve ever had.

This tiny amount of forethought will surely be followed by other purchases from the bulk bins. (See also Friends of the Earth in Smith St.)

Next up - Coburg.

I have visited Coburg Farmers’ Market twice now. Once was a reconnaissance trip, in which I was REALLY naughty and bought nothing but shamelessly encouraged my friend L to spend away. (This was followed by lunch, alas unphotographed, at East Elevation - very delicious).

The second trip was a bit less miserly, though the pouring rain didn’t really encourage generous thoughts. I did leave with some Cocoa Rhapsody Dark Nut Cove chocolate and forced my mother to get the Salted Lime, which is probably the best chocolate I’ve had in years. And possibly ever.

Today I decided to get some vitamin D/sun damage and walked to Coburg to have a proper look.

Coburg Coles (not the one on Sydney Road - the one behind) produced lebanese cucumbers for $1 a kilo, and ripe R2E2 mangoes for $1 each (supplementing the 15 or so mangoes I got for $3 this week).

Al Alamy had nicely laid out nuts, dried fruits, seeds and grains. I’d have bought from there if I didn’t have the wonders of Basfoods and NSM so much closer to home.

I struck gold at KFL Supermarket. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but inside it’s exceptionally cosmopolitan. Foods from Croatia to China, Turkey to Taiwan, Poland to the Philippines.

Lots for gleegans as well.

I got:

Bean sprouts ($1.15kg), enoki mushrooms ($1.99) and coriander (80 cents) - pictured with the giant aforementioned mango.

Organic seaweed (albeit from China, so ?how organic really); laver; “prawns” (?!); mushroom/seaweed powder (presumably an umami bomb).

Vegan “fish” sauce (yes, I know there are DIY recipes around but I was curious); soy bacon bits.

I had to try these as soon as I got home. The ingredients list is meaningless, stating only soy, but there is obviously more to it than that. They are however rather excellent. I had them with Sheese cream cheese, tomato, gherkin, Dijon mustard and Bragg’s on Black Ruby’s soy and linseed bread.

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