If I had a cameo in a fairytale, I wouldn’t be suckered into near-incineration by a gingerbread house, but I would definitely be tempted by something in the size and shape of the Orange Grove Organic Markets in Rozelle.
I like the fact that you can buy killer bread there – slicing through the fruit loaf from the Shepherd’s Bakehouse stall is like slicing through an actual fruit shop display, for instance. Sticky cross-sections of figs and other oven-wrinkled surprises peel away from your knife. Half a loaf of this managed to pull me through a very painful session of copywriting and the other half served as my well-toasted dinner the next night.
Once, when I turned up late, and their display window was almost swept-clean-empty, I sheepishly asked if they still had any fruit loaf left (even though anyone with functioning eyes could tell there wasn’t any to be seen). Luckily, I managed to get the second-last loaf. It turns out it was hidden away from the display case – the stallholder told me they have to do this, because in the past, fights have started from people trying to tussle over the last one.
Killer bread indeed.
I would like to try their Pumpkin and Sour Cream or Bush Tomato loaves – or their Chilli and Garlic sourdough one day. But if someone more muscly gets there first, well, I’ll just be wimpy and let them get their carb fix.
There’s another bakery stall nearby – I haven’t tried their crusty rolls or flour-dusted offerings, but I do like the Grumpy Baker’s adventurously flavoured Passionfruit and Kaffir Lime Leaf Muffin. I like that its neighbour on display, the Chocolate Muffin is generously tiled over with bricks of chocolate. I haven’t tried it yet, but anything with such a cocoa-high construction method has to be fairly decent.
While there is a sizeable range of things you can fill your bags with at the markets – from fresh organic produce to jams, teas, bouquets, vegan food (or honey and port cured bacon and egg rolls, if you’re more of a nose-to-tail type) – my arms have always been loaded with only one thing so far. Sweets, of course.
The last time I was there, I was all sticky-fingered from the Breakfast Roti (which is filled with kaya – a coconut and pandam jam) and regretting the fact I had no room to try the Organic Banana and Raw Honey Gozleme. If only my appetite had the roomy dimensions of a gingerbread house.
Orange Grove Organic Markets, Orange Grove Public School, Cnr Perry Street and Balmain Road, on the edge of Lilyfield and Rozelle. They end at 1pm on Saturday, but also travel through Sydney – from Bondi Junction to Frenchs Forest – throughout the week. Check out the website here.