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Melbourne’s markets #1: Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria Market. How I love your hum and bustle and stallholders who chat happily with me about their wares – their fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, dairy produce, deli goods, which bread suits your mood and what chocolate is best for what purpose.

Then there’s the buzz of the crowd around the brunch-time borek stall, waiting patiently for spicy lamb or spinach and cheese or potato.  At $2.50, it’s worth being patient and worth the wait. *see update below

The borek stand at QVM, Melbourne

There are surprising foodie discoveries to make when they’re least expected.  Things that make me smile.  It’s the best way to shop and makes me very happy.

Getting it all home and having a late lunch with fresh bread and specialty produce like boiled bagels, cheeses, meats, olives, dips, new spices and patés and fresh organic fruits for dessert is fun too.  Sometimes the food is shared with friends and wine for an afternoon to make one’s heart sing.  Sometimes on one’s own with a cup of fresh coffee and a copy of The Age.

Here is a snapshot of last weekend’s visit to Queen Victoria Market.  It’s good to be back.

*Update 3 August 2014:  last weekend while popping in at QVM for a spicy lamb borek I noted, for the second time, that they have changed.  The bread is now thick and bready rather than light and pastry-like and the filling simply didn’t taste right.  I couldn’t pinpoint it, but it lacked spice and flavour and there were parts of the bread that had nothing more than an oily coating and no filling at all.  In fact I didn’t like it so much I threw half in the bin.

I thought this change to the boreks might just be the result of a bad cooking day last time I ate one (close to a year ago now), but it seems to be what they are now.  So if you venture in for a borek, don’t expect to eat the thin, tasty, piping hot savoury treats you used to buy.

After being my market staple for years, I think it’s time for me to find a new favourite.

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