Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Moss St Market

Address: 401 Moss St. (Sir James Douglas school)
Date/time: Saturdays spring-fall, 10 am - 2 pm
Notes: Has been running for 20+ years, although facing stiff competition for "the best" farmers/craft market

Moss Street Market Team

The Moss Street Market is pretty impressive. You have three types of product at the market: fresh local produce/products, food carts, and crafts.

The crafts are quite diverse - from pottery to jewelry, clothing and dog treats. It seems like there are some vendors who are there the whole season, as well as others who rotate between markets.

The local produce/products is sort of uncharted territory for me, although I plan to change that as the summer goes on. (I tend to shop right before I cook, so shopping for dinner before it's even noon is a hard habit to get into!). There are lots of choices, with everything from from local meats, to plants, fresh vegetables and honey. The food vendors include sausages, mini donuts, tamales, wood-fired pizza, ice cream sandwiches and an international food co-op run by a fabulous group of women. 


Wood-fired pizza menu
Pizza menu (changes weekly)

I was quite excited when my partner-in-food-and-life came home from the market to announce there were individual wood-fired pizzas being made. We had a chance to give them a try this past weekend, and I was excited to see that it was PassionEAT Foods, a farm-to-table catering company, that was taking it on. I don't know too much about the company, but I remember being very, very impressed with their samosas at Culinaire.

Wood pizza oven
Pizza oven (hot and delicious smelling)

We arrived close to lunch time, which meant a 30 minute queue for pizza. Didn't really mind, since there was a sunny spot on the grass and an ice cream sandwich starting to melt in my hand!  Plus, I had a nice view with which to watch Chef Dwane's process. The dough was pulled out of a large batch, stretched and topped with the selected toppings seconds before being popped into the wood oven. After being rotated through the oven (total time seemed like about 5 minutes), the most-burnt bits of crust were trimmed and the final toppings added. 

Tandoori wood-fired pizza
The Tandoori pizza

I opted for the tandoori pizza because I was in serious need of something seriously savoury. I didn't realize until after I had ordered it that it was a non-cheese pizza, with the riata on top substituting for cheesiness. Piping hot, spicy and savoury I wanted to devour it instantly... but it was still incredible after I managed to safely get it home! It was pretty sloppy (in the most delicious way possible). The dough is fresh and hot and still soft in the middle, the chile sauce topping was quite liquidy, and as I mentioned there was no cheese which kind of tends to act as a structural element to pizza. Either way, I would highly recommend snagging a napkin and/or bringing your own plate like a few smart people I noticed. 

It looks like the PassionEAT pizza oven is popping up at markets and food festivals all over Victoria, so keep your eyes peeled!

Was also happy to see that Cold Comfort is a fixture at the market this year! Working on updating her post to include some of the delicious flavours we've had lately.

Tamale with Chicken and Salsa Roja (Tamales Don Carlos) via

Oh boy do I ever love tamales! They're like a magical package of tasty all wrapped up in a neat corn husk package! They feel a little pricey at $5 each, but the other day I was researching how to make them and it's a two day, massively labour intensive process so really, it's worth it. 

I liked this one - it wasn't exactly spicy but the chicken was very nicely shredded although I felt like there could have been more salsa. The filling was very nice flavoured. I think next time I'd go for the veggie one with cheese, as there's something extra magical about cheese tamales. 

After running in to some friends, I was encouraged to try the buraq. This booth has a wide variety of "international" foods - this one is from Iraq. My friend described it as "a magical pastry roll that's almost like a savoury dessert." It was stuffed with peas, spinach, mint and feta.  It reminded me a little bit of a spanakopita, but more green tasting, probably from the peas. The mint added a nice contrast to the more savoury flavours. It was a little small for $5.50... especially since I saw pakoras the size of my fist at 4/$5.50. 

This was my partner-in-food-and-life's choice. I will be going back to get this in future... holy moly! Not only was the curry amazing, but the rice was beyond fabulous. One of the most amazing things I've tasted in a while! It tasted like it maybe had been made in broth, and included caramelized onions. I'm drooling just thinking about it.