Fifteen kitchens in Marrickville. Fifteen kitchens in Kos, a small island in Greece. Eleni Christou came up with the idea of Community Kouzina Project, a means of insight into what, how and why different people cook the way they do. Eleni, who has a Masters in Applied Anthropology, visited the homes of friends and strangers in Marrickville and Kos, backed by a grant from Marrickville Council to promote international goodwill and cultural understanding with its sister cities.
The stories she unravelled are currently on display at the Chrissie Cotter Gallery as part of Open Marrickville, a ten-day annual festival celebrating Marrickville's multiculturalism. Born in Cyrpus and emigrating to Australia at age 10, Eleni is a Marrickville local who is a keen supporter of its community businesses.
Last weekend she hosted a free walking tour as part of Open Marrickville, showcasing her favourite places in Marrickville. We were glad to discover the surprise tour all involved food, and as ex-locals who spent our childhoods here, we're secretly stoked we guessed four out of five stops.
I'll leave this post as mostly a pictorial wander through Marrickville's gustatory gems. All the addresses are at the end of this post so you can recreate this tour for yourself.
Lamia Super Deli
Every food tour of Marrickville includes a visit to Lamia Super Deli. Even after its move a few doors up, this poky deli and grocery store stocks every European product you could think of. And more. We're talking bags of Turkish ground coffee to yerba mate tea to giant wafer sheets to pickles and preserves. There's the salty whiff of olive brine from the self-serve olive bar, a cabinet stuffed to the gills with smallgoods and cheeses and fridges jam-packed with more cheese and homemade dips.
Stumped on where to look for Mexican supplies? They have that too. Load up on white hominy field corn, refried black beans, masa flour, cactus and tomatillos. They also stock Pepe Saya butter and ghee.
Cheeses in the display cabinet
Christina Calligas, co-owner of Lamia Super Deli
Lazania - homemade Greek lasagne
Sampling olives, taramasalata and cheeses
Tsoureki sweet loaf, like a Greek version of brioche
Harry Calligas, co-owner, slicing prosciutto
Self-serve Greek olives
Greek black olives
Attiki raw Greek honey
Portuguese olive oil
Peeled chestnuts, chestnut spread and chestnut puree
Brined nopalitos cactus and canned whole tomatillos
White, yellow and blue corn masa flour
Behind the counter
Save More Fresh Fruits and Groceries
Around the corner on Illawarra Road we head into Save More. This is the biggest Asian grocery store in Marrickville - their range of rice paper sheets is pretty incredible. I'm also endlessly fascinated by the selection of Vietnamese desserts and snacks stacked up high near the cash registers. They even sell rice cookers and pots for steamboat.
Customers at the registers
Pomelo, jackfruit and tropical fruit tastings
Bulk buying: 2 litres of pandan essence, 2 litres of sesame oil, 1.5kg baby corn and 2.7kg baking powder
Vietnamese biscuits, cookies and crackers in bear jars
Bánh tráng rice paper in different brands, shapes and sizes
Vietnamese desserts and snacks
Bánh giầy glutinous sticky rice cake sandwiched with cha lua luncheon meat
Smiles all around
Chrysanthemum leaves and other Asian green vegetables
Across the road you'll find Banana Joe's, a one-stop shop that combines supermarket, fruit and vegetable shop and a proper butchery. There are usually bargain specials in the display facing the street. A relatively recent renovation means the refrigerated aisle is super organised - the number of cheese fridges has to be seen to be believed.
Discount fruit in buckets
Petit buerre tea biscuits
Sweet potatoes, potatoes and onions
Marrickville Seafood has been around for years, although it has recently come under new management. They are always busy on Fridays and are manic before Easter. Take home a package of fresh fish fillets to pan fry for tea or pull up a chair and go old skool with fish and chips or a baggy of potato scallops.
Seafood in the cabinet
Hot food menu
Samples of seafood salad, octopus, battered fish, prawns and seafood sticks, crumbed calamari, oysters and crumbed fish
Pagoto Gelato & Waffle House
Our last stop is Pagoto, a gelato house that offers a Greek twist to many of its flavours. This place is always pumping late at night on weekends. I love that you can grab a kebab at Victoria Yeeros a few doors up and then roll here for dessert. The watermelon and feta gelato is super refreshing in summer and the melamakarona gelato, traditionally a walnut syrup biscuit, tastes just like gingerbread. What does pagoto means? It's Greek for ice cream.
Gelato flavour menu
Katerina Magoulias, co-owner of Pagoto
Melomakarona walnut syrup biscuit gelato
and kataifi pastry nest gelato (at rear)
Kourambiedes Greek shortbread gelato
and almond macaroon gelato (at rear)
Ferrero Rocher gelato
Special gelato flavours
One scoop of everything please
The Community Kouzina Project is on exhibition at the Chrissie Cotter Gallery (Pidcock Street, Camperdown) until this Sunday 26 June, 2016. The official closing event for Open Marrickville will also be at the gallery this Sunday 3pm-6pm.
Banana Joe's Foodworks
258 Illawarra Road, Marrickville, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9559 7064
Monday to Saturday 8am - 8pm
Sunday 8.30am - 8pm
Lamia Super Deli
278 Marrickville Road, Marrickville, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9560 1011
Monday to Friday 7am - 6pm
Saturday 8am - 5.30pm
Sunday 10am - 2pm
187 Marrickville Road, Marrickville, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9550 0277
Open daily 8am - 6pm
Pagoto Gelato and Waffle House
301 Victoria Road, Marrickville, Sydney
Tel: +61 (0)401 724 686
Open daily 12pm til late
Also in Oakleigh, Melbourne and Mt Gravatt, Brisbane
307-311 Illawarra Road, Marrickville, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9559 3117
Open daily 8.30am - 7pm
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6/24/2016 01:17:00 am