A trip to the Queen Victoria Market is a one way ticket to Il Paradiso or L’ Inferno. I arrive and never want to leave these acres devoted to food heaven and hell. Known locally as the Vic Market, it is a major landmark in central Melbourne, a top tourist destination, and a national treasure. At around seven hectares (17 acres), it is the largest open air market in the Southern Hemisphere.
The space is divided into different halls and sheds. The fish area houses ten or so different specialist fishmongers offering the freshest catch in Melbourne. This section has diminished over the years but the quality has improved. With quick turnover and now correct labelling with regard to source, it is worth a tram ride to shop here on a weekly basis.
But it is so hard to choose. Will I have those baby snapper, the freshly shucked oysters from Coffin Bay, or the lovely scallops still in the shell? Hmm, fresh baby calamari. All too tempting.
The Vic Market Deli comes next, which is housed in a hall of Victorian glass fronted shops and tiled floors. You may go there with a list, but I guarantee you won’t stick to it. My levels of greed and gluttony soar to unholy levels.
Thomas Aquinas, 13th century Italian philosopher puts it this way:
‘gluttony could include an obsessive anticipation of meals, and the constant eating of delicacies and excessively costly foods.’
This sin includes,
- Praepropere – eating too soon
- Laute – eating too expensively
- Nimis – eating too much
- Ardenter – eating too eagerly
- Studiose – eating too daintily
- Forente – eating wildly
This Deli Hall is a wicked place indeed but at least I can’t be accused of eating too daintily so there’s hope for me yet.
I came here especially to buy a large jar of Mt Zero Olives from the Grampians region of Victoria as these mixed olives last forever in the fridge. A little scoop here and another one there provides a lovely drink snack. No need to marinate them or tart them up with herbs and garlic. They speak for themsleves. The young vendor is keen to be in my picture too.
Cheese was not on my list, and yet I was tempted, severely. I was lucky enough to stop after purchasing three small delicious wedges. This is the place to find Christmas treats. Oh yes, I might be accused or eating too expensively, Sir Thomas. Just to tuck away, in anticipation of guests.
And then there’s the row of takeaway instant treats. The Bratwurst shop is famous and has been there for at least 40 years, but my favourite is the Borek shop. Still, I find it hard to choose: I want it all. Perhaps I have I eaten too soon, Mr Aquinas?
After the deli, the acres devoted to fresh fruit and vegetables beckon. My mind races as I obsessively anticipate the meals that could be made. I stand accused of the sin of gluttony every time I enter the delectable land of The QueenVic Market.