March 3, 2013
Today we took the train out to Dandenong (pronounced DAN-deh-nong) - as part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, the town was sponsoring an international food fair at their market.
It was fun - we saw all kinds of foods that we've never seen before. Like this Vietnamese little pancake thing full of vegetables and a single shrimp. Which is made in a special pan that has indentations for each little pancake - or maybe more like each little shrimp. They looked very tasty, but people were lining up and buying them faster than the people were making them, so I opted to go elsewhere.
There were all kinds of Asian foods, but not the usual Chinese, Thai, or even Japanese items that we normally see in the US - the Asian foods were more likely to be from Vietnam, Indonesia, Fiji, and various Pacific Islands.
And while in the US we might see Greek food, here it was more likely to be Turkish, like these pastries. I had a few date-filled cookies that were tasty.
There were also several stands with food from the former Yugoslavia/Bulgaria region - borekas, a variety of things in phyllo dough, and all kinds of little pastry things.
Richard had a plate with small samples of Afghani food (rice, meatball, kebab, and sort of a pirogi-type thing). I had Vietnamese summer rolls (the non-fried kind) with vegs and prawns inside. Richard then had a British sausage thing. I had a small West African chicken puff pastry thing. We both had Polish pastry that was sort of like poppyseed-filled babka. So essentially our lunches spanned a combined total of three continents. Fun!!!
This man was working with the two Turkish pastry stands, walking back and forth with pans full of cooled off pastries. It was interesting to watch, because in this group the Turkish men were doing all the baking and the women were selling - and they didn't cross boundaries!
I enjoyed seeing all the people in traditional ethnic clothing, too - women in African garb, or saris, or clothing from other parts of India. African men in traditional tie-dye robes. Muslim women with their heads covered - and their faces from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, but still all Muslim.
It was fun and interesting. We only spent a few days there, but really enjoyed the afternoon.