May 19, 2012

Orange F.O.O.D Week – Night Markets

Every year for the last 3 years, myself and a group of girlfriends from Sydney have got together for a wine weekend away. This year, the girls timed it so that they could visit Orange during F.O.O.D Week and see the city in all its autumn glory.

The girls arrived on Friday evening and we shot off to the F.O.O.D Week night markets, as I knew from experience that food runs out if you arrive late – be warned. We cleverly brought our own glassware (totally
encouraged), so we could spend more money on wine and less on wine containment.

I’m always surprised by how many new wine labels seem to spring out of the woodwork, every time there is an event at least 3 newbies hit the block. My top new taste was Twisted River who produce a very drinkable Rose.

On the F.O.O.D front, the markets were set up so you could choose from an array of gourmet delights ‘in a roll,’ or go for a stew, tasting plate or bowl of dessert.

The girls and I opted for pulled pork and coleslaw rolls from Orange Mountain Wines, these were totally delicious but way too small. Bigger rolls definitely required next time please OMW! This dish was an ideal match to the Orange Mountain Chardonnay and we also tried the Kent’s Ginger Beer poured by a rather good looking Frenchman.

My personal favourite dish was sweet potato balls from Bodhi Garden, these deep fried delights are perfect to share as you can also half the calorie guilt!

The food tents surround the edges of Robertson Park with wine barrels, tables and chairs scattered in the middle. There is a really lovely communal feel that always receives a great turn out. It is also amazing to consider that all the food produced and consumed on the night is sourced within a 100km radius of Orange.

The live music and set up were excellent, just a bit disappointing that a large number of people left their litter lying on the tables rather than put it in the many bins provided. Who are these baddies? F.O.OD Week is entirely organised and run by volunteers which makes the popularity and scale of their efforts all the more impressive. Think they may need to hire a squad of school kids for clean up duty next time

As things got a bit cooler and more and more stands ran out of food we headed home for more wine, comfy sofas and most importantly heating.

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