March 15th, 2016
(Competition Entry) Greengrocer Story
For those of you who know me well, it will come as no surprise when I tell you that fresh fruit and vegetables are my inspiration. I base my meals on what is in season and I love walking around perusing the produce. When I find a fruit and vegetable shop like SuperFresh at Crows Nest that shares my passion, it is a wonderful experience. I know you can find all sorts of Greengrocers, they range from the very high end ones that display the produce like art and the original ones that have been the same for fifty years. I enjoy visiting all of these but SuperFresh at Crows Nest is within walking distance from where I live when I am in Sydney. Situated in Atchinson Street it has on-site parking and is often busy with customers. The residents from Crows Nest and surrounding areas come from many different cultural backgrounds and SuperFresh stocks all the fruit and vegetables they like to cook with from Bok Choy to Fennel, it’s all on the shelves.
The business is owned by a husband and wife team, Carmelo and Natalie Develi, and they have owned the business for a year and purchased it from Carmelo’s Uncle who had owned it for almost thirty five years. It has been in Italian/Australian hands all that time. When I walk in I often find Carmelo stacking the shelves and talking with customers, lamenting that the last of the figs have been sold. I listen and smile because I am the same and can tell what time of year it is by what’s on the shelves. I always seem to be asking for something before it’s in season and I’m excited to sample this years crop and cook with it. I enjoy buying Borlotti beans, Persimmons, Figs, Fennel, Feijola and all sorts of other produce that you don’t find everywhere. It’s the little things I notice like the cucumber’s have flowers on the end of them and zucchini too. That’s how you know this produce is fresh.
There are lots of young people working behind the counter speaking to each other in Italian. It is almost too good to be true that over one side there is a deli and coffee shop where I can sit and have a coffee before walking back home.
We are very lucky in Australia to enjoy some of the best produce I have ever tasted. Enjoying the simple routine things of life can make everyday so enjoyable and just like Carmelo enjoys working with his produce, I enjoy finding the best I can and cooking with it. I also believe in shopping with the independent greengrocers as much as possible. It’s better practice and better produce as far as I’m concerned. I like to have a personal relationship with my greengrocer and my butcher. Nothing better than walking into the store and being told they have kept something for me, knowing that I would appreciate the quality.
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