There are a few very interesting delis in the Wollongong area and this one if definitely the most talked about. It is a called “Leisure Coast Fruit Market Wollongong”. It has a vas choice of fruits and vegetables and a quite large deli section with fresh meat, cured and cold meat, rare vegetables, cheeses and all you need for a perfect gourmet pantry.
I found hard to find products such as achiote paste for my pulled pork favourite recipe, date syrup and Harissa paste (northern African chilli).
The building has a large covered area at the front where 3 long and double sided rows of fruits and vegetables welcome you. The prices can be very good especially if you buy by the bucket. You will find giant onions the size of my head, mini zucchinis or eggplants, 6 different sorts of mangos, very dark purple Dutch carrots, zombie brains (celeriac) and much much more.
This is one of the 3 large aisles in the fruit and veggie section.
Entering the building itself you see a meat section. I didn’t buy meat this time as I went to a party and didn’t want to leave it for hours in my car…
It was a fun family time as the kids love to explore and comment on new products they see.
There was a very interesting syrups and fruit essences section. You could find a classic selection of French Monin cordials.
On the top shelf, just left to the Monins, you will find amazing extract such as coffee, hazelnuts, chocolate, maple, etc. If you have a Magimix or Thermomix, they’ll be your best friend. You can make 12 minutes custards with a spoon of extract and it turns a boring crème into a genius dessert. Same with instant (or not) ice-cream, crème pâtissière for éclairs or choux. They are very good quality products, natural and very strong.
Their vinegar selection is great. Some of the bottles were pretty fancy.
I use the Le Phare du Cap Bon Harissa from Tunisia for my Moroccan lamb and vegetable couscous. It’s the best. You take a ladle of broth, press a bit of paste (it looks like a toothpaste tube), mix and pour over your plate. It’s delicious.
Achiote or Annatto paste is made of a Mexican plant (check out this article here) I had heard of it for a while when I discovered a great recipe in one of my favourite books “The family meal” by Ferran Adrià. It is a pulled pork recipe involving a marinade made of orange, vinegar, cumin powder and achiote paste. It takes about 6 to 7 hours to cook. I use my Dutch oven. It is one of the most rewarding recipes there is.
I was very tempted by the cactus preserve but had reached my quota for this trip :) Next time!
Of course, as in all good delis, there is a wall of sauces. You will definitely find some very interesting mixtures in there.
The spice section is pretty impressive.
You will find different brands and sachet sizes.
You need to spend hours in this place to see everything they’ve got. Hidden between pasta packets, dates and date syrups from the Emirate are ideal to make nice desserts or drinks during the festive season.
See the nut section…
The pasta selection is huge and includes a large part of imported Italian pasta.
Some of these pastas are very fancy, colourful or organic.
The cheese section didn’t include many small production Australian cheeses at the time of my visit and I thought it was shame.
I was glad to be able to buy my favourite shanklish cheese brand :)
The charcuterie, cold meat and sausages section is fantastic.
You will be able to serve all these with legumes and grains from South-America of which there is a large selection.
I am always glad to see fresh livers to make my Port infused liver mousse. I’m always dreaming of seeing a Duck liver section, but it has remained a dream for a long long time.
More Italian pasta and cold meats.
The inside fruit and veggie section has interesting specimens :)
It was very interesting visit to this well known Wollongong deli. I will be back with a big Eski to bring back more of these delicious looking fresh veggies and fruits and more of the rare products I cannot find easily in my local supermarket.
If you have visited Leisure Coast Fruit and found some great products, let me know in the comments below :)
NOTE: this post is not sponsored
address: 75 Princes Hwy, Fairy Meadow NSW 2519, Australia
hours: every day 08:00 – 17:45