Weaving through a crowded Hawkers Market is a favourite pastime of mine when travelling. It’s a great insight to the characters and culture of a country; awakening all the senses with a barrage of provocative sights, sound of clashing woks, the drift of spicy aromas, and stimulating taste of new and different foods.
Just recently I visited Darwin’s Parap Market for a fabulous display of Australia’s flourishing multiculturalism. You realize just how close this part of Australia is to Asia. I was excited with the delicious food that was being prepared from purpose built ‘kitchen on wheels’ trailers, and how well they improvised with less stricter rules and regulations of the health department in ours and other states. It’s difficult to make judgement but it was this element that made it exciting; gave authenticity to the cuisine and made the price acceptable.
Freshly prepared and cooked in front of you, the popular Green Papaya Salad, seafood Laksa and Indonesian satays were being dished out to the queues of eager diners at a rate that nothing was held long enough in the ‘danger zone’ of temperatures. Like their Mindil Beach Market in the dry season, the Parap market appeals to a throng of locals and tourists alike.
I am pleased to see authentic multicultural food starting to permeate into our fantastic local markets. I can only hope that others will follow and Cairns will one day have a true Multicultural Hawkers Market.