The Morning Trade

Last Sunday, I was here – 8 Morrison Street.

This place has become the weekly home of The Morning Trade, which is essentially a flea market for foodies. It seems that Durban’s inner city regeneration has finally gone mainstream, bringing all the people who would traditionally sneer at the CBD … right into its bowels.

(Okay, 8 Morrison Street doesn’t qualify as ‘bowels’, but you get my point.)

This project is long overdue. It always strikes me how busy and how central CBDs are in developed countries, yet in Durban we have a CBD that unfortunately had developed a reputation as a no-go zone. Durban needs this. Durban needs arty farty things like this. Durban needs more people like the organisers of TMT, who have the foresight to take advantage of ‘Town’s’ grungy appeal.

So all the food and everything else aside, you must go. Be a part of the regeneration.

Some things that you should remember about The Morning Trade:

Go early. On the advice of a friend, we got there by 8:30. Early birds don’t have to squeeze between people, the stallholders have enough time to chat to you, and ALL the food is there for the taking.

Don’t expect a massive feast. It’s a small market. It’s made up of predominantly baking stalls and breakfast things, with a smattering of plants and some other cool items.

Haven’t seen a quail egg before? This is where you’re going to see it.

It’s pretty Muslim-friendly. There are a few things more unattractive to a me as a Muslim than the all-permeating smell of alcohol, and slabs of meat hanging around, when I’m looking for something to eat. TMT features none of that. There are several small butchers, but they’re not in your face in any way. We spotted one Muslim stallholder who sold halaal chicken sandwiches and koeksisters. The ever popular falafel guy from the Essenwood Flea Market is also there; all his food is vegetarian and very, very yummy. We also visited Margaret Wasserfall’s cake shop, where nothing contained alcohol, meat or gelatine (YAY). My friend had raved about a stall called The Bake Shop, which featured some beautiful German chocolate cupcakes. Unfortunately these cupcakes were placed right next to the bacon/banana ones. The thing about home bakeries is that you have to be skeptical about cross-contamination, so this meant The Bake Shop was off limits. Sigh.

Get some baba ganouj on your falafel wrap. It’s so, so smokey!

The Morning Trade is open every Sunday from 8am to 2pm. For more information, visit their Facebook page.

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