Norton Street Italian Festa 2008, Leichhardt

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Norton Street Italian Festa 2008, Leichhardt

Norton Street Italian Festa 2008, Leichhardt

We're greeted with two of the quintessential Italian obsessions when we first arrive, cars and food. Cars in the form of classic Italian cars, three in the colours of the Italian flag parked just so to represent the Italian flag. The stalls stretch further than the eye can see and as we've arrived earlyish (around 11am) the sun isn't quite at it's hottest so we stroll up and down the street. All of the stallholders are friendly and welcoming and ready to flirt or tease with customers.

Norton Street Italian Festa 2008, Leichhardt

Norton Street Italian Festa 2008, Leichhardt

There are freshly made cannoli in vanilla, choc chip and chocolate.

Norton Street Italian Festa 2008, Leichhardt

Italian biscuits

Norton Street Italian Festa 2008, Leichhardt

Norton Street Italian Festa 2008, Leichhardt

The most adorable fondant work by Pavli Foods

Norton Street Italian Festa 2008, Leichhardt

Fresh Zucchini flowers in all of their colourful glory

Norton Street Italian Festa 2008, Leichhardt

Eumundi Smokehouse sausages and filled rolls

Norton Street Italian Festa 2008, Leichhardt

Even the Police car here is a Fiat!

Norton Street Italian Festa 2008, Leichhardt

We walk past Mezzapica cake shop which has this adorable bee hive cake in the window-I love how there is a sad bee as well as a sleepy bee among all the happy bees

Norton Street Italian Festa 2008, Leichhardt

Clothing for adults and kids-of course being kids S and In were "grossed out" by the apron.

Norton Street Italian Festa 2008, Leichhardt

Free food appreciation workshops

Norton Street Italian Festa 2008, Leichhardt

Musical entertainment

Norton Street Italian Festa 2008, Leichhardt

And of course puppies in all shapes and forms. This cute little one called Vanilla has little shoes as the owner explains that she recently got a large cut on her foot-poor thing!

Norton Street Italian Festa 2008, Leichhardt

The Scientologists even pop up here!

Norton Street Italian Festa 2008, Leichhardt

Roman statue?

Norton Street Italian Festa 2008, Leichhardt

Suckling Pig porchetta

Norton Street Italian Festa 2008, Leichhardt

Osvaldo Poletti Suckling Pig porchetta roll $8

All of this walking has made me even hungrier having skipped breakfast due to lack of sleep and impending festival so I made my purchase of a Suckling Pig Porchetta roll at the Osvaldo Poletti stand.

Norton Street Italian Festa 2008, Leichhardt

Carving the porchetta

The pork is carved in front of us and stuffed into a small rosetta roll. It's delicious and M in particular is a fan of this. In, despite being a firm carnivore has second thoughts about trying it having seen the pig from which it came. He becomes a vegetarian for the morning.

Norton Street Italian Festa 2008, Leichhardt

In holding The Cottage's Arancini ball $5

The second purchase is the gigantic arancini ball. It's not crunchy fresh on the outside as we are in a market location but it's huge and is filled with a ragu of mince with peas and stringy mozarella and topped with a bolognese sauce.

Norton Street Italian Festa 2008, Leichhardt

Inside the Arancini ball

It's also very filling not only because of it's size and we struggle to finish it.

Norton Street Italian Festa 2008, Leichhardt

By now, I could eat a bit more but the sun is beating down so hard that I don't feel like anything hot anymore despite having the very best intentions to try a slice of Italian pizza.

Zuccherati $3

Norton Street Italian Festa 2008, Leichhardt

We instead try Zuccherati, the sugar encrusted Italian donuts filled with custard which are the boys favourite. I particularly like the custard inside.

Norton Street Italian Festa 2008, Leichhardt

Pistachio Gelato in brioche $6

We're on our way out when I spot a real gelato place (there seemed to be a lot of Mr Whippy type of ice cream vans) and I see that they are offering a scoop of gelato in a brioche which I recall Nigella saying  was the way she had gelato while in Sicily.  I don't quite realise how gigantic it is, indeed I have trouble fitting my mouth around this having failed at unhinging my jaw. The brioche is deliciously buttery sweet and fresh, but the pistachio gelato not as pistachioey as I like and tasting more of almonds to me. Taking a bite of this is hard so instead I am satisfied with nibbling at bits on the side. It reminds me of when I was little and trying to bite into a gigantic burger was almost impossible (now of course either I have gotten a lot larger or the burgers a lot smaller but it's easy...).

Norton Street Italian Festa 2008, Leichhardt

Honey biscuits

Norton Street Italian Festa 2008, Leichhardt

The honey biscuits are similar to gingerbread. I prefer these with coffee or tea rather than alone.

Norton Street Italian Festa 2008, Leichhardt

Norton Street Italian Festa 2008, Leichhardt

Norton Street Italian Festa 2008, Leichhardt

After some snowcones and soft serve ice cream we retreat from the heat and make our way back North to the comfort of the beach.

Norton Street Italian Festa 2008, Leichhardt

Another look at Vanilla with the Carrie Bradshaw shoe fetish!

Norton Street Italian Festa 2008, Leichhardt

Norton Street, Leichhardt, from Marion Street to William Street

Sunday 26th October 10:00am-5pm

Norton Street Italian Festa 2008, Leichhardt