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National Burger Day at Dandenong Market

There’s something for everyone at Dandenong Market. Whether you’re after fruit or vegetables, a wander or a chat, unbeatable bargains or expert advice, you’ll find it among the 200 market traders and five million annual visitors. There’s a different experience with every visit and a story in every stall, resulting in a market with 150 years of history, proving it’s a community icon for a reason.

Since its official opening in 1866, Dandenong Market has grown to become Melbourne’s second oldest and second largest market. It’s a meeting place, a cultural hub and a much-loved community landmark where timeless practices ensure traditions are maintained and success is ongoing.
 
"The thing about markets is that they’ve remained pretty much the same,” says Briony Walker, a spokesman for Dandenong Market. “We’re home to two hundred small businesses and for a lot of the traders here, they’ve set up their table, they’re selling their wares; that’s no different from 150 years ago. A lot of people really place their value on that kind of trader knowledge, personal connection, supporting local business, and good value and quality product."
 
Luckily, Dandenong Market is especially well versed in the art of maintaining a culture. In fact, Dandenong itself is the most culturally diverse locality in Victoria and the second most diverse in all of Australia. Home to more than 150 different nationalities, Dandenong Market is a product of migrant culture – and couldn’t be more proud of it.
           
"One of the wonderful things about Dandenong Market is that you can almost see all the different waves of immigrant groups that have come over," says Walker. "There are a lot of different cultural groups that make their home here and I think that’s a really strong part of the appeal. It’s that authenticity. It’s not curated or boutique: it absolutely is what it is."
 
Dandenong Market is many things and this Sunday it will transform itself to celebrate National Burger Day in style. 13 market traders have created burger variations with their own unique market twist for the event which will see an entire day dedicated to the appreciation of the classic food. These burger variants – dubbed Franken-burgers – cover just about every flavour, style, and food group possible.
 
"The challenge we put to our traders was to come up with a really interesting spin on the burger concept based on their menu," says Walker. "It’s everything from the cupcake burger to the donut burger, the schnitzel burger to the sushi burger. We didn’t want anything too traditional or too obvious. Everything’s got a bit of a twist on it.
 
"For example, Dandee Donuts is offering a donut burger where the doughnut is the bun and inside, as the patty, is a Tim Tam. The doughnuts come out incredibly hot so you insert the Tim Tam and it starts to melt into the donut. We taste tested them the other day and they’re amazing. The contrast of the crispiness of the Tim Tam biscuit with the melted chocolate, jam, cream and the donut itself is heaven. It’s perfection."
 
Each Franken-burger earns a stamp on your 'burger passport', allowing visitors to go into the running to win $500 in Dandenong Market vouchers. But the competition doesn’t get much bigger than the market’s ultimate eating challenge: the Freak Force burger.
 
Designed by burger aficionado Damien Edgan, whose food-dedicated ‘Damoforce’ Instagram account has chalked up more than 30 thousand followers, the Freak Force features four patties, four strips of bacon, four slices of cheese, pineapple, pickles, lettuce, BBQ sauce and aioli.
 
"It’s big," says Walker. "It’s a two-hander. We definitely wanted Damien involved in National Burger Day and wanted his idea of what a full on burger would be. If anybody actually finishes the Freak Force burger, we’ll be so proud of them that we’ll give them a trophy."
           
To top it all off, Dandenong Market has included a tempting competition for one lucky winner to receive 100 burgers for a whole year thanks to burger trader The Grill. Whether you’re keen to try your hand at conquering the Freak Force burger, make your mark at each location on the Burger Passport or simply celebrate the food that Melburnians love so much, National Burger Day at Dandenong Market is one event you won’t want to miss.
 
"If ever there was an opportunity to come to Dandenong Market, this is the day to come along," says Walker. "Loosen each notch on your belt and prepare to enjoy yourself. Your stomach will absolutely thank you. If you like burgers, it’s the place to be."

Dandenong Market celebrates National Burger Day on Sunday May 28 from 10am - 3pm. To enter their 100 burger giveaway, visit Dandenong Market’s Facebook page. For more information, head to nationalburgerday.com.au