If you have a food product you would like to take to a full time production level, Salamanca Market is definitely the place to flaunt and flog your wares. Many potential Maggie Beer food enterprises are dotted throughout the market. At the same time the well established food companies with their own Australia wide distributors also have a presence, to make some cash no doubt.
As you approach the stands and come across someone with the gift of the gab you are most likely to come away with their product. I saw some fine quality preserves and bread on one stand but as I listened to the maker’s spiel he had such an attitude – of arrogance – that it seemed to put off the punters. Whilst it is often best for the maker to be on site to sell and guage interest, in this case ‘he’ needed someone else to help with the essential PR skills required.
On the lookout for something unique, I found it – Sheeps whey liqueur. A bizarre concept described by the maker as truly a first.
Grandvewe’s Vanilla Whey Liqueur is sitting in my fridge in its tall elegant bottle waiting for me to inflict it on some suspects. I think I had better serve it and see the reaction before I tell them what it is. Watch this space for the reaction.
Grandvewe, (the first part of the word is in bold in their label) has a diverse range of ewes milk cheese and the liqueur is an interesting way to use a byproduct that might otherwise go to waste. I am looking forward to tasting their pecorino cheese as I have developed quite a penchant for pecorino, eating copious amounts when visiting Tuscany where they produce and sell it in various stages of maturity.
I also bought some Wasabi dressing from two fellows who were full on with their sales patter (they are the growers) and fortunately I just love wasabi so it was a no brainer for me to buy a bottle. Once home I put a mere drop or two on oysters. Wasabi diluted this way worked well, it is quite a palate turner. You will find them on same side of market as Ashbolt whose oils and elderflower products I have bought at the market and in retail outlets many times.
Since my last visit to Salamanca Market I noticed an increase in wood carving and wood turning stands. Everyone in this field has almost identical objects, with salt and pepper grinders, bowls aplenty and all following each other with handy ‘impulse’ purchase items’ e.g wooden spoons and wok stirrers and not to mention rolling pins in all sizes and made of beautiful indigenous Tasmanian wood. However there are only one or two woodworkers here with sophisticated designs of their own. Some of the shops in Salamanca were selling the same wood items, so along with the established food producers many are competing with their retailers who stock their work.
Choice of bread vendors was plentiful and I bought a sour dough stick and a richly studded fruit and nut loaf from a bread van – Summer Kitchen. They are situated near the converted silo at one end of the market. I will be looking for them again next time I am in Hobart.
Another food purveyor was Rare Food (there is no website or one that I can locate) sharing the stand with Bruny Island Cheese Company. I bought its pork and fennel sausages and a jar of pork rillette. Rare Food’s masala laced pate was delicious but just a little too sweet for my palate. I thought the spruiker fronting Rare Food was familiar looking. It is Matthew Evans the food writer from Sydney who has moved to Tasmania and has collaborated with chef Ross O’Meara on Rare Food label. Matthew was in full sales mode but was maintaining an anonymous persona as a former food critic. I took the sausages home to Binalong Bay to cook that night and they were tasty but only just a little hint of fennel.
From Bruny Island Cheese Co I bought a ‘Tom’ the semi hard cheese, whilst you find this cheese also hails from Piedmont in Italy. Bruny Island Cheese Co is inspired by the French (Tomme) version. Visit their website for more information. Bruny Island – the Tom is absolutely delicious I can still taste flavour of the milk.
Here is their description using a clever copy writer ‘Tom is a simple guy. He is in the tradition of the Tomme cheeses made in the mountainous French Savoie region. He is not complicated by tricky cheese making or complex maturation techniques – a cheese of simple integrity to be left on the table and eaten everyday. On the outside he has a natural grey rind that develops over five months of ageing. On the inside, he is really just great milk. Tom is a fast maturing hard cheese that shows both freshness and developed characteristics. He gets along famously with everyone. Tom likes being rubbed’.
On the way home we stopped in at Barilla Bay and sat down to half dozen oysters. They were so plump, it was the first time I could see little veins in the oysters. Not a good look so I threw them back, down my throat that is. Roz