Archive for category Tasmanian food and wine

Taste and Travel – twin passions

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Well it is time for a change and since I do not have time to keep this blog updated I wanted to let you know before I took the website down. What with Facebook, Instagram and another website – and its accompanying blog to maintain, my Taste Travel blog has taken a back seat for many months.

Please use the link I have provided above before March 7 as it is the date of the change of this website. It will no longer be known as tastetravel.org – however it may be accessible for some time as tastetravel.wordpress.com

But put simply, I am not renewing the shortened (org) domain name of Tastetravel nor the extra space I normally need.

Kiss A Fish was born once we moved to Tasmania permanently, that was just over a year ago and I decided to concentrate on our coastal environment and its seafood for inspiration.

If following blogs takes up too much of your time, then consider just liking my Facebook page as it is the most instant and informal way of staying in touch.

Thank you for your interest over the years and I trust you will understand my need to make a change in the way I communicate. My best wishes to you all Roz

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Source MONA Tasmania

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We were seven covers eating at MONA’s Source restaurant, all friends visiting from Brisbane. Everyone in our party either a food professional or dedicated food lover. All our dishes were deemed a success and I hope our phone photos do the food and its chef Philippe Leban justice. I chose Boudin Blanc above to get me into the groove when I visit the famous French town of Lyon this year.Image

The Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart is drawing crowds from all over the world and Australians who have never entertained the idea of visiting Tasmania have recently made the art pilgrimage to Tasmania to see it, or have it high on their ‘to do list’.IMG_1097

Another faultless entree, this one is ravioli of crab with gratinee of Brebis Basque, for we Aussies, it is a French sheeps milk cheese.IMG_1103

My slow cooked ocean trout, with its contrasting textured wheat risotto, another contradiction in terms but you get it, don’t you?IMG_1099

An entree of Wagyu beef tongue was an ingredient I would never order but on tasting a sliver from John’s plate I was instantly converted.

IMG_1110This dish was the only one that presentation resembled a more bistro restaurant style. Other dishes were piss elegant and all sides, of vegetables, salad and creamed potato were generous, and the prices were fairer than any we have experienced in Australia’s high-end restaurants.

IMG_1108I could eat this ‘lyonanaise onion tart’ any day of the week and since I did not order it myself I may just have to return very soon.

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When it came to desserts we easily could have stopped but we decided to press on. A deceptively simple rhubarb dessert came with Campari sorbet, zest and rhubarb jelly. Are you making plans to visit Tasmania already? Prices here are much lower than the equivalent restaurants in Tasmania or on the mainland!! I can only thank the owner of MONA for not only letting me into his gallery for free (I have a Tasmanian drivers licence) but making the prices in his top restaurant affordable enough to return several times in the one year.

IMG_1116Chocolate Praline came with several spoons as requested.

Image 3Once we cracked it open, it gave way to several textured layers and a red colouring that turned us all into a character otherwise known as the  Joker.

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Coffee floating island came with a lemongrass anglaise, the English custard description is a contradiction in terms but it worked so who cares.

IMG_1120I just love saying Petit fours….

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Melville Street Market at last

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We made it to the Melville Street Market in Hobart this past weekend. We live some four hours drive away so it is not possible to drop in each Sunday and since we had a special party to attend in Hobart on Saturday evening we decided to get up early on Sunday to visit the market and still head back in good time to the Bay of Fires. The market is held on Sunday mornings each week and very well patronised so I had to get used to queuing. Even though many Hobart residents are used to visiting the Salamanca Market on Saturdays to buy fruit, vegetables and comestibles this market is still filling a vital need  for people to buy high quality food and plants from Tasmanian growers and makers.

Callington Mill flour and bread from Oatlands

Callington Mill flour and bread from Oatlands mill and shop

It is a Farmers Market people, you must bring your own stylish shopping bag, French market bags, recycle bags or buy one from the market organisers, as plastic bags are a no no here. A couple more rules to follow and you will be set so leave your dog on a leash outside the entrance and there is no smoking allowed and the best rule of all is that as a stall holder, you must grow, pick, raise, produce, or extract within the geographical Tasmanian boundaries.

Elgar cheese

Elgaar cheese and next time we will try the advertised mascarpone

After we left the market we headed for a petrol station to buy a bag of ice to keep our fresh food cool.

A lovely bright couple

A well dressed couple

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Coffee stall had a monopoly

The market could do with more Coffee stalls

These ladies sold out quickly

These ladies sold out their strawberries quickly

We did not buy the peonies as they would droop on a long drive on a sunny day.

Peonies in a bucket

Peony is the new rose, in my opinion anyway

Best array of herbs I have seen

Best variety of herbs I have seen ever at Provenance Growers

Red is the colour of the day

Red is the colour of the day

Garlic grows well here
Garlic grows well here

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Tasmanian walnuts in Date Nut Loaf

Tasmania produces fresh large walnuts so I looked for my old cylindrical Willow brand tins I had found years ago in a charity shop and looked for some recipes. The tins are different designs although both Willow brand. This one is easier to fill but harder to clean.IMG_9166

The tricky tin, I defy anyone else to fill it with one hand whilst holding it upright with the other hand, unless someone is around to help it just falls apart. I doubt a ‘patent pending’ ever became legal for this tin design.IMG_9167

Looks OK when closed. My grandmother made these regularly and I recall they always made an appearance on the ‘take a plate’  morning and afternoon teas back in the fifties and sixties. 

You simply must slather the round thick slices with cold butter as it is not called a loaf for nothing. If you don’t eat butter at all don’t bother to make it.

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I consulted all the old-fashioned community recipe books in my possession and they all have the same measurements for ingredients and tin size which is doubly perplexing because they all say, ‘use two cylindrical round tins’. They are all misleading – the ingredient measurements are wrong. The mixture quantity they give is not enough for two of the traditional tins, therefore I doubled the recipe and since I could not manage the second round tin that kept falling apart, without a helper I used a conventional loaf tin. You can see that by doubling the mix I would have had a little left over if I had used the two round tins.

The walnuts are Tasmanian, fresh and whole, not like the supermarket ones that are all broken into bits, and if you add up the cost of those small packets the price exceeds the health food price where I get these fresh Tasmanian nuts. No one is growing dates in Tasmania to my knowledge so I could not boast it is entirely Tasmanian.

DATE AND NUT LOAF

Preheat oven to 180c

If you use fan forced then turn the oven down to 170 degrees C.

1 cup dates, chopped

1 tsp Quatre Epices, four spice blend (this is my little improvement)
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup sultanas
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon bi-carb soda
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup boiling water
2 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten

Place dates, walnuts, sultanas, sugar, bi-carb and butter in a bowl.
Pour one cup of boiling water over contents of bowl.
Mix well, then add flour, salt and beaten egg.
Mix only till well blended.
Placed in two greased round nut loaf tins, replace top caps and stand upright in oven (or place all mixture in greased loaf tin).

Bake in moderate oven for 50-60 minutes.

Here is my printer friendly Date and Nut Loaf recipe

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Bicheno Food and Wine Festival 2012

The food and wine festival in the Tasmanian east coast town of Bicheno is still young but since last year has had a growth spurt. This year we hoped for a better layout and more seating and we were not disappointed.

These cheeky boys were having some fun. Maybe this young man was on a dare or a stag day. Not sure about the black fish net gloves, but love the beading. He was not carrying a wedding bouquet but a baby doll in a pink car seat.

Cooking class in progress. Lots of food for snacking, some really good, some lacking in appeal, we were with three other people so we looked for some dishes we could share. Some priced too high, others fairly priced. There were food operators new to the scene whilst the wine producers were seasoned and priced wine consistently. One stall’s fare disappointed us so much that we returned the dish (a pizza) and they immediately refunded our money ($30) no questions asked. Not the price which was exorbitant for the diameter of the pizza but because it was not cooked well enough.

Over at the craft hall natural dyes and knitted mittens, gloves and toys. Even Shane Gould a Bicheno resident and fine art graduate had a stand with her photographs. Knut the jeweller from St Helens Spiral Creations exhibited his take on the popular Tassie devil and Tree of Life jewellery. The art and craft shed was across the road, we felt for the exhibitors, not very connected and many would not make the effort to leave the vibrant atmosphere of the food and wine festival to visit it.

Michelle of Spiral Creations in the background.

Quilt is being raffled for the Bicheno Mens Shed.

Children were not forgotten, the ubiquitous yet always popular face painting.

Donna of Leavenbank Bread in St Helens teamed up with Kelly who was selling the Red Cow Dairies fetta cheese. Love the way you can return the empty jars for a refund like the soft drink bottles in South Australia. They offered a tasting plate of cheese, pate and sour dough bread for $12. Ideal for sharing.

The art and craft shed was across the road in the school hall and annoyingly, we felt for the exhibitors, not very connected and many would not make the effort to leave the joy de vivre of the food and wine festival to visit it.

We are lucky to have this bread in St Helens but it is only baked once a week now as Donna is studying for a degree.

An exhibition of surf boards from the last century lined the adjacent tennis court.

Pasini’s the cafe and deli in Bicheno joined in this year and offered simple calamari on the barbecue.

The crowds seemed happy to stay at this festival as everything was close to hand, except the craft hall of course.

Hay bales scattered around provided extra seating.

Inside the memorial hall, a chocolate cake competition had been held at the beginning of the day with the winning cake and other entries being sold off, sliced and served with cream. You had to be early to get slice of the winning cake.

The tacos people had a nice looking stand.

Eureka farms represented again this year with summer pudding.

Market and festival stalls are never short of olive oil sales in Tasmania.

A nice place to rest and listen to the bands. Next year we will bring chairs so we have a seat no one else will pounce on when we leave to buy food and wine and a place to rest our drinks.

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In My Tassie Kitchen

Thank you Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial blog, you have encouraged me to keep stock of my kitchen. Lobster season is now open and here is our latest catch. The amount of fresh produce and processed food in Tasmania is increasing and we always find new brands and many of them are artisan brands with small productions so we like to support them when we can.

My lead photo was nearly todays salad with nasturtiums picked on my walk and chive flowers from my garden.

Rhubru is the brand name of  the bottle of rhubarb vinegar we bought from Launceston’s Farmers Market.

We also bought a rhubarb and lavender base for our new welcome drink. Not a great lover of cordial but this one is for those special occasions when someone arrives, doesn’t drink our Tasmania sparkling but likes to feel they are also celebrating being in Tasmania. 

I love organic rolled oats and I found another Tasmanian brand.

We don’t have three ducks on the wall, just three starfish drying on kitchen sill.

The camellia was picked from the car park at our local plant nursery. I was inspired to buy some camellia plants for the house here. I bought three E.G. Waterhouse camellias, for horticulturists – official name Camellia x williamsii. They will look something like this one.


Our brand new ice cream maker, bought in Launceston. We have a red version of this brand in our Brisbane kitchen and for the price we are happy with it. I used to have a large one with a built in compressor but it died after many years of good service and we could not get it fixed, bet we could if we lived in Vietnam…

We have two cheeses from Yondover goat dairy, a fresh chevre style cheese (I am sure the French don’t like the chevre word along with champagne pinched either) and this firm goats cheese known as Bella. Now out of its wrapping and ready to serve. Yondover Farm House Cheese, Lilydale on the road between Lonnie and Scottsdale.

They offer visits – Farm open 10 – 4  seven days a week, take the children to see milking at 4pm.

Also from the versatile people at Yondover a salami made with goats meat.

All about hazelnuts is the name of Elaine and Steve Rayner’s hazelnut farm in Exeter, but unfortunately they do not have a website to share with you. We bought this bag from their stall at the Deloraine Craft Fair.

An apricot jam purchased from a Tulendeena farmers honour box stand. We bought it when we drove up to Scottsdale this week. ‘Like you have never tasted’ printed on the homemade label. I had a taste before taking the picture and it is different, reminiscent of dried pureed apricots. Maybe they dry apricots and use it for the jam. Not what I was expecting. I am contemplating ringing the farmers to see if I am right. I wonder what they will make of my phone call.

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Harvest Farmers Market, Launceston

Never found before at a Farmers Market, fresh bunch of Angelica

As soon as we arrived back in our second home in north eastern Tasmania we headed off to the new (since February 2012) Harvest Farmers’ Market  in Launceston.  We set the alarm early for our 2 hour drive from Binalong Bay.

Cimitiere Street car park, Launceston – every saturday 8.30am-12.30pm.

We have shopped at many Farmers Markets over the years on our travels through Australia and abroad and this one is the real deal. Owners, growers, makers, producers fronting their wares therefore possessing the vital knowledge sought when selecting and buying.

I had no idea what I would do with the angelica, just bought it to be inspired.

We could not resist the big bunch of Angelica (a biennial and perennial herb from the Apiaceae family), sold by Rosie MacKinnon alongside her fresh garlic.

Small but juicy garlic bulbs

There were two bakers present on this day and we bought from Sandy Baines, and next time we will try another. We also bought a bottle of award-winning Coronea Grove Olive Oil after a taste offered proved it had the peppery aftertaste we love. No wonder they won a medal this year.

A bottle of rhubarb vinegar and rhubarb lemonade cordial went into our straw market bag

Here the tent sports the website address so it cannot be missed

Cute labels for Thirlstane Gardens coriander and rocket

A few fruit loaves left made by Sandy Baines baker by weekend, studying nursing by day

We admired the wood bread crates Sandy commissioned for transporting his bread

Red butter lettuce sold out quickly

Ginseng in honey and other products but it is now the sideline to the successful 41 degree South salmon farm

The Laotians gardeners are here

We bought rabbit hindquarters and rabbit sausages

 Yondover cheese is new to us so we bought two types and Yondover’s goat salami

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