It's not often I take a break from Kitchen Coaching or the Kitchen School, so when the opportunity to join my Dad in Tasmania for a little trip to see the apple isle I jumped! Tasmania to me was this mythical land I heard about at school in Canada, and where the fearsome Tassie Devil (from the cartoons!) resided. One of the elements that came up whilst researching Tasmania was the beautiful fresh foods that the little island produced, being isolated from the mega-food distribution chain, the island has the ability to be self sufficient in so many wonderful foods!
So, since this is a food blog, I'll skip the wombat hugging and mountain climbing pics and show you my discoveries on the way to Hobart and at the market! I timed our visit just in time for the first fresh apple harvest for the year too.
We traveled from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair, hiking and exploring the area (amazing by the way!), it took me back home, the landscape, the climate (the maximums here have been the minimums on the Sunshine Coast!) and of course the apple, cherry and stonefruit orchards! I'm definitely going to look at setting up a Kitchen School down here, it's a slice of home that only 3 hours flight (rather than 16!) away.
As we were winding our way through the Derwent Valley towards Hobart, we made a little pit stop to get our bearings, and lo and behold, we stopped beside a massive wild blackberry bush! It was loaded with ripe ripe blackberries, so, what else would foodies do? Forage! Without needing to worry about bears (like my blackberry expeditions back home), or nuzzling wombats we filled every spare container we had with blackberries! At the moment, they are simmering on the stove top with some fresh apples to make a compote to add to our breakfast pancakes!
We had heard amazing things about the beautiful Salamanca Markets in Hobart, and had made sure we timed our visit to explore these - whilst these markets are mostly arts, crafts and prepared food place, there were some lovely food artisans there sharing their produce. Fresh apples picked just yesterday (you could tell too, the stalks were green!), heirloom tomatoes, and delicious other fare. Biting into a fresh apple was simply phenomenal, not a sheen of wax to compete with, and the fragrance that a fresh apple emits - I wish I could bottle that scent! There was fresh Tassie truffles, delicious meads, and jams galore around the market. My aim was to build the most beautiful lunch time salad with the market produce, and ensure I found some delightful dark chocolate for dessert! See the gallery below to let your eyes feast on the selection on offer, my amazing apple and the resulting lunch time salad to live for!
I'm heading back home soon - and looking forward to bringing my excitement for fresh, farmer direct foods to the kitchens of the Sunshine Coast. Oh, and if you want to see my hugging a wombat - head to my Instagram page!