Good Food and Wine Show, 2013
My stash: (Clockwise from left) Scarmoza Blanca from La Latteria, Colgate tea flavoured mouthwash, Kumquat spread from St Dalfour, Truffle Tapenade from Wine and Truffle Co., Flavoured salts from Smoke and Roast, Smoked garlic from Smoke and Roast, Porcini salt from Salt Meats Cheese.
FREE FOOD. Need I say more?
The Good Food and Wine Show is one of the bigger food expos that I attend every year. Beyond the aforementioned free food, I love the opportunity that I get to have a chat with small producers whom I might not otherwise get a chance to talk to, or might have to travel far to meet.
For example, meet Larry.
Larry is, in his own words, "the truck driver, the harvester, the everything" at the Handorf Hill Winery. Not having that much experience with wine - and not being very good with alcohol - I had many questions, and Larry patiently and eloquently explained to me the intricacies of the flavours and aromas of wine, and especially how the weather and microclimates affect them. The most interesting thing I learnt from Larry was the effect of the cool weather on tannins.
Tannins are compounds that are present in things like tea and wine, and contributes a certain kind of astringency that gives you that slightly dry feeling in your mouth. Because tannins are found in the grapes, the rate the grapes ripen will affect the amount of astringency that you get in your wine. From what I understand from Larry, the cooler Adelaide climates allow the grapes to ripen slowly, allowing the tannins to mellow out, resulting in a gentler wine. How cool is that?
There were also plenty of other producers:
ChocoMe had the most beautifully presented bars of chocolate I'd ever seen.
Robinvale estate, with their adorable graphics adorning their myriad of flavoured oils and vinegars.
Salumi Australia had a MASSIVE and impressive display of cured meats in every shape and form. And had these little cones at $5 a pop, besides the samples that they had on display.
Smoke and Roast had a very energetic spokesperson, and had the most beautiful-smelling smoked garlic and flavoured salts. He was sharing recipes left, right and centre and inspired me to try out his salts on a slow roasted pork belly. He said to different salts on different sections, to create a sort of rainbow of flavours, depending on which piece you eat.
The Wine and Truffle Co. had a great array of truffle products, and an impressive piece of truffle protected by a glass cloche. I was impressed that they could tell me off hand when the truffle was harvested - it's very important to ask when buying truffles because truffles tend to go stale after about 10 days - and I loved the truffle tapenade so much that I bought one home for myself.
Kikkoman had a genius way of getting people to try their soy sauce - rather than getting people to dip crackers in (I've seen this happen, who gets people to try soy sauce with crackers?), they actually had little pieces of salmon and cucumber sushi for people to try with their sauce! I know it sounds simple, but I don't think that I would've thought of that.
This is the most exciting bit of the day for me. Bohemian Delights had wild mushrooms out for sale, and there were samples of Slippery Jack mushrooms (right) which were simply sauteed with salt, pepper and some caraway seeds. SO DELICIOUS! There was also a man at the stall - the owner's father - who told us that his wife uses Pine Nut mushrooms (left) in her goulash, instead of meat, before saying (with a wink in his eye) that Czech women make the best cooks.
And that was my Good Food and Wine experience. Did you go? Which were your favourite stands?