Thursday, 5 April 2012

Local food rules Australia.....

You may have wondered  - or perhaps you haven't, why I've not posted since the beginning of March. Well, I've been in Australia, and as you can imagine , finding food from Leicestershire and Rutland to eat there was rather difficult. In fact it was impossible.Not even a slice of stilton ....

So, I decided to eat only food from Western Australia....and it's a much larger region than our two counties. It's the largest state in a huge country, one so large you could fit Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland into Australia thirty one (yes, thirty one!) times and still have a bit left over.

So there's huge tracts of farmland, and Australia exports an incredible sixty per cent of the food produced, mainly meat and grains.

But Australia now imports more than  a third of its fruit supply and almost 20 per cent of its vegetables.In fact ninety five per cent of the garlic in the shops is imported from China, yet can be grown all year round in Australia. Now that sounds worrying to me.

Visting Margaret River though, about a two and a half hour drive from Perth, there's lots of reasons to be cheerful though. The area is famous for its winegrowing, and wherever you go , there are estates selling wine from their cellar doors(more about those in another post)

You can also stop and buy lots of other produce from growers of avocados, olives, olive oil,  fruits, and berries ...and a simple drive to a winery becomes an adventure.

We stumbled on a hidden gem one lunchtime after a particularly enjoyable wine tasting on the Caves Road north of Margaret River. It was about half past one, and we were hungry.Correction, my son was starving. With capital letters. We came across Olio Bellio ...yes , they grow olives...right next to the car park

Their Extra Virgin Olive Oil is grown and pressed at Cowaramup Creek Farm, a 320 acre property

But they also make lots of other tasty treats....such as lemon or lime pressed olive oil,and  a wonderful mandarin and fig chtney as well as other condiments.And they serve lunch.

So we hoovered up quite a few samples dipped in bread and crackers...and then stayed for lunch. I ordered a delicious walnut, pear and feta salad with their own honey and mustard dressing , my son ordered pizza.He said it was the best pizza he'd tasted for a long time.....and I agreed. Well, I had to have a few slices didn't I? Oh, and as well as force feeding him some salad we shared some potato wedges roasted with rosemary and olive oil.

 Such a lovely lunch, all locally grown and produced....

And to drink, a local lemonade....served in a fully degradable bio cup.

A quiet spot under a shady tree for a lazy lunch ...with all  produce grown or made within a few miles.Local food rules -in Australia as well as Leicestershire and Rutland.

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