Last weekend it was Brisbane’s turn to host the Good Food & Wine Show, one of the highlights of the Brisbane foodie event calendar
It’s a three day festival of decadence that gives attendees the chance to sample the wares of 130 of Australia’s most exciting food and beverage producers. You can also channel your inner Master Chef by checking out one of the many cooking demonstrations and masterclasses hosted by uber-celebrity chefs such as Matt Moran, Maggie Beer and Adriano Zumbo.
Thanks to the lovely people at Nip of Courage I had 2 complimentary passes to this magical event, so last Sunday morning Brook (my husband) and I gleefully waved goodbye to the kids and headed off bright early to get our gourmet on at the show.
After a glorious 3 hours of wandering, tasting and sampling the two of us staggered out of the show with extremely full bellies and the slightly glazed look of happiness you get from having your first drink at 10.00am (a feat not previously attempted since my uni days).
But going to a show like this isn’t just about pigging out. The best part is exploring new tastes and discovering the history, the stories and the weird and wonderful ways some of these products are made.
So here’s a list of seven unexpected things I learned at the Brisbane Good Food & Wine Show
NOTE: These photos were taken on my iPhone because I had an epic camera battery fail. If you’d like to see some really awesome pictures of the show check out my friend’s shots here at Disci Des.
1. Cold coffee is mysterious
Everywhere I turn recently there are references to cold pressed coffee. Despite this fact I still have no idea what it actually means or why it is suddenly the IT drink of Brisbane cafes.
So anyway THIS contraption here is how you make cold filtered coffee – a fact that has only made me more rather than less confused about the whole concept.
2. You can make pate out of Alpacas
Yes you can. Now whether you SHOULD or not is probably another question entirely but producers Illawarra Prime Alpaca were positively lyrical about the quality of Alpaca liver for making pate.
Brook, being a chef, was quite excited about trying something so exotic and apparently it was pretty good!This is Brook’s “trying Aplaca for the first time” face…
3. The company that produces Asti Spewmante also produces Aperol which is delicious (unlike Asti Spewmante)
I have to tell you when the charming young Italian gentlemen beckoned Brook and I over to try a cocktail of Aperol and sparkling wine I was skeptical. I could see a bottle of Asti Riccadonna sitting on the stand and had an immediate flashback to my late teens and sharing drinks with girlfriends that only liked “sweet wines” *shudder*.
I flagged my distrust with the young man on the stand and he was quick to reassure me that the Aperol Spritz, as this cocktail is called, is actually made with Prosecco and not Asti Riccadonna or its equally bilious cousin Asti Spewmante. So it was delicious and may in fact become a summer favourite on mine!
4. Cheese – you really can’t have too much of it
This one may seem obvious. I mean, we all know cheese is a good thing right? But cheese alley the the Good Food & Wine Show opens up opportunities to indulge your love of cheese on a quite unprecedented scale!
After doing several tasting laps I was genuinely surprised to find my favourite cheese was a the flavoured cream cheeses from Moondarra in Gippsland. They were so CREAMY and had the most amazing flavour – the pistachio and honey was particularly divine.
Another thing I learnt at the Moondarra stand was if you literally have to fight your way to the front of the stand, then there is generally a good reason for it!
5. Black Vermouth is a thing
So you would have heard of white Vermouth, essential for making Martinis, and you may have head of red vermouth such as Cinzano Rosso. But did you know there is also a black vermouth?
Unlike the other types of vermouth Vermut Negre packs a powerful herbal punch thanks to over 150 botanicals that are used in its production. Think a rich sherry flavour with notes of rosemary, thyme and orange peel.
5. It is never too early for small-goods
Conveniently located next near cheese alley were a number of small-goods and charcuterie producers. And I’m here to tell you that unless you have eaten meat from a paper cone at 9.30am you have not lived!
A particularly life changing moment occurred at the Barossa Fine Foods stand. The gentleman was taking us through a tasting of their Mettwursts, and when we tried a very mild variety I remarked that it could almost be “breakfast salami”.
To which he replied in a serious tone “Madam, I like to think it’s never too early for small-goods”. I think I might make that my new mantra for life.
8. Crazy Uncle is is not a dodgy relation
For those of you who aren’t aware, Nip of Courage is the distributor of Australia’s most amazing craft spirits. I was first introduced to them at the Gin Queen event I attended a few months ago, and since then have been dying for an opportunity to explore some of the other distillers they have in their stable.
Brook is a rum drinker from way back so we started off with a rum tasting. He liked the big, bold Order River OP rum from the Hoochery in Western Australia. I was more partial to the sweeter Iridium from the Mt Uncle Distiller in the Atherton Tablelands.
But possibly the most exciting discovery I made was this…
Moonshine! Distilled by the Whippersnapper Distillery in WA, this stuff has a fiery whiskey flavour but is colourless making it perfect for cocktails. It also solves my problem of an alternative spirit to make “Whiskey Apples” with as I am not a huge fan of Bourbon.
Alisdair, one of the Whippersnapper distillers, very kindly gave me a bottle to take home so I am going to do a little DIY cocktail making at home this weekend to try it out. Apparently it also makes a mean Esspresso Martini so stay tuned for pics if I can get it right!
7. Cronuts are just as good as you would expect
No words required for this one. I’ll just let you take it in…
If you didn’t get a chance to check out the Brisbane Good Food & Wine show this year and this post has given you food envy never fear! The dates for next year are 30 October – 1 November so get them in your diary NOW. Next year I’m going to block out the whole weekend so I don’t miss a thing.