Local Artisan Flavours
“Local Artisan Flavours: you don’t have to look very far to find the exotic and adventurous. Here’s a look at some fine delicacies you may encounter in the exotic aisles of your local supermarket.”
The supermarket. It’s convenient. It’s close. It’s familiar. But there’s a whole new world of flavours yet to be explored within its aisles. The growth of gourmet, locally-made and exotic products on supermarket shelves is bringing new experiences to the Australian palate. Let’s see what’s out there!
The first stop on your gastronomical journey through a supermarket should be the deli section. Here you will find olives. Favourites include plump, juicy Kalamata olives and firm and nutty Spanish olives. Not all olives you buy will be prepared the same way – there are many ways and some involve chemicals to speed up the process of fermentation. Try to find olives prepared using
the traditional Greek method that relies only on salt and water. Olives prepared this way take months to ferment but taste better and many Australian olive producers are starting to offer these more naturally cured olives.
Now it’s time to explore the cheese aisle. When it comes to goat’s milk cheese, most people would think of feta. However, there is a wide selection of goat’s milk cheese for you to explore. Chabichou is one of these. A more niche style of cheese that has yet to reach the mainstream status of camembert or brie, chabichou has a soft and creamy texture with a bit of tang. It’s perfect for spreading onto CORN THINS with a slice of cucumber topped with alfalfa sprouts. Chabichou may be more difficult to find but the expanding gourmet cheese range at supermarkets means you will definitely stumble across other cheeses you’ve yet to try
As the seasons change, so too does the fresh food aisle of the supermarkets as they keep up with seasonal produce. One type of produce that you could find for a very limited time on supermarket shelves is the saffron milk cap mushroom. Every year during Autumn, the pine forests of Macedon in Victoria and Oberon in New South Wales are visited by mushroom hunters looking for the prized saffron milk cap, a meaty mushroom used in Mediterranean and Slavic cuisine. If you would like to pick them yourself at Macedon or Oberon, the best time would be after some Autumn rainfall but be sure to follow mushroom picking guidelines and safety. For a deliciously rustic dish, sauté the mushrooms with garlic, onions and butter then serve on top of a CORN THINS cake.
The ever-expanding international foods section of the supermarket can uncover hidden delights that at one time would have only been found in Chinatown. It may surprise you to know that tofu products sold in your local supermarket are likely to be made in Australia. Firm block tofu is the most common variation and can be cooked in many ways such as pan frying, boiling or baking. Silken tofu is excellent as a yogurt substitute and can be used for divine desserts such as the traditional favourite of silken tofu in ginger syrup enjoyed across Asia or the more modern, vegan friendly masterpiece of a chocolate and tofu pudding.