Cooking

The real balsamic vinegar discovered

The real balsamic vinegar discovered

There’s no rushing balsamic vinegar. It’s a slow process that takes between 12 and 25 years and there are only some 48 accredited families that do it in Modena. Last year I was lucky enough to visit one of the local producers Acetae di Gorgio, in the attic of their family home. Yes, I know it seems weird but since the middle ages balsamic vinegar is made in the warm attics of family homes in small quantities. Acetae di Gorgio produces only a […]

And the best Portuguese custard tarts are…

And the best Portuguese custard tarts are…

Custard tarts – pastel de nata – are deeply embedded in Portuguese culture. They are everywhere. Bakeries around the world try and replicate them. And even home cooks have a shot. I’ve eaten them in Melbourne but they never enchanted me like they did in Portugal. Spending a month chilling out in Lisbon, barely a day went by when I didn’t have one or two of these tarts. It became my personal mission to find the best in town. These […]

Visiting Melbourne’s wholesale fish markets

Visiting Melbourne’s wholesale fish markets

Have you ever wondered about the fish you buy? Where it comes from and how it all works. The Thursday before Easter I arrived at the Melbourne Wholesale market to see it in action. The cover picture is of tuna, the tail cut so the buyers can check the colour of the flesh, the key sign of quality. In the Sydney market the fish are auctioned electronically. Here the traders set the price and haggle with the buyers via text, […]

Intoxicated with the first truffles of the season

Intoxicated with the first truffles of the season

I’m going to give you a list of my top 7 truffle recipes. But first I want to tell you about my first intoxicating, dense and aromatic truffle of the season. Unexpectedly on Sunday Simon and Bernie from the pop-up truffle shop Madame Truffles (re-opening June 22 2012) returned from foraging in NSW with a giant truffle larger than an iphone and a pretty decent sized one as a gift for me. They were straight out the ground as fresh […]

Crumbs, it’s Phillippa’s

Crumbs, it’s Phillippa’s

Phillippa’s: the best breadcrumbs. Every so often a product comes along that you can’t ignore, that becomes a pantry essential. Personally, living alone I rarely buy bread, even in half loaves, as it often goes to waste and am not into freezing whole cut loaves. This means that I need to buy in breadcrumbs and don’t always want to default to Panko. The ones bought in packets from supermarkets bear more resemblance to the dust from a car park than […]

Cheese is about to get a lot more tasty

Cheese is about to get a lot more tasty

Which of the above cheese aren’t you allowed to eat? If they were made from raw milk then none. But if proposals put forward by Food Standards ANZ (FANZ) go through only the hard and semi hard cheeses. And you won’t be able to buy (legally) raw milk altogether. The world is divided as to whether unpasteurized milk products are dangerous or not because all sorts of allegedly nasty bugs live in it. Really though it isn’t necessarily a problem […]

Oysters, ethics and stout

Oysters, ethics and stout

Oysters, once the food of the people. Now if you are interested in various different varieties you’ll be paying up to $4 in restaurants.That’s nearly $50 for a dozen and in my opinion too much. I want to eat them but can’t afford to pay that much.So I will often will buy them at one of Melbourne’s markets (pre-shucked if I’m feeling lazy) for about $1 each. The fact is that unless you are a cashed-up hedge fund manager the […]

Inside Modernist cuisine

Inside Modernist cuisine

Check out on Youtube how the cutaways were made. Finally, $484.60 9including postage) and after a three month wait Modernist Cuisine has arrived. I’ve bought it so you don’t have to but also to add to my collection of books by Peter Barham, Herve This and Harold McGee that examine the science of cooking, as I mentioned in May. Out of all of them McGee’s On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen (which you can buy […]

Rapadura sugar, the best cake ever and the KitchenAid

Rapadura sugar, the best cake ever and the KitchenAid

Donna is the winner of Ed’s KitchenAid competition. She blogs at Donisbaked and here puts her shiny new machine, which was supplied thanks to Kitchenware Direct, a whirr. So me winning a KitchenAid is old news, but what is new is the pure pleasure using the machine at home is. I’m getting out all my “shelved” recipes that require lots of aeration and creaming etc etc and lining them up ready to bake. If you are thinking about buying a […]

M. Truffe goes Willy Wonkers

M. Truffe goes Willy Wonkers

M. Truffe: now open at 351 Lygon St (in addition to Smith St, Collingwood) It’s a dream come true, Thibault Fregoni aka Monsieur Truffe tells me. It’s the first day his new cafe and chocolate factory (351 Lygon St, near Blythe St, behind a red door but without any signage yet) is open and he is excitedly showing us his new toys. When I say factory I should explain. To date most people in Australia are chocolate melters, including M. […]