Salt Meats Cheese - Alexandria
I have recently discovered this new food emporium in the course of my work wanderings and spend good money on their cured meats and cheeses. So I was thrilled to see them wandering out of their shop with three stalls at the monthly Pyrmont Growers Market. The star of the show were the marinated olives, and I could not resist buying a big bucket of mixed green and black olives marinated with chickpeas, sun dried tomatoes and middle eastern spices - I think I identified sumac, or maybe smoked paprika - certainly delicious! On being told that I should buy the big bucket because they could last six months, I killed myself laughing thinking they might not last 6 days! Amazing taste and value for 10$!
Feather and Bone
Feather and Bone have made a name for themselves finding the best poultry and meat producers in the four corners of Australia - this might be an Mediteranean exaggeration, but you get the gist of it...
In actual fact, most of their current suppliers are in NSW, so they are as local as they can be.
Citing their website: "Who is the producer? How do they grow, harvest and transport their produce? Does its journey to your plate enhance sustainability and genetic diversity as well as your taste buds? Answering these questions for the benefit of growers and consumers alike is what is at the heart of Feather and Bone".
Pigs, lambs, chickens, turkeys and eggs are their prime products.
My best pork recipe
Ocello - Cheese Specialist
Carmelo and Sogna Ocello have been sourcing cheese from Australia, and more recently from Italy and France since 2001 and have been primarily selling them via the markets at Pyrmont, Fox Studios and North Sydney.
They sell now more than 200 cheeses and it is the first time that they selling their Chevre cheeses from Poitou at the Pyront market. The "Petit Sainte Maure" centre - at the front of the photo is my favourite - maybe because I was born near by and was fed goat milk as a baby, as I was allergic to cow milk - I have been cured since, at least in the cheese format...
The cheeses are airfreighted weekly to ensure perfect ripeness, and this one was absolutely perfect. They also import French Emmenthal, my son's favourite, so I was fairly broke when I left their stand, but got a standing ovation back home!
I have been visiting their shop in Surry Hills for coffee, which was one of very best i had in Sydney for a long time. It is weird though to sip coffee with the pungent smell of cheese! Not for the faint hearted, but..
I bought more Emmenthal and a perfect Reblochon, a very smelly but sweet tasting alpine cheese
If you have been searching for the perfect place to stay in France during the European Summer, you may want to explore "Coin Secret", a French website here people rent their own properties.
We stayed in one of them in Maussane in July 2009 and you may have read about it here on our "Travel"page, where you will find our own account and photos of the great time we had there. Up until recently, it was a bit convoluted to recommend the place, but now it is easy, just a few clicks away.
Obviously, this site is also full of other great places around France and even some in Italy.
The site is in French, English, Dutch and German, so, no excuses...
As far as I can remember, Mum always used one brand of olive oil, Puget.
Although today, this product is made out from olives from all over the Mediterranean Basin, it originated in Provence, and was made out of local "picholines", the main variety grown in the south of France.
Here, in Australia, we grow mostly Italian varieties, and I only found recently an olive grove in Mudgee that have planted "picholines":
Blacklea Vineyard and Olive Grove in Mudgee, where I have been looking to buy a farm, with a mature olive grove on it.
For the record, Blacklea is not for sale, but the grove I am looking at use Blacklea to process their olives.Puget started to export to south america and is now a big enterprise with not much resemblance with its artisan roots.
If you are interested in learning more about olives, olive groves, olive oil and related products, subscribe to our newsletter and you will know as much as I do in no time!
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.
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