Flavours of the Country
When it comes to the discussion of Australian cuisine (a rare conversation topic to begin with, if we are being honest); so much of the focus falls on either the few iconic recipes (pavlova, lamingtons, Tim Tams, and Vegemite to name a few) or on the undoubtedly impressive food scenes that are constantly evolving in cities such as Sydney and Melbourne.
With the exception of backpackers looking to earn their second year visa by doing a little farmhand work or WWOOFing, precious few visitors to the great southern land make it inland to rural Australia – where life goes on largely unmoved by Australia’s international reputation as a tourist hotspot.
It’s a real shame. Ah I’ve highlighted in my posts about the NSW Outback and the New England region, there’s a wealth of quaint charm and interesting history to be found in rural Australia.
And, believe it or not; there’s some pretty fantastic food and drink to be found too.
Want to know more about Australia’s best food? Click the link for a wee taste.
In the first part of what will hopefully be an eye opening and waistline expanding tour of rural Australia, I’m highlighting three brands doing their part to bring lulu try flavour to the masses.
New England Brewery, Uralla
Uralla is not a town without considerable charm. As the hub of all things Captain Thunderbolt, Uralla’s proximity to nearby Armidale also made it a popular ‘road trip’ to visit the Top Pub and strike out with different girls.
In my absence, the town has gone ahead and started the New England Brewing Company. While I’ve not yet had the pleasure of visiting (hint hint, management), I’ve had their beers on a few occasions while visiting the very groovy Welder’s Dog in Armidale. With a brown, golden, and pale ale as well as seasonal flavours to sample, it’s good to see local beer taking away some shelf space from the likes of Tooheys and VB.
The brewery also operates as a bar on weekends, and tours of the brewery can be arranged by getting in touch via email or by giving them a call. I imagine you can also get in touch via their Facebook page, or their Twitter.
Not that they need my publicity; they’re already available in bars across the state and have even taken over the taps in Sydney. That said, if they’d like me to come visit, I’d be open to it…
Super Strawberry, Glen Innes
You know, I drove by this Glen Innes icon every day for six years while in high school, but I only actually stopped off at the roadside attraction in the last few months.
Surrounded by the strawberry patches that fuel the smoothies, strawberries and cream, and other scrumptious treats that draw in weary travellers from the New England Highway, the Super Strawberry is part cafe and part boutique boasting condiments, snacks, and knick-knacks from all over Australia. My youngest brother even did all of his (admittedly last minute) Christmas shopping there.
A very accessible stopping off point for those touring the New England or just passing through on their way to or from Brisbane, their strawberry shakes are to die for. Don’t let their GeoCities style website put you off, it’s definitely worth a look.
Bald Rock Beef Jerky, Tenterfield
A town most famous for its annual Bush Poetry a Festival (another in my to do list), Tenterfield is livestock country like so many other towns in the area. With all this good quality beef available. It’s a bit of a surprise that it took so long for somebody to decide to make beef jerky.
I first heard of Bald Rock Beef Jerky when Dan, the man behind the brand got in touch and sent me some beef jerky to sample while I was living in China. It’s perilously hard to get good quality meat in China, so I leaped at the opportunity to get a little taste of home.
Sadly, the Chinese postal service didn’t share my enthusiasm; but I finally got my hot little hands on some when I got home. Sampling both the smoky original and the “just right” level of heat in the chili, my brothers and I all agree that it’s a winner.
My post China diet has also enjoyed the low calorie and therefore guilt free snack, and now that I’m out I guess it’s time to head over to Tenterfield to pick up some more or order some online. For those reading abroad, you can get your hands on some without a lengthy trip to rural NSW. Bald Rock Beef Jerky ships worldwide and has great, low flat rates.
Do you have any foodie favourites lying undiscovered or under-appreciated outside of the city? I’d love to hear about them!
Are you a country business specialising in good food or drink looking to get your name out there? Contact me and let’s spread the word!