Take Four: Local Food Faves on the Menu
Matt Golinski profiles four great value-added products from across the coast that feature regularly on his menu at View Restaurant, Peppers Noosa. All are recipients of the prestigious Slow Food Noosa ‘Snail of Approval’ award for their commitment to good, clean and fair food.
COOLOOLA BERRIES DRIED STRAWBERRIES & STRAWBERRY POWDER
Jason and Kim Lewis have developed their 10-acre strawberry farm in Wolvi into more of a ‘strawberry experience’, giving visitors the opportunity to pick and eat juicy, ripe berries straight out of the paddock. Once they’re done gorging themselves on fresh fruit, there’s scones with homemade strawberry jam, strawberry ice cream and strawberry cider available in the farm’s café, as well as a great selection of savoury meals. Value-adding gives them a chance to turn imperfect fruit into a range of high-quality products. One of my favourites is their freeze-dried strawberries and strawberry powder. The whole berries can be crushed over desserts as a garnish and the powder is good for everything from making naturally-flavoured milkshakes to adding a striking finish to decorated cakes. Get the goodies in their farm shop or from selected stores in the region.
FRASER ISLE SPANNER CRAB
Les and Lyn Apps have a history in the crabbing business stretching back to the 1980s. Starting out as a team of two more than 30 years ago, they now own and fish the largest single percentage of the spanner crab quota in Queensland, with a fleet of vessels up and down the South East Queensland coast before returning with their catch to a processing facility in Mooloolaba. The crabs are freshly picked, and the pure, shell-less crabmeat is packed into vacuum-sealed 150gm or 500gm packs and sold as either raw or cooked meat. I like to use the raw meat for dishes like crab cakes and ravioli, and the cooked for salads. It is available from all good seafood vendors and is generally sold frozen. Fraser Isle Spanner Crab’s commitment to business and environmental sustainability ensures that the crabbing industry will continue to prosper for many years to come.
LINDOLS ROASTED MACADAMIAS & MACADAMIA CHIPS
Ollie and Sandra Lindstrom’s ever-expanding orchard in Goomboorian on Tin Can Bay Road currently boasts 11000 trees and produces tonnes of high-quality macadamias each season. The nuts are slowly dried in huge silos on the farm before being sent to Nutworks in Yandina to be processed. Once they return, Sandra sets to work in her commercial kitchen, roasting, flavouring and packaging them for sale at markets and shops around the Gympie region. She has a strong focus on incorporating indigenous flavours like lemon myrtle and pepperberry into her range. I particularly like using her pre-cut macadamia chips, (kind of 5mm dice) because it saves me chopping them and means I don’t end up with any macadamia ‘dust’ that normally occurs when cutting them with a knife or in a food processor. All Lindols products are available from their online store.
CC’S KITCHEN DRIED ROSELLAS
Cecilia ‘CC’ Diaz Petersen’s love of the rosella has led her to develop 21 different products (and counting), using the fruit to make, jams, chutneys, sauces, drinks, sorbet and dressings. Together with husband Greg, they have built ‘The Big Rosella’, a pointy crimson obelisk which is perched on top of their fruit stall on their farm in Wooloolga, and in May will host the 4th annual Big Rosella Festival, a celebration of the fruit which gives visitors the chance to learn how they are grown, picked and cooked. CC produces many different products, making the most of having seasonal produce literally directly outside the door. The dried rosellas are great o use when fresh fruit is not available; they can be reconstituted in water and turned into jelly, chutneys, candied rosellas of even just drunk as a tea. You’ll spot CC’s products in a lot of shops around the coast, or you can buy her range online.