News bites: the latest in Aussie food
What’s the latest in Aussie food news this week? It’s certainly a good time to be a fruit lover right now, with avocados and strawberries in great abundance and selling for a song. The news isn’t quite so dandy for our growers, though, with strawberry farmers in particular being badly affected by foodservice closures. Read on to find out more about how you can help our growers out. In other farming news, our citrus producers could soon be boosting their exports, and a new online platform is sharing the stories of our red meat producers who are doing some pretty great things in sustainable farming.
It’s also a good time to be a dad, with Father’s Day coming up next weekend. We’ve found you some dad-friendly gifts with a difference that your old man can enjoy even if you can’t spend the day together in person. Or if you’d prefer to treat yourself, you might want to try one of the newly released sweet treats we’ve shared below. Enjoy, and stay safe out there.
Avocados going cheap
According to grocery comparison app Frugl’s 2021 Avocado Index, both Hass and Shepard avocados are the cheapest they’ve been in more than 18 months. Both varieties dropped to as low as $1 for a single fruit in the middle of this year. Right now, Hass is hovering around the $1.30 to $1.40 price point at Coles and Woolies. These cheaper prices are due to a bumper avocado crop this season – an increase of up to 65 percent on last year’s harvest – and with many restaurants and cafes being closed over the last year and a half, this has channelled more avocados into our supermarkets and greengrocers. While the lower prices are certainly great for consumers, it is making things tough for farmers, as supply is outstripping demand. So stock up on avos to show our growers some love. Head to australianavocados.com.au for recipe ideas to help you make the most of your haul.
Get creative to help our strawberry growers
Strawberry prices have also plummeted, and growers are increasingly concerned about a substantial drop in sales. Restaurants, cafes and cake shops normally make up a large part of sales in the strawberry season, but with so many venues closed, huge volumes of cheap strawbs are flooding the retail market. Currently, punnets of strawberries are widely available for under $2. This means farmers are actively losing around 50c for every sale, and are unable to cover the most basic of costs if demand doesn’t increase – which could ultimately lead to no strawberries on our shelves. So why not do your bit to help our growers and get creative with strawberries in the kitchen? You can try roasting strawberries to serve with a baked brie, using them in cakes and desserts, making jam or even a syrup which can be used in milkshakes and cocktails or poured over ice cream.
For more recipe ideas, head to qldstrawberries.com.au
Further citrus exports to the US within reach
Citrus growers from Queensland, inland NSW and WA are a step closer to exporting Australian citrus to the United States. The US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has announced it will revise requirements for the importation of fresh citrus from Australia. Until now, citrus could only be exported to the US from NSW’s Riverina, SA’s Riverland and the Sunraysia region of Victoria/NSW.
Red meat producers open the farm gates
Red meat producers are featuring in a series of new videos that aim to share their stories and inform consumers about how red meat is produced in Australia. Produced by Meat & Livestock Australia’s community engagement platform, Australian Good Meat, the videos profile red meat producers from across the country and will be rolled out on social media and digital platforms to demonstrate how caring for animals, the land and the environment is at the heart of everything they do, as well as being crucial to managing a successful farm.
More cheese, please
Norco, Australia’s only 100 percent farmer-owned dairy co-operative, has announced the launch of a new tasty cheese range, which is now available at Coles stores throughout Queensland and Northern NSW. The new range adds to Norco’s growing portfolio of dairy products, which includes its award-winning milks, creams, custard, butter and Hinterland ice-cream, and will provide customers with more options to support Australian dairy farmers. The launch follows an increased demand for the cheese on social media, with fans of Norco eager to support the co-op across other dairy categories.
Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder
Can’t think of what to get your dear old dad this Father’s Day? How about a pint or two of liquorice beer? No, we’re not kidding. Darrell Lea has teamed up with Nomad Brewing Co. to launch a limited-edition Darrell Lea Batch 37 Dark Chocolate Liquorice Stout.
“Every Father’s Day, our liquorice range, including the iconic Batch 37 and Bullets, is Australia’s top choice for gifting,” says Johanna Campbell, General Manager of Marketing at Darrell Lea. “Many dads are big fans of our liquorice products, and what better way to say cheers to our dads than combining two of their favourite things?” Obviously they were fresh out of raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.
Nomad Brewing Co., based in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, describes the “rich and creamy” stout’s flavour as “rich dark chocolate with hints of liquorice, creating a delicious decadent dark beer treat”. We think we’ll take their word for it on this one.
To pre-order or to find a retailer, head to nomadbrewingco.com.au. Each can or four-pack comes with a bag of Darrell Lea Batch 37 Liquorice when you buy from Nomad’s website or at its brewery. Darrell Lea Batch 37 liquorice, milk chocolate and dark chocolate bullets, allsorts and twists are also available at all major supermarkets and retailers.
A feast for a rad dad
For Sydney dads, the Bentley restaurant group has curated an epic banquet for the family to feast on this Father’s Day. The bespoke menu kicks off with a range of grazing plates, followed by BBQ short ribs, salads, a creamy potato gratin and a classic pavlova to finish. For something a little extra, there’s the option to add on freshly shucked oysters or a cheese platter. All orders can be made via Providoor, where Bentley’s standard à la carte menus across all its venues (Monopole, Yellow and Cirrus) are also available for Father’s Day.
Dinner’s on me, Dad
Can’t be with your dad this Father’s Day? ChefPrep is helping you shout him a restaurant-quality dinner this Father’s Day, even if you can’t dine together. ChefPrep provides home-delivered frozen ready-made meals from premium restaurants, and since so many of us are stuck in lockdown, sharing a meal virtually with your dad this Father’s Day is the next best thing. So why not order Dad a restaurant-quality meal? ChefPrep has suggested a range of mains and desserts, or you can choose your own customised selection. To keep sharing the love, ChefPrep is waiving the delivery fee for all Father’s Day orders, and is also giving three families the chance to win dinner on them, up to the value of $200. Simply use the code FATHERSDAY2021 at checkout and you’ll go into the draw to win.
To find out more, and for a full list of restaurant partners, head to chefprep.com.au
How do you dough?
Charlie’s Fine Food Co. has released a new vegan-friendly, plant-powered cookie dough. It’s ready to bake (or just eat) straight out of the tub, and can be used to make cookies, brownies, ice cream sandwiches or even a cookie dough cake. Charlie’s Plant-Powered Cookie Dough comes in two flavours – choc chip with Murray River salt flakes or peanut butter with choc chip – and is now available at independent supermarkets nationally.
It’s your birthday? Let’s party!
Confectionary brand Allen’s is celebrating its 130th birthday with the launch of two party-inspired lolly selections – Allen’s Party Faves and Allen’s Piñata Party. Party Faves is party treats in lolly form, with flavours including chocolate cupcake, strawberry fairy floss and green apple icy pole. Piñata Party features party animals like blackberry llama, strawberry flamingo and lemon dinosaur. Allen’s Party Faves and Piñata Party will be available in participating supermarkets and convenience stores from September 1, with some special birthday collaborations to be announced over the course of the month.
It’s good to be nude
Most “functional” beverages don’t contain nearly enough herbs or herbal extracts to make them truly effective. Research and development scientist Dr Ali Karami has drawn on his scientific expertise and the ancient recipes of his Iranian ancestors to create NudeHerbs, Australia’s first range of brewed herbal and floral tonics, all of which contain between 5 and 5.5 grams of fresh herbal and floral ingredients in each bottle. Ingredients are all ethically and sustainably produced, the bottles are 100 percent recyclable and the drinks contain no extracts, artificial colours, flavours, preservatives or sweeteners.
For more on Nude Herbs, stockist info or to buy online, head to nudeherbs.com.au
Wanna win a super moment?
Bega has made its first foray into active nutrition, acquiring 180 Nutrition – an Australian natural health food business that produces protein blends, bars and supplements. 180 Nutrition was founded by Stuart Cooke 12 years ago, and this acquisition will see his products in Coles supermarkets nationwide. To mark the move, 180 Nutrition is offering consumers the chance to win one of seven “super moment” experiences across the country or one of 10 “mini moments” for you and a friend. To enter, buy any 180 Nutrition product from the new PROTEIN+ SUPERFOOD range in Coles, take a photo of your receipt and upload it at 180nutrition.com.au/supermoments
Just in case you missed it…
This week, Eativity asked the burning question: do some foods really speed up your metabolism? Here’s the expert’s take. We also got the scoop on the foodie trend that sent TikTok into a spin: olive oil ice cream. For the sustainably minded among you, Matt Moran dished up the world’s first low-emission steak; while for those who love to support local, we’ve found you the perfect online marketplace that’s launching to give our artisan food producers a welcome boost. And last but not least, we took a squiz at what’s been going on in Australian shopping baskets, markets and kitchens during this latest round of lockdowns.