News bites: much ado about avocados
Hass avocados are about to come into season again, as the much-abhorred Shepard avocado prepares to bow out (and lick its wounds) after a brief appearance. It seems people on #TeamHass just love to hate Shepard avocados, despite them being a uniquely Aussie variety. But considering Australians are the highest consumers, per capita, of avocados in the English-speaking world, it’s probably not surprising so many of us get our knickers in a twist about such things. Avo arguments aside, if you’re a lover of this creamy fruit, you’ll be wanting to check out the foodie festival we’ve found for you below.
In other food news you might have missed, Tim Tam is once again asking Australians to cast their vote on the next new flavour, a classic childhood sweet treat gets an eco-friendly makeover and there’s a tasty new player on the savoury snack front.
Hass-ta la vista, Shepard
Just like the merits of pineapple on a pizza and the question of whether tomato sauce belongs in the cupboard or the fridge, the Hass vs. Shepard avocados is another Aussie food debate that doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere anytime soon. The long-suffering Shepard has even been dubbed “the Green Menace” by online haters. Now that’s just mean.
It seems Sydney’s Cuckoo Callay is firmly on #TeamHass. Owner Ibby Moubadder – who also owns Nour, Henrietta and Lilymu– is throwing a special Kiss my Hass avocado festival at both the Surry Hills and Newtown venues from this week until June 11.
Moubadder’s team from across his restaurants have come together to devise a menu that celebrates the big, green fruit. Paul Farag (Nour) and Brendan Fong (Lilymu) have created dishes that tip the classic avo toast on its head while also paying homage to their heritage. Farag’s dish is tahini avocados served on saj bread with chermoula scrambled eggs, sujuk, wild rocket and herbs. Fong has dished up spiced avocados served on tostadas. These come with smoked salmon, green nam jim, Thai herbs and a 63-degree poached egg.
Other dishes will include an avo burger and buttermilk avo chips. There’s even an avogato (avocado ice cream served with a double shot of espresso).
To check out the full menus on offer, head to cuckoo-callay.com.au
New Tim Tam flavour once again up for public vote
Which Tim Tam would you prefer: Dark Choc Banoffee or Caramelised Pineapple? Last year’s public vote asked people to choose between Coconut Cream and Double Choc Caramel. Now Arnott’s is again asking Aussies to choose between two new flavours.
Last year saw over 600,000 votes cast. Double Choc Caramel scored the most votes to become available for purchase in-store a few months later. This year will be the same, with Arnott’s committing to launch the winning flavour exclusively in Coles this July.
Both contending flavours are tropical varieties, made to attract voters from both ends of the chocolate spectrum. Tim Tam Dark Choc Banoffee Flavour features two crunchy biscuits sandwiched together with a banana-flavoured cream and gooey caramel centre, covered in dark chocolate. Tim Tam Caramelised Pineapple Flavour features two crunchy chocolate biscuits sandwiched together with a caramelised pineapple-flavoured cream and gooey caramel centre, covered in milk chocolate.
You can cast your vote by visiting the TimTam Instagram page until April 18. The winning Tim Tam flavour will be announced the day after voting closes.
Smarties switches to recyclable packaging
In more sweet news, Nestlé Oceania has announced its Smarties confectionery brand will switch entirely to recyclable paper packaging in Australia.
Some Smarties packs sold in Australia are already in paper. But this change will see all plastic packaging replaced with new recyclable packaging. The company claims the move makes Smarties the first global confectionery brand entirely sold in recyclable paper packaging. It will remove approximately 250 million plastic packs sold globally every year.
Nestlé General Manager Confectionery Chris O’Donnell says shifting Smarties packaging to recyclable paper is an important step in realising Nestlé’s ambition to reduce the company’s use of virgin plastics by a third by 2025. The paper used in the range is all sourced sustainably, including coated paper, paper labels and carton board. The Australasian Recycling Label is included on all packs to raise consumer recycling awareness.
Cheese and bickies, or cheese in bickies?
If savoury is more your style, we’ve also got news for you. While Charlie’s Fine Food Co. is best known for its sweet biscuits, the brand has now launched a savoury biscuit line – Mini Cheese Bites. Made using Australian cheese, these crispy delights are the perfect addition to a grazing platter or cheeseboard… Or just as a stand-alone snack.
Charlie’s Founder Jacky Magid says Charlie’s has added the new savoury range to meet growing demand for a premium savoury offering.
“All of our products are made using premium ingredients,” she says. “The new Mini Cheese Bites range draws on our 25-year history of making seriously delicious products with premium ingredients. It’s real food made using quality ingredients.”
Charlie’s Mini Cheese Bites come in three flavours: Three Cheeses; Cheddar and Rosemary; and Parmesan and Tomato. The range is now available at Woolworths stores nationally. To find out more, head to charliesfinefoodco.com