News bites: the good, the bad & the bacon
This week was a great one for some people in the Australian food industry, with the big winners in the 2021 delicious. produce awards being announced. However, for those in Sydney and Melbourne’s beleaguered hospitality industry, things are still looking grim. Sadly, one of Sydney’s most iconic Chinese restaurants has had to close its doors, breaking the hearts of late-night diners and XO sauce-lovers across the city. More on this below. If you want to show your support for the restaurants, bars and cafes that are still battling on through lockdown, there’s one very simple thing you can do: put a jab on the menu.
Despite the COVID blight on the Australian food landscape, there was still plenty of good food news to go around. From crazy delicious bacon and transformative truffles to award-winning avocados, here we bring you all the latest updates in Australian food.
That’s gold for Australian avocados
Australian Avocados’ “Our Green Gold” advertising campaign was the fan-favourite during the Tokyo Olympics coverage, winning Channel Seven’s million-dollar advertising contest. As a result, Australian Avocados will win $1 million worth of free ad placement during the station’s biggest sporting and cultural moments over the next nine months. Starring comedian and actor Nazeem Hussain, the campaign was created by Hort Innovation and was voted the winner of the competition via a public poll that ran during the Olympics.
Aussie fruit hits sweet milestone
The Australian Delite mandarin is celebrating its 10th season, with 20 million pieces of fruit expected to be harvested this year. These naturally seedless mandarins, which are produced across NSW, Victoria and WA, are not genetically modified to be seed-free. Rather, it’s down to where the fruit is grown. Delite mandarins are isolated from pollen sources, and it’s pollen that causes the development of seeds in mandarins of this variety. These sweet and juicy mandarins are marketed exclusively by the Nutrano Produce Group, which has launched a new marketing campaign to mark the fruit’s 10th birthday.
New season Australian-grown Delite mandarins are available exclusively in Woolworths stores nationwide. Look for the vibrant orange mandarins with a blue Delite sticker.
Farmers: part of the climate solution
A new initiative launched by the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) is sharing stories of the climate action Aussie farmers are taking while continuing to produce our food and fibre. Australian Farms – Where Real Climate Action Happens tells the stories of our farmers, who take seriously their responsibility as environmental stewards of 51 percent of the Australian landscape. Since 2005, Australian agriculture has reduced its direct emissions by 65 percent. This has been achieved by embracing new practices and technologies, such as rotational grazing, low-till cropping and converting animal waste to renewable energy.
“Farmers are on a journey and there is more work to do,” says NFF CEO Tony Mahar. “Through new science and technologies, like feed additives that drastically reduce livestock emissions, agriculture is poised to continue being part of the climate solution.”
Tuck into a healthy, sustainable challenge
A digital lunchbox launched by Australia’s national science agency the CSIRO aims to get people thinking about making both healthy and sustainable food choices and what they might be eating in the future. The CSIRO Tuckerbox provides nutrition and sustainability ratings for a range of different foods and drinks that users can add to their lunchbox in different combinations to improve their score. It also gives a taste of the food we could be eating by 2050 based on the latest research in food innovation
To find out more and to start building your own Tuckerbox, head to csiro.au/tuckerbox
Campos is treating dads this Father’s Day
This Father’s Day, Campos is doing something special for all the coffee-loving dads out there. The Campos signature Superior Blend has received a limited-edition makeover with a twist: all coffee information has now been replaced by a “dad joke”. It’s the perfect gift with a bit of a “roast” for the number one dad in your life. As a bonus crowd-pleaser, Campos is also offering a free stubby holder with their Signature Blend for a limited time. But make sure you get in quick, as quantities are limited.
To get your Father’s Day Superior Blend and stubby holder, head to camposcoffee.com
Iconic Sydney restaurant shuts its doors
After 31 years of serving up delicious pipis in XO sauce and other Cantonese-style delicacies, the Golden Century has announced that it has gone into administration. Possibly the best-known Chinese restaurant in Sydney, the Golden Century has had some pretty famous faces appear at its tables, from Lady Gaga and Rihanna to President George Bush. It was also a favourite late-night haunt of chefs who were looking for a good feed after their own shift had finished. The end of such a beloved Sydney institution is a sign of just how much hospitality businesses are struggling with ongoing lockdowns and restrictions.
New “Etsy” of Aussie artisan food to be launched
Cheese Therapy, the champion of small artisan cheese producers across Australia, will soon be launching Artisans Bend, a new ecommerce platform that extends the organisation’s support of Australian small food producers beyond cheese into all things artisanal.
Cheese Therapy co-founder Sam Penny says that the platform will be a new shopping experience where Australians get to explore and support producers and where artisans get to share their passions and stories. Cheese Therapy has been a runaway success, now reaching one million store visits a year and achieving enormous growth in online sales since it first became an overnight success in 2020, launching a “therapy box” of cheeses to help support artisan cheesemakers impacted by bushfires. More than 70 artisan gourmet food producers, wine makers, coffee growers and other small businesses have already signed up.
Ridiculously delicious and 100% Aussie
Australian peanut butter brand Ridiculously Delicious has launched a new range of peanut spreads and snacks. The Aussie-owned brand already offers delicious home-style peanut butter cookie chips, peanut butter bars and traditional peanut butter in smooth and crunchy varieties. Now they’ve introduced chocolate peanut butters, peanut brittle and “Crazy Crunch” peanut butter to the line-up. Each product contains locally sourced and manufactured ingredients, and all products are made using 100 percent Australian peanuts grown around the “peanut capital” of Kingaroy in Queensland.
Ridiculously Delicious products can be found in more than 1000 independent supermarkets and grocers including Harris Farm, IGAs, selected Foodworks, health food shops and premium independent greengrocers.
You’re bacon me hungry
Speaking of ridiculously delicious, Melbourne’s Saltsmith is pushing the bacon boundaries with handmade, free-range bacon products that will challenge your perceptions of the humble bacon rasher. The team combines Victoria’s best free-range pork with innovative processing techniques to create a completely unique product. While most other producers focus their product range on different cuts of bacon, at Saltsmith you’ll only find streaky bacon, but each product is cured and smoked differently to create new-world flavours, including Four Pepper Bacon – perfect for a homemade, peppery carbonara – and Maple Whisky Bacon, a collaboration with Melbourne brand Starward Whisky. Each rasher is dry-cured for seven days, then cold smoked using woods such as peach and cherry woods, whisky barrels and Australian red gum. It’s bacon like you’ve never experienced it before.
Geezy, that was quick
Another week, another online grocery delivery service. Geezy Go, Australia’s newest on-demand food and grocery delivery service, is offering delivery to your door in less than 20 minutes. Geezy Go is currently servicing 60+ suburbs in the CBD, inner west and upper north shore of Sydney, with further sites being earmarked for roll-out across Australia over the next six to 12 months. The average order delivery time is just 11 minutes, with no minimal spend and a delivery fee of only $3.99. The service is open from 10am to 6pm every day.
Truffle season is (almost) over
There are just a few weeks left before the truffle season ends to get your hands on the prized black truffles carefully cultivated in Manjimup, Western Australia. Truffle season starts in June, and usually lasts about three months. Gavin Booth, owner of family business Australian Truffle Traders, says that more people than ever are enjoying truffles at home.
“Like any restaurant supplier, lockdowns across Australia and the world have affected commercial sales, but the flipside is that consumer sales are strong,” he says. “If you haven’t indulged in truffle yet, get in quick before the season is over.”
Once harvested, truffles will last in the fridge between two to three weeks. One way to make your truffles last longer is to make truffle butter and freeze it.
For more information, including tips for storing and using truffles, and to order truffles direct from the farm, head to australiantruffletraders.com
Just in case you missed it…
This week, Eativity shared some top tips on how to eat your way to a healthier microbiome and cooked up tasty plant-based versions of classic Aussie family favourite dishes. We were also inspired by the resilience and fortitude of NSW oyster farmers, and found out why it’s about time we all stopped treating soil like, well, dirt. Finally, we shone a light on the amazing producers who were the ultimate winners of the 2021 delicious. produce awards.