All the latest in Australian food news

20th November 2021 | Eativity editors

Sydney and Melbourne are now springing back to life, and there’s a feast of food events for locals to enjoy. One highlight is an enormous al fresco lunch party to be held right in the heart of Sydney’s CBD. Speaking of long lunches, according to Uber Eats, there’s a new psychological phenomenon now doing the rounds. And it all has to do with entertaining-induced anxiety. First world problems, anyone? Also making news in Australian food this week, Tasmanian producers are taking centre stage at a major supermarket, and we’ve found you the ultimate present to give foodie friends and family this Christmas.

Australian food news: cherry prices set to soar this Christmas
While other COVID issues have eased, the pandemic is still having an impact on fresh food supply.

Cherries for $20 a kilo

When it comes to festive foods, cherries are right up there. But this Christmas, cherries might be a little more exxy to come by. Growers are warning that a price hike could be on the cards ahead of the holiday season. With so many cherry farmers short of hands to pick their fruit, supply may be affected. This could lead to prices of up to $20 a kilo or more. Heavy rainfall in cherry-growing regions has also delayed harvesting, which could further affect supply. And it’s not just cherries that might cost you more. Recent government analysis anticipates prices will stay high for all “labour-intensive fruit and vegetables”.

Australian food news: Australian Organic Industry Awards
The Australian Organic 7th Annual Industry Awards were celebrated in a virtual ceremony on November 12.

2021 Australian Organic Industry Awards

Australian Organic Limited has announced the winners of the seventh annual Australian Organic industry awards. Mick Dan, founder and farmer at Good Harvest Organic Farm on the Sunshine Coast, was named Farmer of the Year. Sydney-based organic tea company Organic Merchant took home the newly created Manufacturer of the Year award. Two other new categories featured this year: Woman in Organic of the Year and Trailblazer of the Year. These were won by Melissa Brown from Gemtree Wines and Katrina Kehoe from Kehoe’s Kitchen, respectively. For a full list of winners, click here.

Australian food news: Paul de Silva of Arcadian Organic Meats
Paul da Silva, Arcadian Organic & Natural Meat Co. Marketing and Innovation Director.

Growing organic meat industry recognised

Standout performers in Australia’s meat sector were also recognised at the Australian Organic industry awards. The awards showcase excellence in the country’s rapidly growing $2 billion-plus organic industry, and meat and poultry make up 40 per cent of all organic production. Toowoomba-based supplier of premium certified organic and natural meat Arcadian Organic & Natural Meat Co. won the sought-after Business of the Year Award. The Chairman’s Award went to meat and livestock industry veteran Ian King.

Australian food news: the ultimate NSW seafood road trip
A spread like this is worth the drive.

The great seafood road trip

Sydney Fish Market is celebrating this year’s World Fisheries Day (November 21) by encouraging people to take advantage of the best seafood across NSW. With travel now permitted and summer almost here, it’s the perfect time for a foodie road trip. The NSW coast is dotted with fishing towns, cooperatives, oyster shacks and seafood restaurants. However, many have been severely impacted by COVID restrictions. So Sydney Fish Market is calling for Aussies to support local fishers and their towns by sampling some of the best seafood the country has to offer. Click here to view the ultimate NSW seafood road trip.

Australian food news: Narooma Oyster Festival
At last year’s festival, 70,000 oysters were slurped over two days.

Oyster festival returns for 2022

Narooma Oyster Festival organisers have announced the festival’s return for 2022, along with an expanded program. Scheduled for May 6 and 7, the star of the long-running festival is the classic food of NSW’s south coast, the rock oyster. Two new ticketed premium dining experiences will add to festival favourites in 2022. Plans are also underway to expand the site and introduce a seafood long lunch and a festival finale cocktail event. General admission tickets will go on sale on November 26. Premium experiences will go on sale in early 2022. For more information or to book, head to naroomaoysterfestival.com.

Australian food news: Sydney's Open for Lunch
Palisa Anderson, Sydney’s Open for Lunch ambassador. [Image: Destination NSW]

The ultimate long lunch

On December 3, Sydneysiders will be officially welcomed back to the CBD after months of lockdown, with a Destination NSW initiative, “Sydney’s Open for Lunch”. The headline event will be the George St. Long Lunch Spectacular. George Street will be turned into an alfresco dining room in the heart of the city. This will stretch 150 metres alongside the Hilton Sydney and heritage-listed QVB. Six hundred diners will be treated to canapes and a three-course lunch by four of the city’s best-loved restaurants. Each will be representing a different aspect of Sydney dining. Also on December 3 will be a one-day festival at South Eveleigh. Innovation Plaza will be transformed into a one-day festival of food, drinks and dance.

Queen Vic Market Food Truck Stop returns
Melbourne has finally emerged from its 260+ day lockdown. Time to eat.

Food Truck Stop returns

In Melbourne, Wednesday nights are set to spring back to life in December. Queen Victoria Market has announced the return of its popular outdoor food truck collective, Food Truck Stop. From Wednesday, December 1, Food Truck Stop will bring together a mix of Melbourne’s favourite food trucks and carts. These will showcase delicious takeaway street eats from every corner of the globe. Over three epic weeks, visitors can satisfy their street food cravings and indulge in mouth-watering favourites. Think bao buns, burgers, tacos, lobster rolls, gyros, smoked barbequed meats, artisanal gelato and so much more.

Australian food news: Brand Tasmania
Ashgrove Cheese has been family-owned since 1908.

Tassie made and grown

Coles and the Tasmanian state government have formed a landmark partnership that will see the official “Brand Tasmania” trademark used to promote locally made products in Coles stores across the state. Under the terms of the deal, a special Tasmanian mark will be displayed within stores to alert shoppers to local products. Local producers, growers and makers are also being encouraged to adopt the Tasmanian mark on their own packaging. Local food suppliers joining the campaign include family-owned Elizabeth Town dairy farm Ashgrove Cheese and Tasmania’s oldest commercial bakery, Cripps.

Dinner party host
“And this was seasoned with the salt of my tears.”

The missing ingredient

Forget FOMO. Research from Uber Eats has revealed that 70 percent of Australians are suffering from FOHPO, fear of having people over. The research found that 40 percent of Aussies apparently suffer from FOHPO at least once a week. A third say these feelings have only increased post-lockdown. FOHPO symptoms include being worried about being underprepared and not having enough food, or being surprised by a guest’s new dietary requirement. A quarter of Aussies surveyed also claim to feel “out of practice” hosting guests. No surprises there. Conveniently, the research coincides with the launch of a new function on the Uber Eats app. This allows users to order crucial that missing ingredient.

Saltsmith Bacon and Brick Land Brewing
Give the foodie in your life a bacony treat this Christmas.

The gift of bacon

Christmas is on the way. And so, the Melbourne bacon masters at Saltsmith have teamed up with Brick Lane Brewing to create the ultimate foodie gift for friends and family. We’re talking the gift of bacon, with a hint of booze. The marriage of flavours between delicious bacon and a crisp, cold beer is unparalleled. Especially when it’s with Saltsmith bacon made from free-range Victorian pork. You can take your pick of four bacon-loaded gift packs. All showcase Victoria’s best producers through an amazing tasting experience. They’ll be available at Saltsmith’s website and from their stall at Queen Vic Markets on Saturdays.

Buffalo: the next big thing in meat and milk
Once viewed as a pest, a growing number of Aussie farmers are now seeing the buffalo in a new light.

Also in Australian food this week…

First up, we showed you how you can save the planet and your health in one fell swoop. We also took a look at the growing buffalo industry – could buffalo meat and milk be the next big thing in Australian food? As it was Food Safety Week, we answered one of the big food safety questions: can you refreeze chicken? And since it was International Whole Grain Day on Tuesday, we also shared some appetising ways to get more grains into your day. Finally, we showed our farmers some love, marking this year’s National Agriculture Day.

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