Winter in Tassie is Made for Eating
by Stephanie Williams
You’ve heard it before, and we’ll say it again, Tasmanian produce is amazing. And winter is the perfect time to get out and eat it all. Explore the markets, head straight to the farm gates or expand your cooking skills across the island.
Food Markets I’m biased as it’s my home market but the Farm Gate market each Sunday morning in Hobart has got to be one of the best. It’s a great spot for breakfast with friends, and pick up some supplies while you’re there. If you’re up north on a Saturday morning, Harvest Launceston is a must visit, if only for a cracking bacon and egg roll, not to mention the awesome entertainment program. For something more intimate, the weekly Willie Smith’s Artisan and Produce Market showcases only local artisan wares and produce. The Bream Creek Farmers Market is on the first Sunday of every month, featuring local growers, cooks, brewers, producers and makers.
Paddock to Plate Will you go to any length to check the provenance of your meat? Then head to King Island to experience a one and a half hour Meat Your Beef tour of a family-run 2000 acre beef property. Cape Grim Beef is produced in the far North West Coast and you can tuck into a top steak a stone’s throw away at the Cape Grim Grill at Tall Timbers in Smithton. Check into a tiny cabin on Fork n Farm, a 24 acre property, and pick fruit and vegetables that will end up in your dinner that night.
Ocean to Table Interest in where seafood comes from and how it’s produced is increasing. All over Tassie you can head straight to the source and taste some of the best seafood in Australia. Particularly interesting and delicious right now is the native Angasi oyster – if you see them on a menu, be sure to try them. Jump on the ferry over to Bruny Island and stop in at Get Shucked or head toward the airport to pick up freshly shucked oysters from Barilla Bay Oyster Farm. The east coast is a strong hold for high quality seafood. The Freycinet Marine Farm near Coles Bay sell freshly harvested mussels, oysters and local Tasmanian Rock lobster, abalone, scallops, urchin and salmon, or head up or down the coast to find excellent seafood, fish and chips at The Gulch and The Lobster Shack in Bicheno and The Fish Van in Triabunna.
Cheese Please From rolling green hills comes excellent milk. From excellent milk comes divine cheese and on the island we’re very spoiled. Bruny Island Cheese Company export their cheese all over Tassie and the mainland, especially right now with their Cheese Club offering. A yum gift for any interstate friends in lockdown! Up north, Ashgrove and Pyengana Dairy Farm Gate Cafe are worth diverting for if you’re on a northern road trip.
Cooking Schools Expand your cooking repertoire and get to know local produce even better with a cooking school class. Want to learn to cook like a Nonna? At the Farmhouse Kitchen at Wattle Grove in the Huon Valley you can try a Winter Warmer Masterclass, where you’ll prepare seasonal Tassie produce in the traditional Italian way. Since 2007, Sylvia’s Kitchen has been welcoming students in the Tamar Valley, taking them on a journey through cuisines from all over the world. If you like your cooking with a side of luxe, make a weekend of it and check into The Red Feather Inn at Hadspen.