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Archive for April, 2012

Dynamic duo making award winning cheeses

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

South of Adelaide you’ll find Ulli Spranz, former Australia Pacific Businesswoman of the Year, and husband Helmut, who produce a range of cheeses, yogurts and butters at BD Farm Paris Creek, made using biodynamic principles. It was Ulli’s dream to make food without chemicals and to make a flourising and viable business. It wasn’t possible to find the land in their native Germany so they spent a year travelling around Australia, looking for a place that had true seasons. Queensland was too warm and humid most of the year but South Australia with its cold winters and hot summers and a rainy season proved to be perfect. Paris Creek was chosen because it has its own water source. The Spranz’s choose to milk cows, not to grow grain, because grain farmers make their income once a year, and with a family, they needed the regular income milking provides. To get a premium for their efforts, they went organic, and farmed bio dynamically, which uses 30% less water than conventional farming. Fertiliers are made from manure. Whey, leftover from cheesemaking, is used as a spray on vegetables and as pig food. Waste water is transferred to a holding pond and recycled into liquid manure.

The aim was to raise a healthy family, and, to that end, to help contribute to the health of the nation.

The soft and creamy and semi-soft cheeses are all award winners and available for sale at the farm.



Thank a bee for what’s on your plate

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

Buzz honey products

Jude Crowe from Buzz Honey explains how three of every five mouthfuls of food consumed in this world are dependent on the work of a bee to transport pollen from one plant to another. It sounds simple, but understanding the importance of keeping the bee industry healthy and thriving is anything but. The Crowes, that’s Jude and Tim, started beekeeping in 1999, keeping bees in native plantations to ensure the bees have opportunity to visit areas with botanical diversity. The bees are attracted not just by the smell and taste of nectar, but also by how the flower is positioned on a plant. In Jude’s estimation you need around 400 hives to make a living. The Crowes keep 1000. With around 50,000 to 80,000 bees in each hive, that’s a lot of winged neighbours they don’t want to upset!

Recently, on the front page of New Zealand’s most widely read newspaper, the NZ Herald, there was a report saying that honey was one of the foods that should be cut down or cut out of a modern diet (to slow obesity). What utter nonsense. Honey is an ancient food, and our bodies have been accustomed to eating it for thousands of years. It is digested in the large intestine and does not give a sugar rush. The thing to cut down or cut out is processed white sugar.

Then there is the question of heating honey. As heating honey destroys much of its healthful properties, what about the ‘flu, sore-throat cure-all, a hot lemon and honey drink, a mix of freshly squeezed lemon juice and honey (and in NZ we are lucky to have manuka honey made from the native manuka shrub, which possesses antibacterial and antifungal properties), to which boiling water is added to make a soothing drink. Is the goodness from the honey, the very ‘medicine’ this drink is renowned for, destroyed by the heat? Apparently not. Honey can withstand high temperatures for a short period without apparent loss of nutrients.

Jude Crowe

Our very life depends on bees (check out the dvd Queen of the Sun). In 2006 50% of the USA’s commercially managed bee colonies died, a syndrome coined Colony Collapse Disorder. Bees are the legs of plants. They transfer pollen to the female part of the flower. Plants need bees to move their genes and bees are willing collaborators. www.honeybee.org.au/pdf/PollinationAwareFactsSheet.pdf

What can you do to help? The Crowe’s hives need around 300 litres of water a day. If you have a swimming pool or source of fresh water where bees come and drink, consider floating a few corks on top of the water so  bees can perch while drinking, instead of risking drowning. Consider having a hive in your back garden, on your roof, at your beach house, on top of your office building. There are companies in New Zealand who look after the bees for you. You just provide a unique spot for the bees with your local. The honey is not yours, but the beekeeper kindly gives you half the honey harvested. The proverbial win-win arrangement (bees, beekeeper, you, the plant).


Adelaide Central Market

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

143 years young and still going strong. Here you’ll find second and third generation families marketing their wares. Fresh vegetables, meats, cheeses and confectionery of a high standard, an absolute statement of the superb quality Adelaide and the surrounds has to offer: smoked pig’s trotters, saltbush lamb, ham smoked over beechwood, Polish and German small goods, Italian and locally produced and imported goods. Open Wednesday to Saturday.


Fancy a slice of prosciutto?

South Australian autumnal produce

Glistening cumquats

The affiner cheese shop across from the market smells like a comfy pair of old slippers

Spectacular start to Adelaide food foray

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Ceiling fans, food fans - Gorgeous crackling, succulent char-grilled pork

a great spot


Press Food & Wine
40 Waymouth Street
Adelaide SA
Tel (08) 8211 8048


There is exceptional food to be had at this establishment. Shared plates of fat strips of zucchini scented with nutty garlic and fresh mint, topped with blobs of cotton soft Persian yoghurt; a whole grilled chorizo sausage with small fiery chillies and a smoky choko sauce; the best morcilla, not fried to a salty crisp as is the way of the inexperienced, but deeply flavoured, savoury, rich, with a creamy wombok and kohlrabi remoulade sauce; and mum’s Dutch veal croquettes, thick lozenges of crisp flaky crumb coating housing a soft centre of savoury veal that  bursts in your mouth.

For mains, sticky braised beef ribs with coriander and chilli, carving knife and fork on the sideb but the meat falls away from the bones with a nudge; meltingly tender minute oyster blade set off with crème fraiche and the tang of capers; and, sigh, roast pork belly. But roast pork belly to die for – so much crunchy fat it is criminal, so much succulent pork meat you can afford to share, so much glorious flavour that each mouthful is pure joy. The richest celeriac puree to go with it, just a spoonful, and a little confit of olives, onions and anchovies.

God even the shoestring fries were the best in an age of dry lifeless unsalted sticks of nothingness.

The Press, restaurant and bar, set up in an old printing press building, high ceilings, fans spinning, top-notch wine and table service. And seriously good food.