Grow­ers, sell­ers, mak­ers and shakers

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Taste -

ONE of the best ways to meet Can­berra’s food-lov­ing pop­u­la­tion is to wan­der into the blue dawn of a Satur­day at the Cap­i­tal Re­gion Farm­ers’ Mar­kets. Start the day buoyed by the aroma of cof­fee or the fresh­est or­ange juice, just­squeezed by farmer Mick Aud­dino, who ro­tates his 44 hectares so that he can get cit­rus all year round, plus a cus­tard- or jam-filled dough­nut from Bom­bolini – while you stock up on fresh pro­duce.

There are over 100 stalls to browse, and for the most part, they are all mak­ers or grow­ers – so you’re get­ting your food from the source. The stall­hold­ers all un­dergo care­ful cu­ra­tion and reg­u­lar in­spec­tion by mar­ket di­rec­tors Tony Howard and Clive Bade­low to make sure of it. one of World Barista Cham­pion Sasa Ses­tic’s cafes – you can book a 30-minute cup­ping ses­sion.

The cafe is named af­ter the process in­dus­try pros use to ob­jec­tively judge cof­fee, so it’s only nat­u­ral that there’s a strong em­pha­sis on cof­fee ap­pre­ci­a­tion and knowl­edge here; plus, Ona’s Project Ori­gin is not just about sourcing sus­tain­able cof­fee, but also about bring­ing in only the cer­ti­fied best, as scored by an in­ter­na­tional jury.

For any­one look­ing to judge cof­fee, it’s im­por­tant to go through the en­tire 30-minute process – the cof­fees can change dras­ti­cally in the cup over that time, and many only show their de­fects at the end.

A cup­ping ses­sion will teach you to con­sider acid­ity, sweet­ness, bit­ter­ness, bal­ance, fin­ish and tex­ture – and odds are, you’ll never look at a cuppa the same way again!

Then hop on over to the tiny, spar­tan-but-friendly Frugii Dessert Lab on Lons­dale Street, where you can get more than a scoop or two of bou­tique ice cream from owner John Marshall. The gre­gar­i­ous, hi­lar­i­ous ice cream maker is as gen­er­ous with his knowl­edge as he is with the fresh in­gre­di­ents he

What started 14 years ago as a Ro­tary Club project to help lo­cal farm­ers face down a par­tic­u­larly bad drought, has now turned into a beloved lo­cal week­end rit­ual.

It’s also a li­brary of sorts, hold­ing a myr­iad fas­ci­nat­ing sto­ries - from Can­berra Ur­ban Honey’s Mitchell Pierce, who at 22 is Aus­tralia’s youngest ur­ban com­mer­cial bee­keeper (and cur­rently off on a New York ad­ven­ture), to the young farm­ers whose ini­tial 40 chickens ex­panded to a huge brood of 6,000 – so they de­cided to turn some of their eggs into lovely breads.

Fam­i­lies of farm­ers and gen­er­a­tions of grow­ers min­gle with diehard bak­ers and pie-mak­ers at the mar­ket, mak­ing it a won­der­ful cross-sec­tion of lo­cal pro­duce – and lo­cal heart. – SL loads his con­fec­tions with, so he hosts reg­u­lar ice cream-mak­ing cour­ses af­ter hours.

And while the favourites like choco­late are al­ways on tap (scoop), one of Marshall’s most pop­u­lar items has been a durian ice lolly! That one sold out in no time, a run no doubt fu­elled in part by home­sick Malaysians.

The ice creams, sor­bets and gelatos here are the real deal – Marshall makes all the bases in-house, tem­pers his own choco­late and flavours his ice creams with real fruit etc.

Frugii caters for ve­gan, nut-free and gluten-free life­styles as well. The gor­geous, flo­ral-cit­rus lemon myr­tle flavour, salted caramel, choco­late and mint flavours have been de­servedly pop­u­lar, but Marshall’s endless ex­per­i­men­ta­tion has yielded lemongrass, pas­sion fruit pavlova and gin­ger­bread as well (and most un­ex­pect­edly – seafood laksa, black gar­lic and a cou­ple made with In­done­sian and Chi­nese herbal reme­dies!).

Next week: Look out for the wines and where­fores of ACT, with a gourmet trek just out­side the city.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.