Monday, November 28, 2016

Strawberries Down Under Are Tops -- Cooloolah Berries

There is a little dirt road that goes inland from the Sunshine Coast and it's there you can find your strawberry bliss. Cooloolah Berries is more than a family farm, it is also a mission for better strawberries and and a fulfilling lifestyle in Wolvi (Gympie).

Kim Watson and her husband Jason had been growing berries for commercial sale part time when the price dipped about 60 cents a punnet (basket) less than they cost to grow and harvest. The pair decided to buy their own farm and sell the best berries they could retail grown naturally and not treated with anti-ripening agents. 

And the berries are amazing. We visited the farm towards the very end of the growing season and bought a basket of Albion-variety strawberries. The berries were deep red with little or no white shoulder, a nice texture and deliciously sweet with a hint of acid. They lasted us for three days and we wished we could have had more, but by that time we were far south.

Visit Kim and family (she is also raising a crop of boys) during the Australian spring for berries (including pick your own) or come any time to sample her homemade scones, jams, ice creams and sorbets or other treats.

Sundays they often offer alfresco paella feasts.  We weren't lucky enough to be there for their Sunday cookout, but Kim says her paella is full of chicken and chorizo and Watsons have been known to take their giant paella pans and cooking rings on the road for special events. 

I don't have a new strawberry recipe for you from Kim, but here are a few favorites of mine: ice cream, strudel and soup!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Regards from Down Under -- Food Photos from Australia -- Rain Forest Ice Cream

Guess the flavors of these ice creams from fruits grown in the rain forest
The first in an occasional set of updates from my current adventure. 

Shown are tropical ice creams from fruit grown in the orchards of the Daintree Ice Cream Company, located in the rain forest on Daintree Island, Australia. 

Shown are Davidson's Plum, pink and a bit tart, Brown Sapote, fruity and chocolate-like, and Wattleseed, a bit like tiramisu underneath was coconut

I'll add links later, but wow, some of the best ice cream ever. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Falooda! An Indian Treat on Devon Avenue -- Chicago Food Photo

Falooda is a thin, sweet noodle added to frozen desserts and drinks. I first had it in a Persian rose ice cream here in the states. I next had it as a sundae in Jaipur, India, served with ice cream and rose syrup. Today's was from a snack stand on West Devon Avenue in Chicago, which is part of an area becoming known as the International Marketplace because of the wide range of food stuffs and international restaurants and stores. 

The area around Devon and Western avenues is heavily Indian and Pakistani, but as we walked along we saw Middle Eastern, Near Eastern, Georgian, Eastern Eurporean, kosher, and Latin American influences.  The Indo-Pakistani offerings ranged from curries and kebabs to Indo-Chinese food (spicy and saucy) to vegetarian dosas (rice flour crepes) as well as snack foods such as samosas (filled pastries), chaat (assorted snacks) to the falooda.  This one had the noodles, flavored jellies, a kind of tapioca pudding, mango ice cream, a few whole almonds, and syrup. It was rich, satisfying, more than enough for the two of us and cost just $2.99.

Devon Avenue is also home to Indian and Pakistani clothing and fabric stores (think saris and other traditional outfits), jewelry stores, housewares stores and religious items dealers.  There are also a far number of dollar and value-priced merchants as well as food markets and restaurants.  

One important note: Some of the clothing stores and a few of the restaurants and other stores are closed on Tuesday, but if that is the only day you can go there are still an overwhelming number of places to check out.

It is accessible by bus or by taking the Red Line train to Loyala and catching the 155 bus.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Donut You Know -- Chicago Food Photo Feature

Mr. Blog Appetit and I are spending the month in May in Chicago so I thought I would post an occasional food photo here to share some of the Midwest bounty we are enjoying. 

Today's offering is a Stan's Donut lemon pistachio glazed donut. I was pleasantly surprised that the donut itself and not just the glaze was flavored with lemon zest. 

Chicago is more than a bit donut obsessed, with donut stand(s) near most "L" (subway and elevated train) stations. A frequent sight during the packed rush hour is commuters trying to maintain their balance while avoiding getting their boxes of donuts crushed. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

At the Winter Fancy Food Show

This is my second day at the San Francisco Winter Fancy Food Show after a gap of a few years. It's larger and busier than ever and loud, colorful and tasty.

I'm posting this with Blogger mobile for iPhone so I am not writing a full report here due to technical limitations, but some highlights:

Cultured non-diary cheese from Miyoko 

Full leaf tea in a bag from Silk Road Teas

Smoked soy sauce from Igeta (not yet available in the USA)

Roland Foods seasonings and sauces (unfortunately mostly food service)

More as I explore further and get home to a real keyboard. In the meantime as a sign on one display says: It's raining chocolate.