I was lucky enough to win a double pass to this years Taste of Melbourne, thanks to a fabulous local food blogger Jeroxie. Who couldn't love a blogger who has a recipe for Ox cheek stew, a fav from my childood? A fool with the tastebuds of a rock that's who. Not only are there recipes for ox, but goat and rabbit. Be still my heart. Mind you trying to get my local butcher to source me goat or rabbit is proving a bit of a mission impossible. Seems strange given that as a child growing up in the country, rabbit, ox, duck and the like were all common place. I still have fond memories of my Nanna's braised rabbit, complete with errant buckshot. Mind you, I figure given the price my butcher quoted me for a single rabbit, they probably come buckshot free, and coated in diamonds.
And yes, I can see the irony in winning tickets to a food festival given my recent, and continuing, gastric adventures. But I've always been a bit of a foodie and love trying and cooking new foods. And there was no way I was letting my recalcitrant gut, get in the way of free samples! Even having fructose mal-absorption and lactose intolerance, I still found a tonne of yummy foods. And what I couldn't sample Mr Grumpy was willing to sample on my behalf.
I even managed to swallow my pride and hire a wheelchair. Anyone who has read my blog for any length of time will know how much this pains me. I would rather listen to Snookie and The Situation debate the political situation in Libya, whilst having someone slowly pull bandaides off my hairy legs (hey, don't judge me and my hirsute ways. It's been Winter here in Australia, the time when razors and wax strips go into hibernation. It's eco-friendly insulation), than use a wheelchair. Unfortunately, my current level of decreptitude didn't give me much a choice, and I sucked it up so I could get out of these ever shrinking four walls and head into the city. Mr Grumpy even agreed to push me around. I did see my life flash before me at one point where Mr Grumpy's eagerness to push me around nearly ended up with me face planting. For those in Melbourne, you should know that the Melbourne Museum has free hire of wheelchairs and a reciprocal agreement with the Royal Exhibition Building, where Taste of Melbourne was held. You can't book them, as they are on a first come, first served basis, but there are plenty and the staff at the cloakroom are lovely.
So much to see, and sample.
Proof that I sucked it up and grabbed a wheelchair, and yes that is a lovely row of handmade chocolates.
I may have purchased one, or two or twelve.
Hello my pretties.
|Proof that I was meant to come to Taste of Melbourne.
Further proof that I was meant to go to this festival.
One of the beautiful domes at the Royal Exhibition Building.
Every time I go I am amazed at how gorgeous it is.
The best Gluten-free Brownie I have ever had. If heaven had a taste, this would be it.
Love this building.
Mr Grumpy, sampling on my behalf. Thanks Honey for taking one for the team.
Now this is how one should eat chocolate.
Finally had the chance to taste elderflower. It's something I've always wanted to taste but didn't think was available here in Australia. Maybe it's too many years of watching UK programs like River Cottage and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's hedge brews, but elderflower has been on my "to try" list for some time. It tasted like a cider with a hint of something floral, strange but quite nice. The elderberry was by far my favourite. Thick and dark like treacle, with a taste similar to blood plums. I now have bottles of both waiting for me to find the perfect dessert to go with them.
I am still in recovery mode from the day, who knew it could be so exhausting being wheeled around.
Big thanks to Jeroxie and Taste of Melbourne for making it possible.
Oh and proof I was inspired and actually using all my purchases, well except all the chocolates and macaroons which are long gone.
Yarra Valley Dairy's Cardi goats cheese (their Persian Fetta is also delicious), a swirl of Biogrape Red Wine Jus, and Myrtlevale Olives, cold pressed corregiola olive oil. All on a slice of my homemade spelt and kamut sourdough. Yummo.
Mmmmm. May have to whip up some more as my mouth is watering just thinking about it.
And to celebrate finally getting out of the house, I give you classic Australian rockers Boom Crash Opera.