Monday, May 12, 2008

Principles of Gastronomy Barossa Valley Trip

Concluding the first course of my gastronomy programme was an excursion to the Barossa Valley. The day long trip was a wonderful getaway packed with fun filled, food adventures for the avid gourmet! The sun was out and I suited up in a short one piece denim number eager to make the most of the last of summer. After about two hours in a mini bus up the winding hills we arrived at the Tafe centre where we met Angela Heuzenroeder who gave us an intoduction presentation on the Barossa foodways and how the early German settlers sailed in from Europe and set up homes, their agricultural, viticultural and processing methods. This was and is a big part of the Germanic influence that can be seen in the Barossa today. After the talk and some super-duper cake and coffee we made our way to Apex bakery that is perhaps the oldest and most reputed bakery in the hills. Take a look at this firewood burning oven - amazing huh!?!

These are the ladies responsible for the Weiss German noodle factory. Everything is done in a very ghetto manner - there are just a couple of people running things and the machinery and techniques are really old school. The thin, crispy noodles they make are perfect for things like chicken noodle soup while the broader ribbon pasta with peppercorns is great for stroganoff, which reminds me - I bought a packet to go with some of the stuff I was supposed to make...

Following the noodle stopover we headed to Peter Lehman Wines where a refreshing Barossa spread of bread, cold meats, cheese and olves awaited us with accompanying wine.

While our class chatted and thoroughly enjoyed the rustic, country fare the the afternoon just seemed to slip by. High on wine we got back onto the bus and made our way to the next pitstop - Gully Garden orchards.

Walking through we got to see the gorgeous vineyards, pick bunches of fresh grapes and taste test them while we took a look around. The orchards grow apricots, pears, plums, prunes and grapes for the tables and raisins. The fruit is dried as well as dipped in chocolate!!

Linkes smokehouse, Barossa oldest smokehouse was the highlight of the afternoon for me. This was meat heaven and I freaked out on seeing all the different kinds of meats and learning about the way the smoke them. This is a full on job with the guys working at Linkes coming in at odd hours to put in new sausages and cured meat as well as to remove them to ensure just the right amount of time in the smokehouse. I must say all their hardwork pays off - that meat was just fabulous!

No comments: