Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The food we had when on holiday

Cherry and Hazelnut Pie

I had some interesting meals during my trip to South Australia. In general, we did a lot of travelling, spending a large portion of day time sitting our bottoms in the Camry while the Camry rolled us from here to there.

Often times, we were out of synch with regular meal times. To our misfortune, many eateries close their kitchens rather early (especially in smaller outskirt towns), and we had many late lunches eating cold food. We were happy with cold food anyway- they were cakes, pies, tarts and strudels. Brilliant isn’t it?

High Apple Pie

Over the eight days, we had plenty of desserts, sometimes (often) substituting them as meals. From memory, this is a list of confections we consumed between the 3 of us over the 8 days.

Triple layer vanilla mousse
Apple strudel
Apple crumble
Cherry and custard pie
Apple and custard pie
German baked cheese cake
High apple pie
Cherry and hazelnut pie
Ultra rich choc-caramel slice
Cheese cake
Pecan pie

There are at least 2 omissions in this list. You will notice several mudcakes and apple pastries- I often suggest mudcakes, and BZY likes apple pies. What a list!

Ultra Rich Choc-Caramel Slice

Notable is the ultra rich choc-caramel slice. It is a small piece of confection, with a base made of compressed and sweetened coconut shreds, a generous layer of very thick caramel paste, and topped with a moderate layer of chocolate. It was really really really rich; good thing we shared the cakes for breakfast, or the single slice would have easily killed someone.

The first morning, we had breakfast at a café in Adelaide’s central market. That café was noted for their muffins, baked in a little clay pot. The muffin of the day was raspberry chocolate. It was brilliant, if not a little too sweet.

Another morning, we had yet another breakfast in a shop serving Western European food, also at the central market.

The menu sheets transcribed:
Russian Omelette- a fluffy bacon & egg omelette served with 3 Russian salads
Bacon & Eggs- Russian style with 3 Russian salads
Blinny- crepes filled with ricotta cheese and sultanas served with fresh cream.

Pelmeni- Russian beef and onion dumplings served with sour cream and dill
Varenyki- Ukaranian potato dumplings served with sour cream and dill

My dish of Pelmeni. The Bacons & Eggs and Blinny were not remarkable to look at, but tasted good nonetheless.

The verdict- an eye opener to Russia, but grossly overpriced.

Compared to Melbourne prices (about $7.5 per 250g), coffee beans are considerably cheaper in Adelaide ($5 per 250g). I got 2 different variants of 250g each, ground on the spot, and a little bottle of coffee beans coated in dark chocolate.

At the market, we got 2 packets of pasta and some sauce for our dinners /suppers. They were ‘home made’ pasta, and one was coloured red with tomato, and the other dyed black with squid ink. The cooked result proved remarkable on the eyes, and attracted a lot of attention. [Pictures later] We chanced upon a butcher stall that won several awards for their sausages. They were reasonably priced, so each of us chose a flavour/variant and we got 3 of each. They were wonderful- firmly packed meat flavoured with various spices. A bit salty for our tastes though.

We visited the chocolate factory for Melba. There was nothing remarkable about it- many of the interesting forming processes were out of sight. We each got some of the chocolates there. My advice, don’t buy Melba chocolates. They don’t taste like a lot of chocolate, and they don’t melt in your mouth. It’s like milk chocolate doped/filled with some vegetable oil instead of using cocoa butter.

2 days later, we visited the Haigh’s Visitor Centre. It was another chocolate factory, but Haigh’s is the premier chocolate firm in Australia selling expensive and presumably high quality chocolates. Most of their filled chocolates are hand made, and many of the processes are visible behind glass walls. The place was permeated with a pleasant cocoa fragrance. The chocolates are rather costly, but of excellent quality. The individual pieces go at a rate of $28.00 per 100 grams. Evil- you can only choose so many pieces with a finite budget.