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When we eat

When we eat
A seasonal guide to Tasmania’s fine food and drink
By Liz McLeod and Bernard Lloyd
Photography by Paul County
Published by The Culinary Historians of Tasmania 2004
ISBN 0-646-44132-9

Here we have the main course, so to speak, following the delicious and tantalising entree that was the first book by the Culinary Historians of Tasmania — Before we eat.

Where Before we eat talked about Tassie foodstuffs and the people who grow, prepare and serve them, When we eat presents recipe after recipe that will have the armchair chef salivating and the earnest cook out in the kitchen sharpening up the knives.

As the authors say “its 328 pages lay out the journey of food and drink in Tasmania, from the wild to the table, and from the remotest past to the present”. The high priestess of good Aussie tucker, Maggie Beer, wrote the foreword.

In it she remarks how Tasmanian produce is beautifully fresh and fortunately now more widely available, adding that our biggest advantage is our seasonality:

“Seasonality, eating food only at its peak, has almost disappeared Australia-wide but you have four distinct seasons here and this book has an especially Tasmanian calendar, indicating just when your (and only your) fresh Tasmanian produce is available … This book celebrates working with the climate rather than against it.”

The premium crops or catches of each season, many with recipes from leading restaurants all over the island, are introduced alphabetically.

Seasonal delights

And so, for Spring, we have a selection including anchovies, artichokes (Essence Restaurant in Devonport delights with Flinders’ Island lamb rump with artichokes, green olives, tomato and a parsley fetta butter), crayfish (plus recipe for Waji’s incomparable Crayfish Laksa, made with Waji’s own Laksa Paste that I can vouch is equally sensational with many other ingredients), and so on.

In Summer, with a nostalgic nod to those lazy hazy days spent at the shack, choose from berries of all kinds (try Freycinet Lodge’s White chocolate and blueberry creme brulee), stone fruits, cheeses, salmon and trout (a campfire recipe by Dennis Alexander, first published by the Hobart Walk Club in 1972, explains how to cook the latter to perfection) and other fish — like Mures’ Scallop pocketed blue eye.

For Autumn, you find apples, mushrooms, pepperberries and much much more.

Finishing in Winter with delicacies such as quinces and olives, plus its extra special bonus of mussels — with a swag of recipes from The Deck at Devonport, The Mussel Boys on the Tasman Peninsula, Meadowbank at Cambridge and others.

Did you say potatoes? Truffles? Venison or wallaby? And how about matching Tasmanian food with Tasmanian wine? All there in these pages of plenty, with wonderfully evocative photography, interesting historical snippets, along with harvesting, storing and cooking tips. LV

For more information check out the Culinary Historians web site

  1. Please could you inform me where I can purchase your books “When We Eat” “Before We Eat”
    Patricia Wilkes

    Posted by  on  13/12/2005  at  05:54 PM

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