Second day of my super quick stay in Hobart and I was lucky enough to be staying just a block from the Hobart Farmers’ Market. One of the smallest Farmers Market I have been to for a while, but filled with stalls that I could have happily bought from each and every one. These markets are a little different to my local one, as only the people that actually grow, raise, produce or pick the goodies can sell here. (Got to love that.)
Two stand outs for me were…
Grandvewe Cheeses– a certified organic sheep cheesery located in Birchs Bay. The cheeses truly delicious, but the Vanilla Whey liqueur…ooo la laa! Holy smokes that was tasty. After a little rearranging of my hand luggage, a bottle of this delectable beauty was popped in. I’m a big fan of anything vanilla, but this took vanilla to another level. If you had told me before I had tasted it, I would be grasping a bottle of fermented sheep’s whey, (a by-product from cheese making) infused with vanilla bean… I would probably have cocked an eye brow and looked a little sceptical. Sold by the lovely James and his charming French companion, (whom I rudely forgot to ask his name). A bottle of this stuff would be worthy of either visiting the markets for, or stopping off at The Cheesery door. Great on ice cream, a dash in an espresso or just straight.
My second stand out for the Farmers Markets was meeting and talking with Matthew Evans. *sigh* Yes I got to meet my idol. I managed to not turn in to a puddle of nerves…just, and would have happily grilled him with questions for the whole morning on all things rare breed, slow food, sustainable and Tasmanian living. However, at the risk of looking like a complete crazed stalker… I didn’t. I also didn’t get to taste any of his Rare Food free range piggy products as I had a plane to catch, (but they did look delicious). Looking over the products, reminded me of what bacon was supposed to look like. I can only imagine how it would taste. Matthew and his business partner Ross, use heritage breed pigs for their products, (at the moment Wessex Saddleback and Berkshire) and this week these same pigs would be fed a tasty diet of cherries, to enhance that delectable sweet meat on their ample bodies.
So why am I a Mr Evans fan? Because watching his series, (and reading his blog) Gourmet Farmer gives me hope that one day my family and I can achieve something similar. A city person learning to do things from scratch. Anyone that is willing to swap a city life to one of rare breed rearing, artisan producing and taking a stand for what they believe in regarding what goes on a dinner plate…I have to applaud.
This is the life I aspire to. A life in the stunning Tasmanian countryside, peppered with some of the best food products in the country. Not a life of ease and convenience, but one of taste and ethics. Real food, that is simple, and yet complex and intricate on the palate. Real food that’s produced by that fella down the road or that lady over the hill. All enhanced by like minded people in a community setting that inspires others to strive to do what they feel passionate about.
The fact that Matthew Evans and his fellow food producers seem to be doing this, inspires me.
So for the moment, he will continue to be my ‘pin up’ Gourmet Farmer. As this lets me dream, of a land with hundreds of varieties of heirloom apples and free range heritage breed pigs when I am standing on a busy city intersection, waiting to cross and engulfed in car exhaust fumes.