The 2011 round of the Good Food and Wine Shows opened in Melbourne last weekend, showcasing some of the country’s best producers and their quality wares. Melbourne foodies and I flocked to the venue from 10am to sample, taste, discover, and judging by the amount of wheelie shopping bags around, shop for some good, show-only bargains.
As a passionate foodie, I visited the show to get a preview of what’s coming to Sydney in July. As a wholesome cook and an avid label-reader, I visisted the show to look for new developments in the natural snackfoods and basic pantry staple range.
I was after low or no additives, natural ingredients, low or no added sugar and little saturated fat. One condition: they needed to taste awesome, not just good. The reason for this is that many of those products are ‘traditionally’ highly processed and additive-laden, yet they are an easy choice to fill up kids’ lunch boxes and often end up as snacks on our own tables. Why not reach for the better options when they are just as easy to get and just as affordable?
And so, with camera in hand, I set off to find 5 of my favourite producers who are committed to reducing or eliminating nasty additives, and who are planning to showcase their products at the GFWS in other cities. If you are going to visit the show, make sure to pay them a visit and pick up a product or two. But before I count down my top 5, I’d like to announce a…
Giveaway (now closed)!!!
Up for grabs is a 6 pack of Tucker’s Natural cracker selection, courtesy of Sam Tucker and his company, Tucker’s Natural. The prize consists of 1x savoury crackers in poppy seed, 1x savoury crackers in rosemary and rocksalt, 1x dessert crackers in vanilla, 1x dessert crackers in chocolate, 1x multifibre crackers in capsicum and feta + 1x pack of your choice from the entire selection.
To enter simply leave a comment on this post. Entries close Sunday, 19 June, 2011 at midnight AEST. A random comment will be drawn on Monday, 20 June, 2011 and the winner notified soon after by email.
5 of my favourite Good Food and Wine Show product finds
Tucker’s natural crackers
“100% natural, handmade, yeast and preservative free, all Tucker’s Natural products are made from only the freshest and finest local raw ingredients so that you can see and taste the real flavour and goodness in every bite.”
You don’t often come across crackers that are preservative, MSG and other additive free, yet they taste so delicious. Tucker’s Natural crackers taste great because only the best fresh, natural ingredients and traditional hand-made methods are used in their production.
On top of the original cracker range the offering includes two more irresistible products: one savoury and one sweet. The savoury Multifibre cracker contains both soluble and insoluble fibre to help cleanse the digestive system, while you get to enjoy the crunchy texture in one of the three tasty new flavours: capsicum and feta, tomato and basil, caramelised onion and cheddar. The crackers are big enough to use with dips – a perfect, healthier option for parties or just a night in.
The sweet dessert crackers, I hope to have your attention now, comes in Vanilla, Chocolate, Honey and Coffee. Subtly sweet so as not to detract from your favourite topping, yet delicious enough to eat as a healthier natural snack on their own. Think light dessert or as a healthy alternative to commercially made biscuits for the kids’ afternoon tea. I would even go as far as topping my Vanilla cracker with goat’s cheese and dried sour cherries, can you imagine? Pure deliciousness.
Available from Coles, Woolworths, IGA, Costco, David Jones, Thomas Dux and other stockists.
Anathoth Jams and Pickles
“Anathoth has been making great tasting jam for 22 years using a traditional recipe of just fruit and sugar, boiled ’til it sets. We don’t use additives; no added pectin, preservatives, colour or flavour. We’re proud that we are a family business making good old-fashioned, wholesome jam.”
I’ve discovered Anathoth jam at last year’s GFWS actually. A little pottle of their Boysenberry jam was included in one of the showbags I picked up. It was all that a jam should be: sweet, lightly tart, just set and all the little bits of the fruit were in it. None of that uniform, jelly-set stuff that you get from other brands. It smelt like the fruit it was made from. Gorgeous, and not just on bread. I even used it to accompany a savoury dish: my chicken, brie and pistachio parcels.
When I saw the stand I had to take a closer peek. In addition to a good range of jams – Rhubarb and red berry might just be my new favourite, Anathoth has recently launched a new range of all natural chutneys. They include a Tomato Relish, Farmstyle Pickle & Zucchini Pickle and are gorgeous as well.
Now the other best thing about the product is that it is very affordable: a 475g pottle of jam costs $3.99. Try it and you won’t want to go back.
Available from Coles and Woolworths.
Go Natural Australia
“At Go Natural we are extremely proud of the products we bring to market from the very indulgent Macadamia Dream or yoghurt coated fruits through to the very healthy Super Foods and 100% All Fruit products. With a lot of mis-information in the media we have decided to show you we have nothing to hide.”
I’ve always been a big fan of the Go Natural snack nut bar range because it’s full of natural ingredients and flavours, so much so you can taste the difference. Now, you will appreciate how excited I was when I heard the company was going one better: their new No Numbers range has completely eliminated the use of any ingredient that has a number in its name (think preservatives, additives, antioxidants).
One of the new products, which I will definitely be finding a lot more in my snackbox, is the minimalist fruitnut bar which is very similar in concept to the Lärabar. My favourite? 4 ingredients: dates, coconut, cocoa, almonds. That’s it. How good is that? Marvellous, if you ask me.
Mix My Muesli
“Ingredients are the cornerstone of Mix My Muesli. We’ve scoured Australia for the most nutritious and healthy ingredients, and hand-picking the best suppliers. Most of our ingredients are 100% natural, no added sugar and preservative free.”
Mix My Muesli is Australia’s first custom-made muesli service. There is no added sugar and most ingredients are additive free. You simply go on the website and start mixing, adding those ingredients you love and leave ones the ones you hate. Not a big fan of dried pineapple, but love your young coconut? Why not add double? The company also offers a range of pre-mixed muesli packs.
Your muesli comes in a sleek, air-tight container, and for an extra charge you can even create your custom label and have your muesli custom-named. The website remembers your choices so re-ordering is easy.
Available online plus $3.99 postage anywhere in Australia, but if you live in Melbourne you can pick up pre-mixed packs from various stockists around town.
Bobble water bottle
“Meet bobble – a revolutionary filtered water bottle, that takes care of the planet, keeps your body hydrated, your wallet fat and your taste buds satisfied – all while looking good doing it.”
The bottle has been designed from 100% recyclable materials and is completely BPA, PVC and phthalates free, making it one of the safest bottles on the market. Both for your health and the environment as a single filter is able to purify an equivalent of 300 plastic drink bottles.
There are a number of sizes and colour options to choose from, from small kids versions to 1litre bottles that you can keep on your desk, keeping you hydrated on pure fresh water all day long. And they are really, very affordable. The popular 550ml / 18.5oz size bobble water bottle retails for A$14.95.
Available from these stockists.
Good food and wine show in other cities
If you’ve missed out on the Melbourne show, do not despair the show is coming to Sydney, Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane over the coming months so if you plan ahead you can still make it – click on your city’s name for a full program and to buy tickets. Each show will be slightly different, focussing on showcasing producers of the respective regions. Ine of the highlights of the Sydney GFWS (July 1-3), for exanple, will be hands on chocolate making classes by Adora Chocolates and butchery classes by none other than Victor Churchill. But get your tickets early – they will sell out.