Saturday, March 31, 2012

Tassie Foodie Heaven

Tasmania is foodie heaven.  Seriously.  It’s also wine snob heaven and beer lover heaven.  Basically, if you enjoy eating or drinking then you’ll enjoy Tasmania.  However many calories Tasmanians burn with all their hiking and outdoorsiness, they make up for with the incredible food and drink produced on the island.

Wine wine wine!  Tassie has a few great small wine regions.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to check out any wineries, but we made up for it with beer.  Beer beer beer!  We visited the Cascade Brewery – Australia’s oldest brewery – for a tour of the facilities followed by a tasting.  I have been to many microbreweries in the Seattle and Vancouver areas, but I had never toured a big commercial brewery like this.  It was pretty cool to see all of the beer being bottled so quickly:

Tasting time!  Pinkies up, boys…

We didn’t get a chance to visit Tasmania’s other big brewery – Boag’s in Launceston – but we did make sure to drink some while we were in its home state:

The Iron House Brewery was a small microbrewery in the middle of nowhere on Tasmania’s east coast.  While the brewery is new and small, it has a big restaurant area and great views over the water.

Cascade wasn’t the only big name factory we went to.  Cadbury’s produces the bulk of their Australian chocolate in Tassie, and while factory tours aren’t available, they have a visitor centre with a brief presentation on chocolate and a big ass chocolate shop with discount prices.  I got to pose with the Freddo Frog and Caramello Koala:

And Michael took his turn on the chocolate catwalk, sporting the purple bag of chocolates which is sure to be in season this fall.

The Salamanca Markets were another great place to get sweets.  We started the day off right with a jam doughnut and coffee:

The markets also featured fresh produce.  Tassie is famous for its apples, and more varieties exist here than on the mainland.  Living in Washington state for so long, I was spoiled by the apple selection.  In Tassie, I was pleasantly surprised to find my favourite Honeycrisp apples for purchase, and I quickly devoured one.  But for the full fruit experience, we went to Eureka Farm.  We got there too late to pick our own fruit, but we definitely partook in the eating of it.  Cade got himself a fancy, fruity, decadent dessert:

While Vince and I opted for the award-winning apricot ice cream.

And no, it wasn’t sorbet.  It was legit ice cream!

The apricot ice cream wasn’t the only ice cream we had on the trip.  We popped into the Melita Honey Farm to taste their honey ice cream.  We each got a little cup and devoured them quickly.  Delicioso!

Inside, there were walls of honey – dozens of varieties – and we tasted as many as we could (and purchased quite a few too).

For the option of sweet or savoury, we had lunch at the famous Mt Elephant Pancakes.  I obviously choose sweet!

And even the local cafes and restaurants had their own sweet concoctions, like this lime pop rocks cheesecake that I had on our night in Strahan.

Now, I’ve been focusing on the sweet treats here, but it wasn’t all sugary and delicious.  For every honey farmer and fruit grower, there was as small family-owned cheese maker or artisan bread baker to add to the Tassie foodie mix.  We cleaned up well on day one with our spread of breads, cheeses, relishes, and garnishes from the stands at the Salamanca Markets:

And while we couldn’t get all the way to the remote yet popular King Island Dairy, we made sure to purchase some of their product in the store for a little pre-dinner snack.

And for our main meal, you ask?  The boys were determined to eat some fried goodness from one of Hobart’s many fish and chips shops.  A cornucopia of fish each, coming right up!

And me?  I don’t eat fish.  But I had something else in mind.  When I think foodie heaven, there is one critical element which the boys successfully avoided when we passed by it in Hobart on our first night in town, but I was determined.  I made them go back to fulfill my wishes with some taco-flavoured kisses on night two.

Despite the strange carrot and purple cabbage garnish, the Mexican food is Tassie wasn’t half bad.

Taco, taco.

Burrito, burrito.


  1. Nice blog entry. Glad you guys enjoyed your time down here in Tassie, and all that is good in terms of beer, food and wine (in that order).

    Unfortunately scallops not in season, so you would have missed the Tasmanian National Dish, the curried scallop pie:

    Come back soon!

  2. Fantastic!! What a great trip around Tasmania. You've covered all the basics, but hopefully you'll find another reason to come back again.
    Cheers! Tania