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This Week's Food News - Xmas Cheer


IWI-131212
Published in the City Hub, Inner West Independent and City News.

WEBSydneyCoveOysterBar

In a tough economic year, I definitely noticed restaurants being less full across the board, so when it comes to Christmas, perhaps consider supporting one you love. You could either take advantage of a Christmas Day menu, or buy a gift voucher in lieu of a gift. (If you buy direct, you cut out funding coupon people over restaurants.) My suggestion would be a spot like the little talked about waterfront niche, Sydney Cove Oyster Bar. Their full Christmas menu is available on their spiffy new website, but rest assured it includes everything from prawns, oysters, scallops, sashimi and barramundi to double-smoked leg ham with all the trimmings. Adults will pay $125/head, and they’re not gouging on the overexcited and unlikely to really eat much kiddies either at $35/head. Plus there’s easily accessible ferries and no cleaning up…
www.sydneycoveoysterbar.com


Committed to a gift in a box? Okay for foodies like me, buy us a boutique product we would find it hard to justify the expense of often (it’ll be a treat). I tried three of this range of Eliunt Extra Version Olive Oil. While they’re pricy if you consider the amount of oil you get, as a (nicely packaged) gift box of three (RRP $23.95) or a compendium of ten ($74.95) they’d make for a cool group oil tasting adventure over the Xmas table. Take along some good quality (Infinity) sourdough by pretending it’s ‘just’ for lunch…
www.eliunt.com



Or screw gifts: just sit down with the people you love for a bloody good lunch. That said, Christmases at my place have been made or broken on the strength of the ham. For the last few years I’ve been buying mine from Melinda Dimitriades at Farmgate. She’s about as obsessed with the pig as I am; and her interest has led her toward the “revival of heritage breeds”. Biodiversity is good for the planet, so partially I like that she “sources Large Black breed pigs from a local Ebenezer farm and makes up to fifty different products.” (She was also a chef.) Rather than bandy about currently trendy terms like organic and sustainable, she pitches her products in words everyone understands: “clean, honest food and support for farmers and artisan producers who she now counts herself amongst”. Her hams are almost impossible to beat on flavour too…
www.farmgateshop.com.au



For a cool market idea within a pleasant drive of Sydney, head out to the Moss Vale Farmers and Flea Market running just before the big day on Saturday 22nd December from 8am to 1pm. It’s a good way to keep your spend out of shopping malls and supermarket giants, supporting local olives and oils from The Olive Lady, freshly baked artisan breads, and jams and pates from Lady Bucket that would work in gifts or on the Xmas table. You might even run into me...
www.highlandsfoodiegroup.com.au

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