Saturday 5 January 2019

The Taste of Tasmania

Every year over summer, The Taste of Tasmania is run in Hobart for one week over the new year period (this year celebrating its 30 year anniversary). A large number of stallholders from across Tasmania come to Princes Wharf on Hobart's waterfront to set up their stalls, offering a range of Tasmania's best produce and cuisines, as well as a variety of wines, beers and spirits.

Unlike the Dark Mofo Winter Feast that is held in June, entry into the Taste of Tasmania is free (with the exception of New Year's Eve), so you can enjoy a leisurely wander around the stalls without having to pay for entry into the area. We decided to check out the Taste of Tasmania last Sunday evening, which was its third day of operation this year, so the crowds weren't too chaotic.

After doing a bit of a scout of the numerous outside stalls, I started off with a gin and tonic, followed by a fresh and juicy pork dumpling from Deep End Farm. We then ventured inside into the main hall and through to the atrium (which was made all the more enjoyable by the live music in the sunshine) where we headed to Munchies Street Food for a Korean fried chicken bao (for me) and a pork belly bao (for Dave). Inside the main hall, we couldn't go past a pulled pork taco from Mount Gnomon Farm (one of our favourite meat producers from the north-west coast), washed down with a sparkling wine from Goaty Hill Wines.

Feeling rather satisfied in terms of savoury dishes, we decided it was time to check out some of the sweet options. Having eyed off the donuts from Circle of Life earlier, we headed back to their stall where Dave got a lemon meringue donut, and I chose the golden gaytime donut, which I saved for morning tea the next day, so that I could fit in one of the incredible sundaes from Big Bessie. I went for the Amy Winehouse special, which was made up of homemade vanilla soft serve topped with chocolate brownies, caramel sauce, peanuts and a fizzy sherbet topping. With just enough room left in our bellies, we decided to get a serve of churros with apple caramel dipping sauce from Urban Bounty Paella to snack on, while sitting back and enjoying a bit of people watching to end the evening.

Because one trip to Taste wasn't enough, we decided to head in again on Wednesday around lunchtime. While still fairly busy, the numbers were slightly fewer than on Sunday evening, so it was again a very enjoyable experience wandering around the stalls in the sun. We both decided to head back to Munchies Street Food for a Korean fried chicken bao each, washed down with a McHenry's gin and tonic for me and a Gillespie's ginger beer for Dave. Dave then went for a cider-infused sausage and bun from Harlequin Meats, while I thought I'd try a salmon slider on brioche from Fishmania (along with a gin, watermelon and mint drink for me, and a cider for Dave).
For dessert, we both ventured back to Big Bessie, where Dave got the Amy Winehouse sundae, and I opted for the vanilla soft serve with honey roasted cornflakes and caramel. We couldn't go past the temptation of getting some more Circle of Life donuts to take home, so this time I went for the lemon meringue while Dave tried the creme brulee.
It is understandable why so many tourists come to Hobart at this time of year, not just for the Sydney to Hobart yacht race or the incredible long summer days, but also to sample a range of Tasmania's finest produce all in one place. I am definitely looking forward to this time next year to sample even more amazing produce from the Taste of Tasmania festival.

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