14 April - by Suzanne Le Page Langlois
Words by Suzanne Le Page Langlois
The warm hospitality of South Australia is famous, especially related to its wineries, restaurants and food producers – and visitors to Rundle Mall get a taste of this at Tasting Australia’s Urban Pantry and Cellar Door.
The Urban Pantry venue is proving very popular with passersby, with queues out the door.
Tastefully decorated with fruit trees, ferns and hydrangeas, the pantry has staff offering a warm welcome as they serve multiple tastings of cheeses, meats and condiments.
They’re also happy to discuss the provenance and producers. For example, an outstanding cheese called “Monet Goat Cheese with Flowers” by Woodside Cheese Wrights leads to a discussion about the company’s series of cheeses named after famous painters, including Picasso and Pissaro.
The friendly atmosphere lends itself to lively conversations between the diverse visitors, who compare their reactions to the various products, with many resolving to pursue them at the Adelaide Central Market.
My farewell taste of a Haigh’s Dark Raspberry Caramel might also lead to a visit to Haigh’s chocolate store on the way home.
Directly opposite the pantry is the Cellar Door, a bar where samples of South Australian wines and spirits are available for tasting.
The current Australia-wide interest in locally made gins is spiralling. An interesting new spirit is Lyrebird Gin, produced in the Adelaide CBD and first released last December.
As producer Hugh Lumsden poured samples for tasting, he described how he and his production partner harvest indigenous botanicals from all over Australia, with their resulting gin aiming for strawberry and lemon myrtle notes.
He is proud that it reflects, “the smell of the outback.”
Despite the inclement weather on Saturday, the activity in the Urban Pantry and Cellar Door proves Tasting Australia remains at the cutting edge for successfully presenting new techniques and varieties of food, wine and spirits.