HEALTHY GOURMET SURPRISES

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A request! Please read what follows very carefully. Not only  will your gourmet tastebuds be satisfied but you will also glean amazing health tips that are not only useful but also usable.

I write from the heart-stoppingly beautiful heart shaped island country of Tasmania and am delighting in it’s healthy gourmet qualities. Ofcourse we all know about that it is Australia’s smallest state, has the most astonishing and diverse natural beauty, is a haven for wildlife, but I had no clue that Tasmania produced one of the highest quality of saffron in the world or that Sheeps milk cheese is infinitely more healthy than cows milk cheese. I taste my way through the picturesque landscape and here’s what I find…

SUPERSAFFRON

I always thought that saffron (the most expensive spice valued for it’s intense unique color, flavor and medicinal properties) was cultivated in Spain, Italy, France, Greece, Turkey, Iran, and ofcourse in Jammu & Kashmir. Imagine my surprise when I find it here too. That is, the crocus flower from whose  dried “stigma” saffron is produced grows here too. And behind it   are the most gentle but enterprising couple Terry  and Nick Noonan. They not only lay out a tray of yummies (scones, cheese) infused with their fine saffron but also explain how their “saffron tea” can heal macular degeneration, is rich in antioxidants  has antiseptic, antidepressant, anti-oxidant, digestive benefits too. Its a delight to see the saffron fields, to taste it…and to take home “saffron tea” for a friend with eye problems and the organic saffron for cooking up my “biryani” and “kheer”

KYA CHEESE HAI

Can cheese really be good for cholesterol watchers? Or be okay for those with lactose intolerance? “Yes! sheeps milk cheese is”, the young and brilliant Nicole Gilliver at Grandewe Cheese farms informs me.Sure!  Sheeps’ milk contains Vitamins A, B, D & E which are all essential to good health but did you know that Sheeps’ milk can contain up to three times more protein than cows’ or goats’ milk? Or that the calcium levels in sheeps’ milk are double that found in cows’ milk? But what blows my mind is that  those who are lactose intolerant can enjoy sheeps milk and it’s cheese because  there is  scientific evidence that proves the lactose in sheeps’ milk is far more tolerated than that from other milks. Since I do tend to be lactose intolerant I happily tuck into

Nicole Gilliver’s amazing variety of cheese. The well-informed Kim Dudson of Bespoke Tasmania takes me through even more of the healthy gourmet surprises here. I love the lightness and freshness of the Spring cheese. The richness of the vine wrapped one which she has created here. And the cheese is brilliantly paired with “pino paste” the sweet tangy paste from skins of pinto noir grapes. And we top off our fabulous cheese tasting with the amazing   Whey liquor and creamy rich

Sheeps milk icecream. All of this produced in Nicole’s family run. Grandewe 80 acre farm.

 

GINSENG REIGNS

Yet another surprise was walking into the Ginseng farm, especially since I thought that this was a root grown only in Asia. Well established as a, stimulant, and even useful in type II diabetes treatment, or cure for sexual dysfunction in men.Ive had Ginseng in energy drinksherbal teas and thrilled to find it in so many different forms here in Tassy. Grown here by the enterprising German couple Ziggy and Angelika Pyka of 41 degrees, along with their amazing bio-friendly salmon farm. I not only thrill in the walk but also enjoy the robust flavors of the salmon lunch.

 

PORT SMOKED

Okay! So Im well acquainted with the flavors, textures and health benefits of Smoked salmon, but imagine my surprise when I come across port barrel smoked salmon, rich in smokey, woody flavors? Doing this is the colorful Roger Scales  of Woodbridge who gets these barrels from France and it takes  6 days to complete the process. And the difference shows. In the Superb smoked Ocean trout too.

 

AN APPLE A DAY

Justifiably known as the “apple isle” Tasmania not only has over 800 variety of apples, but also it’s own apple museum and research centers. Im thrilled to visit these and also the 130 year old,  fourth generation Willy Smith and sons  organic aple farm and get a taste of their refreshing apple cider.  Bursting with goodness and health,, these crunchy apples delight .”An apple a day, surely  keeps the doctor away”

P.S. The final healthy fact that blows me away is that this heart shaped island has the worlds (Yes!) purest air and this is continouosly  scientifically monitored in Cape Grim.

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