A Food & Travel Blog

The 2016 Symposium of Australian Gastronomy

16/12/2016 | By

The Symposium of Australian Gastronomy was first held in Adelaide in 1984. This year I attended as it came of age in Melbourne.

Symposium of Australian Gastronomy - madeleines & lamingtons for morning tea

What do Australian food thinkers have for morning tea? Madeleines & lamingtons, of course! (See Proust.)

On the first weekend in December this year I beetled over to Melbourne to attend a feast for both my brain and belly –  the 21st Symposium of Australian Gastronomy


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Terra Madre Salone del Gusto 2016

05/10/2016 | By

Lambs’ Ears braves the teeming hordes at Slow Food’s Terra Madre Salone del Gusto 2016 to share a remarkable food experience. 

various types of beans at terra madre

ALL the beans!

In an effort to ensure that you, dear reader, are not feeling totally neglected while I am on holidays in sunny Italy I want to share a brief taste of the wonderful experience that is Slow Food’s Terra Madre Salone del Gusto. 


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Cambodian Food Production – Three Rural Producers

29/08/2016 | By

Cambodian food production is still largely in the hands of small producers. I met three of these & observed a less industrialised form of food production.

Cambodian food production and a cow

Living our busy lives in our heavily industrialised world, It can be easy to forget that not everyone gets their food the same way we do.


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The Porta Palazzo Market, Turin

18/01/2016 | By

A wander around Turin’s Porta Palazzo Market, the largest open-air market in Europe.

markets, Porta Palazzo

One thing that really stands out about the food culture of Italy is the abundance of fresh food markets in each city. The locals tend to shop for fresh produce daily, rather than doing the weekly (soul-destroying, IMHO) shop which is more the norm here in Australia. This means that, for the most part, people are eating fresh, local, seasonal produce  – a much better way to stay connected to the food system.

porta palazzo markets, Turin

Porta Palazzo markets, quail eggs

When visiting Torino (Turin) last year at least one market visit was high on my list of priorities. The city has 42 open-air markets and six covered markets dotted around the neighbourhoods and on our second day in the city we visited the most significant, the Porta Palazzo Market.

Porta Palazzo Market, eggplant

The Porta Palazzo Market takes it’s name from the ancient gate which marked the entry to the Roman town of Augusta Taurinorum and is the largest open-air market in Europe. It is open six days a week and boasts 800 stalls spread over a 50,000 square metre space, surrounded by four  covered markets – a clothing market, a fish market and two other food markets, plus various stores, cafes and restaurants.

Porta Palazzo market artisan cheese

Gorgeous , little handmade cheeses direct from the producer at Porta Palazzo Market, Torino

Unusually, part of this space is also shared by up to 100 farmers market stands, with the farmers travelling in to sell their produce direct to the public – making it one of the few places where city folk can come into daily contact with the people who grow their food.

Porta Palazzo market, fragrant herbs

porta palazza market tomatoes

Honestly, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to be bothered with a sterile shopping centre when there is so much more pleasure to be had buzzing around these intriguing stalls which sell just about anything one could need. From vegetables, oils, cold cuts, cheese, breads, local delicacies and flowers to clothing, shoes, household goods, second-hand goods, jewellery – you name it, someone there will be selling it, guaranteed.

offal meat, Porta Palazzo market

Offal – all the spare bits ready to cook at the Porta Palazzo Market

Porta Palazzo market seafood

Fabulous, fresh seafood at Porta Palazzo Market

Porta Palazzo Market, pesce sciabola

Pesce Sciabola – also called Silver SCabbard Fish – a local deep-water favourite.

Porta Palazzo Market, sometimes known as ‘Torino’s kitchen’, is much more than just a food source for the city of Torino, though, and is recognised as a local cultural and social hub, for both Italians and migrants to the city. The importance of the market is such that an anthropological study, “Porta Palazzo: The Anthropology of an Italian Market”, has been published using this market as an example to show how important such centres are for the culinary culture and social life of cities.

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Filipino Street Food – Barbecue Heaven!

07/07/2014 | By

To say that I ate well while in the Philippines for the KitchenAid Gourmet Summit earlier this year would be a gross understatement. Every time I turned around there was another fabulous dining experience waiting for me – and I’m talking gourmet dining three times a day –  so I didn’t really have the stomach space to try their local street food, but I was glad to have the chance to check it out.


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The Culinary Backstreets of Barcelona

07/04/2014 | By

Barcelona is a vibrant, buzzing city, but even world-famous party towns need to have some down time and, if Barcelona could ever be said to get quiet, I guess it would be in the public holidays immediately after new years celebrations – just when we were visiting. Even so, there was no shortage of action to be found in the gracious streets of this beautiful city, including my favourite pastime – attending a food tour. Accordingly, 9.30am in the chill of the new year of 2014 found my husband, daughter and me loitering on a very quiet Barcelona street corner waiting to meet up with our guide from Culinary Backstreets for their Barcelona food tour.


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