There’s a wonderful foodie secret tucked away in the north-eastern suburbs of Adelaide. It’s not really a secret for most of the local food tragics who are happy to drive from one side of town to the other for some of their specialties, but I suspect many tourists to Adelaide, foodie or otherwise, are completely in the dark about the gastronomical pleasures that can be found just 15 minutes out of the CBD on the Flavours of Campbelltown Food Trail. I’m one of the aforementioned tragics and regularly pack the car with shopping bags and chiller containers to get my regular dose of the comestible goodies that seem to pop out from around every corner in the City of Campbelltown.
The City of Campbelltown has a rich cultural mix of residents living within it’s boundaries and this is reflected in the vibrant food culture of the area, with many successful food production businesses having established themselves and more casting an interested eye in the same direction. In 2010, the council launched a sef-guided Food Trail booklet to showcase their growing food credentials. Clearly the secret is getting out and, as more hungry visitors come seeking sustenance, the initial offering of nine food businesses on the food trail has now grown to over 20 and been joined by several restaurants, cafés and businesses offering accommodation.
The range of food producers who are now open to the public as part of the Food Trail is enticing and it is possible for the hungry taste-trekker to indulge every possible food group within the space of just a few kilometres. While it is still possible to enjoy the experience as a self-guided tour, the council are now offering group bus tours which can be booked to take in a preferred selection of treats. Earlier this week I joined in on one of these tours, hosted by the City of Campbelltown. As I mentioned, I’m no stranger to the treats tucked away in Campbelltown, but I was thrilled to find new favourites to add to my list.
We visited five locals and enjoyed the most amazing hospitality from all of them. These producers are passionate about what they are doing and proud of their product, with good reason as far as I can tell. Our first stop was for coffee and a nibble or two at Salta In Bocca, a brand that is familiar to patrons of Adelaide Farmers Market. Producing a delicious range of almond breads, biscotti and macarons, owners Therese and Andreas Carstensen have turned this small family business into a successful gourmet brand without compromising on their standards. Therese insists on using the best local produce that she can find for her baked goods and she’s really not kidding about this. She even showed me the almonds that she insists on as she prefers the contrast of the darker skin against the creamy, pale flesh of the nut in her finished, sliced almond bread – those are standards!
Our next stop was at the home of the absolutely delightful Kumar family. With a background of North Indian traditional cuisine, Vinne and Ash Kumar produce a range of Indian curries and snacks which are available through their website, The Kumars. They have now expanded and their food is found at various markets and the Sturt Football Club as well as on their table at home – where, if you have pre-booked, you can actually join them for a genuine, home made Indian feast. I think a wonderful time there is pretty much guaranteed – the warm and ebullient Ash is a wonderful host and Vinne’s divine food is prepared without any MSG or preservatives.
From there we made our way to Elbio‘s All About Sweets, a cafe and wholesale patisserie owned and overseen by the no less gregarious Elbio Perez. Elbio hales from Uruguay and wears his heart on his sleeve when it comes to the business he has built here in South Australia. Established in 2002, he produces a range of gourmet cakes, pastries and gluten-free products which are now found in more than 300 cafes and specialty cake shops across Adelaide and Melbourne. You can just drop by and try some of his signature Massini Chantilly cake with a coffee, or pre-book and enjoy a tour of the bakery he is so very proud of.
Our next stop is a very special favourite of mine and one that stirs much passion in both myself and The Bloke, although for different reasons. Mercato is the kind of continental deli that my dreams are made of and a place that I drop into several times a year to stock up on many of my culinary favourites, buy some Italian wine for a special occasion, or brush up on my kitchen skills at one of their many classes. Their huge range of imported and locally produced cheeses, smallgoods, confectionary, Italian wines, cookbooks and anything else you might need to create authentic Italian cuisine makes my heart swell every time I walk in their door. It also brings tears to the eyes of my dear husband – tears of joy and little squeals of pleasure as he rummages through my shopping bags on my return home and then tears of a different sort when he finds out just how much I’ve managed to spend there. Again.
Our final stop of the day was at a spot that would be easy to miss – but a mistake if you do so. Java Lifestyle Coffee and Tea is tucked away inside the Newton Shopping Centre – not a place I would ever have looked for gourmet coffee and tea. Another family owned business, this store has only been opened since 2011 but boasts what is claimed to be the first espresso coffee machine in Adelaide which was installed by Mario Gabrielli in his iconic Glynde store in 1956. His son, also Mario, now carries on the family tradition blending and roasting coffee on the premises and selling a large range of teas, coffee machines and coffee making accessories. Next time I go for a smash-and-grab at Mercato I might just drop The Bloke here for the duration – it would make him very happy.
All the details of the Flavours of Campbelltown Food Trail can be found on their website here. For a taste of all of these and many of the other food producers on the Food Trail, as well as 120 artisan stalls and live entertainment, I’d suggest making a date to get to the Moonlight Markets at Thorndon Park. The Moonlight Markets are held from 6-10 pm and this summer will be on 1 November, 6 December, 7 February and 7 March.
Lambs’ Ears and Honey was a guest of The City of Campbelltown for this taste of the Flavours of Campbelltown Food Trail.[mc4wp_form id="16750"]