Tasmania’s biggest food and wine festival spanned across the Christmas-New Year week and attracted more exhibitors and food lovers than ever before.
The seven-day The Taste Festival, which is gaining notoriety around the country, drew around 320,000 people to Hobart’s waterfront Salamanca Bay. Included in the 120-stall set up were a large number of bread products, pastries, pies, chocolates and confectionary.
The French-themed stall Café de Paris had a selection of fritters and crepes; the sweet varieties of which were accompanied with locally-sourced raspberries, hot raspberry sauce, chocolate sauce, ice cream and cream.
Something Sweet stallholder Kristy Hodge also had a range of homemade-style desserts, including pancakes with fresh fruit, meringue, chocolate ice cream and poffertjes with chocolate sauce.
Festival-goers couldn’t get enough of Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm Café’s locally sourced berries, with the stall’s baked raspberry cheesecake the standout performer.
“It’s berry heaven!” said one of Christmas Hills’ stall-holders.
“Fresh Tasmanian raspberries at their natural best, decadent Meander Valley double cream, our famous Christmas Hills Raspberry ice cream, raspberry sundaes and chocolate coated raspberries.”
There were also some clever combinations of pastry, meat and alcohol from the Tasman Peninsula, freshly made every day of the week-long festival.
At The Spirit of The Tasman stall, Australia’s southern-most distillery brought visitors a selection of whisky inspired foods. Gourmet game pies including whisky and venison, scallops and vodka, juniper and wallaby were on the menu. And for those wanting to follow up with something sweet, a selection of gourmet ice-creams were available, including chocolate, cointreau and whisky butterscotch.
The Taste Festival is Tasmania’s single largest event in terms of visitor numbers, with a third of festival attendees traveling from interstate and overseas.
“This is a serious event and one we’re very proud of,” Hobart City Council spokesperson Alderman Marti Zucco told the Australian Associated Press.
“We’re very excited about it every year, and just walking through the event preparation and seeing it build up, it’s absolutely fantastic.”
As part of the event, stalls were judged on the taste and quality of the food and wine, the presentation of the stall, the visual appeal of the food, creative use of produce and Tasmanian content.
Among the skilled judging panel included television cooking personality and author Janelle Bloom, Consuming Passions celebrity chef Ian Parmenter, owner of Pure South restaurant Philip Kennedy, and owner of Bottega Rotollo Silvana Taurian.