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Food

Adam Liaw asks are we really what we eat?

In his new book, Destination flavour Adam Liaw examines the many cuisines of the world, so who better to ask, ‘what is  Australia’s food identity?’

The discussion on Australia’s food identity in this country might be the longest conversation we’ve ever had with the fewest words spoken. There’s no doubt we love our food, but we also find it difficult to put our finger on exactly what it is. 

Have you ever been asked by somebody abroad about Australian food, only to mumble something like “Oh, we eat all kinds of stuff…” and change the subject? How can we describe the taste of home?

The Pros

There are, of course, things we do very well. Our diversity of cuisine is the best in the world. We might assume the rest of the world eats as widely and as well as we do, but they don’t even come close. Our cuisine has drawn from all over for centuries, and we flit from one inspiration to the next with barely a thought. 

A chiko roll and a couple of dim sims might not seem the most exciting example of Australian food, but in the 1980s, for the descendants of Irish stew and siu mai respectively to sit together so comfortably and mainstream? It wouldn’t be possible in any other country.

Others may match us for British, American and European influence, but nowhere covers the breadth of Asian cuisines as well as we do, and that includes the countries of Asia. 

The overall quality of our produce is also truly impressive. There are many countries with greater biodiversity and where many ingredients surpass our quality, but as a complete package, if I could visit one good greengrocer, butcher and fishmonger in any country to make a meal, I’d do that right here at home.

For the full story and recipes from Adam, pickup a copy of the Sept/Oct 2018 Selector issue from all good newsagents, subscribe or look inside your next Wine Selectors delivery.

OUT NOW: Destination Flavour People and Places by Adam Liaw (Hardie Grant, RRP $50). 

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ZUMBO
Words by Mark Hughes on 12 Sep 2016
Adriano Zumbo has taken desserts from the final course to the star of the menu. now he’s taking Sweets to the next level with his own TV show. It seems like only yesterday that Adriano Zumbo was introduced to the world via his amazing croquembouche creation on MasterChef. Since then, he’s become a household name. His Zumbo patisseries have popped up all over the country, he’s had successful cookbooks, magazines covers (including two spectacular ones with Selector) and now has his own TV show. His story is well known. His Italian-born parents ran the local supermarket in Coonamble, in the mid-west of New South Wales. As a bright-eyed boy endowed with the wonderment of Willy Wonka, one of his heroes, the confectionary aisle is where Zumbo developed his love for all things sweet. He moved to Sydney at the tender age of 15 to start an apprenticeship with stints at Georges and Neil Perry’s Wokpool before heading to Europe for the World Pastry Cup to train in some of the best culinary institutions in Paris. After a few jobs back home, he took the plunge and opened his own shop in the Sydney suburb of Balmain in 2007. It’s been full steam Zumbo ever since. Popularity for his croquembouche has been eclipsed by his marvellous and myriad macaroon creations and they are by far the biggest seller at his seven successful Zumbo stores. They are also the focus for his second cookbook, Zumbarons (see his master Zumbaron recipe next page). So with all of this attention, it seems only natural that the next progression was to host his own TV show.
Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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