When it comes to Tasmania, many things float to mind, and delicious and interesting food is one of them. Tasmania is known for its fresh ingredients and is even called ‘the Apple Isle’, and the flavourful ingredients now supply restaurants like the Mudbar cafe in Launceston around Australia and even the world. But what are the most popular Tassie dishes and ingredients?
Did you know that no other country or region in the world supplies more wild abalone to the market than Tasmania? The coastline is rich with this shellfish and, as well as proving a core ingredient in many recipes, it’s fair to say that wild abalone is a dish in and of itself. Wild abalone has a meaty, juicy texture and a flavour that has restaurants all over the world crawling for a taste.
For those who have actually been to Tasmania, you’ll know that it’s impossible to leave without having tried a scallop pie. The locals love it, you’ll find them everywhere, and they taste delicious. This dish is quintessentially Tasmanian, and the scallops are cooked in a curry sauce before being poured into a crispy pastry.
Rye Whiskey Gravlax
Another core ingredient from Tasmania is farmed salmon, and they taste so fresh because the waters around Tasmania have managed to avoid pollution (unlike most other areas in the world). How do Tasmanians use this fresh salmon? One popular dish will see fish sliced thinly and marinated in a rye whiskey mix. The salmon itself is seasoned with sugar, salt, and pepper (don’t forget to remove the pin bones).
Depending on where you go, some will leave the fish to marinate for 12 hours (or overnight). The result is fresh salmon soaked through with flavour and a meal you’ll remember for a long time.
Shredded Pork and Dover Cherries
With this dish, it’s important to cook the pork in some onion and water because it allows you to shred the meat. While some people accompany shredded pork with potatoes and vegetables, others take advantage of the famous Tasmanian cherries to create a juicy filling for a pork pie or tart. As we saw with the salmon, season with salt and pepper, and you’re left with a mouth-watering meal.
Earlier, you learned that Tasmania is called the Apple Isle so it would be unforgivable to not address the succulent, delicious apples in the region. As an important crop for the people and the state, apples form the basis for the well-known apple cake. While some choose tart apples, others prefer sweet apples (and some even combine the two when making an apple cake!).
To make this particular cake, you’ll need sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder, and melted butter for the batter. After dicing or slicing the apples, add some flavour (and a zing!) with lemon zest, lemon juice, and cinnamon.
Other Tasmanian Ingredients
As well as these popular dishes, some ingredients and condiments used in cooking are native to Tasmania. For example, this includes Leatherwood honey taken by the beekeepers close to the blooming Leatherwood trees in western Tasmania’s valleys. Elsewhere, Tasmania was also the home to the first-ever black truffle which was found to the north of the state back in 1999. Chefs from Europe especially still rely on Tasmanian suppliers for truffles during certain parts of the year.
Other examples of Tasmanian ingredients include saffron, extra virgin olive oil, wasabi, and even beef. Why the last one? Because Tasmanian farmers don’t use antibiotic or hormone growth promotants. What’s more, no chemicals are used, and all cows are grass-fed.