No Whey! (Day 172)
A foodie day, to the Farmers Market, then on to Bruny Island to taste some of the delicious Artisan food and drink.
A friend of mine mentioned to us that we only needed 1 or 2 days in Tasmania. I won’t mention who – however, I am sure that they have never been here. It is lovely. We have 6 days here and wish it was more like 2 weeks. So much to see and do. The beautiful mountainous lush green scenery, golden beaches, groovy interesting people…what more does one want? We went off to the Farmers Market this morning, one stall that intrigued us was @cygnetmushroomfarm who grow mushrooms such as Shiitake, Chestnut, Nameko and Oyster varieties on imitation logs made from sawdust, grains and lime. I’ve always fancied growing mushrooms. Shame we couldn’t buy one, our 7kg luggage limit would be compromised. Our main aim today was to visit Bruny Island which our lovely host Anna recommended to us. An island off an island off an island. A population of about 620 people, made up of the North and South Island, separated by a narrow strip called “The Neck”. We arrived at Roberts Point from Kettering (having past Margate) and first drove to the Bruny Island Cheese Co. and Beer Co. for lunch. Nick Haddow, the owner and artisan of the splendid cheeses, spent 10 years working with specialist cheesemakers in Europe. He calls himself a traditionalist and believes passionately in the old way of making and maturing cheese. For him, cheese making is a pursuit of authenticity, integrity and flavour. Nick and his friend Evan Hunter have a shared love of artisan beers, and with Evan’s knowledge and skill, they built a unique Brewhouse in 2016 using recycled dairy equipment. They brew the beer in small batches, stirring everything by hand; quality is key for them We ate three kinds of cheese with sample glasses of 4 beers: • Tom: described as a “simple guy”, in the tradition of the Tomme cheese made in the French Savoie region. It’s a hard cheese and apparently likes being rubbed! • 1792: This is named from the year that the French arrived in Tasmania, soft, and hand-washed in Ale giving the cheese a complex flavour and aroma. • O.D.O: which stands for one day old. Fresh yummy tangy cheese marinated in olive oil with fresh garlic, herbs and spices. All eaten with delicious crusty bread, some quince paste and onion marinated in beetroot, and drunk down with the four taster glasses of ale: • 2018 Fresh Hop Harvest Ale: using fresh un-processed hops straight off the bine (that is not a spelling mistake!). Imagine mango and citrus with an undercurrent of pepper. • First Anniversary Braggot: Made from local Honey and Malted Barley. Imagine honey smeared on a warm loaf straight out of the oven. • Whey Stout: Inspired by the medicinal “milk” stouts from Victorian England, full-bodied and creamy; milk chocolate with a hint of bitterness. • Farm Ale: Made entirely from grain and hops from Tasmanian farms; tropical fruit and citrus with a refreshing bitterness. I am not normally a beer drinker, however, found all of these to be delicious and refreshing…either these were excellent or my palate is changing. A great lunch. One of the cheeses not included on our cheese board is called George, our son’s namesake. A semi-hard cheese which we look forward to eating later. We drove onto The Neck and parked up for the Truganini Lookout, a steep climb up to spectacular 360° panoramic views. It is named after a local Aboriginal lady, Truganini and there was a plaque describing her horrendous life. She saw her mother killed by sailors, her uncle shot by a soldier, her sisters abducted by sealers, and her fiancé brutally murdered by timber cutters, who then repeatedly sexually abused her. What was it about these people at that time? In 1830, she was moved to Flinders Island with the last surviving Tasmanian Aboriginals, just approx. 100 of them. Many died of flu and other diseases. Eight years later taken to a settlement for mainland Aboriginals at Port Phillip. She then became an outlaw and was eventually captured in 1842, returning to Flinders Island. By 1861 there were only 14 surviving aboriginals of Tasmania from 10 tribes. Near the end of her life, Truganini feared that her body would be used for scientific purposes and her remains would be in a museum for public viewing. She even pleaded for a respectful burial. Sadly her skeleton was put on display at Hobart Museum until 1947. Finally, the Palawa people, modern Aboriginal Tasmanians, reclaimed Truganini’s remains in 1976, 100 years after her death, she was cremated and her ashes were scattered close to her birthplace. It beggar’s belief that these atrocities took place, and even more sad that this kind of thing is still happening around the world. I really do hope that there is a huge movement to finally bring peace and respect to all of humankind. Later this evening we had a very long chat with our host Anna about the Stolen Generation where Aboriginal children were forcibly removed from their families by the government agencies from about 1905 to 1970. These children have lost their identity, a sense of love and trust. Many have turned to drink and drugs to try and remove the torment from their minds and this has sadly affected the next generation. I need to investigate this further. It seems that this dreadful situation is being brushed under the carpet. Back to Bruny Island, after climbing up the steps, seeing the incredible views and then walking along the beach, we hopped back into the car and drove to The Bruny Island Chocolate Company owned by Michael and Bob. We had a taste of their dark chocolate fudge – oh my – delicious. We just had to buy some. These chaps were such characters. We had a selfie photo with them and they insisted I wore one of their caps with “Come” on the front and “to Tasmania” on the back. One of them showed me their other interest. No way!, If you dare to look at their website “come” – please be warned that it’s for the broad-minded over 18-year-olds! Please, if you ever decide to come to Tasmania, and we highly recommend it, give yourself at least two weeks – it is a fabulous place. So many wonderful walks, so many great things to do and so many fabulous people to meet and so much history that needs to be understood.