At Harvest | 20th August, 2022

The best and worst, extraordinary claims, toast, and the Davids.

Tasmania is the best state in this country. At Harvest, we’re certain of this. Think about it, the cleanest air, the purest water, obviously the natural environment. But there are other, more subtle things that put us at the top of the list. Tasmania has given the world the Davids (Boon, Foster, Walsh), and IMAS, and the scallop pie. We’ve also not produced any infuriating Aussie-oligarchs (ozzigarchs?) like those westerners or northerners (looking at you Rhinehart and Palmer). These crass morons even lack the sophistication of their Russian and European counterparts. No Rolls Royces or Meditteranean villas for Clive, he built a dinosaur park. In regional Queensland. Great job Clive! Dickhead. I digress though.

There are innumerable other traits that combine to make Tasmania greater than the sum of its parts. We are though, unfortunately, the poorest, most overweight, and least literate of the states. Which is a sorry state of affairs, perhaps reflected in two of the three Davids.

Be part of the solution

At Harvest, we like to think of ourselves as part of the solution to at least the overweight part of these social problems. Wages growth and literacy are somewhat outside our remit. But food things we can handle. It’s out jam.

This is why we partner with Eat Well Tasmania every season to bring you some recipes, pro-tips and a live cooking demo at the market. Ordinarily we simply focus on EWT’s What’s in Season campaign, aimed at getting Tasmanians across the socio-economic spectrum to be thinking about and eating seasonal food.

On Saturday at Harvest though, we’re kicking it up a notch and bringing you two recipes, live and direct. Not only that, but we’re giving you a taste of some other content we’re developing with Eat Well Tasmania too. Back to Basics – a campaign that focuses on basic cooking skills for people with less-than-ideal cooking equipment in their kitchens. Plus, Waste-Not, that is focused on reducing food waste in delicious ways in economically uncertain times. Geez even when talking about a cooking demo we manage to sneak in some macro-economic chat. We really need to stop flogging that horse.

Sneaky Chef

Surely you’ve noticed that we’re sneaking in narratives around cooking and recipes at this point in the newsletter. This is partly to keep with the narrative style of the newsletter. Mostly it is because we don’t have a kitchen in which to test, photograph and publish recipes. So we figured we’d just talk a little about what we’re eating and how we’re cooking it. This serves the same purpose and we can’t be held responsible if your dinner is substandard. Don’t even suggest we publish untested recipes, Rhys will have a fit.

This week we’ve been on the toastie train. Toot toot. Rhys has a toastie almost religiously on a Saturday morning at the market. In fact, Rhys basically lives on toast, toasties and all things toast adjacent. Which is why, when he came into the Harvest offices exclaiming he’d made the single greatest toastie of his life, we took him seriously. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. We simply had to know what was in this toastie, and what set it apart from a toastie of similar composition. We regret asking.

Tell us, sneaky chef

First up it was bacon, rocket, spring onion and scamorza and mayo, on sourdough. Yep, that sounds good for sure, but it doesn’t sound greatest-toastie-in-the-history-of-humankind good. What gives? There are a few nuances here that set this toastie apart (apparently, the explanation was long and winding and we drifted off at various points). A home-made mayonnaise featuring seeded mustard was a factor. As was the punchy, uber-fresh roquette and smoky, melty scamorza. Cooking the bacon on the griddle pan until crusted but not crispy was another key point. But the kicker we’re led to believe was grilling the toastie on the griddle pan in the bacon fat, and weighting the toastie down with a plate during cooking. It sounds remarkably simple but in this time-poor age of teflon panini presses, one forgets the simple things from time to time.

The point here is this: Toasties are great because you can fill them with any combination of things you like. They’re reasonably healthy, they’re quick and cheap and occasionally, they’re mind-blowingly delicious.

OK that’s enough now. Thanks for reading. Vive la toastie.

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