A pinch of … goes a long way at the Harvest Launceston Community Farmers’ Market taking your taste buds for a sensational stroll through the diverse tastes and scents of Tasmanian heritage ingredients smoked walnut wood, local honey, merlot grapes, herbs and spices.
Robyn Mayne did exactly that and her imagination and taste buds went for a wander as she added a pinch of this and pinch of that “to see what would happen.” What happened is a range of finishing salts that highlight local delicacies such as pepperberries, walnut and beetroots. As innovate is what Robyn does best her range is constantly being enhanced according to seasonal variations and what pinch of … is on hand.
Robyn describes how after years in the corporate world in Sydney she decided to return to her Tasmanian roots. “I wanted to do something that came from the heart and fed my soul. So a pinch of was born.
Robyn is a local, born and raised in Launceston she left in her early twenties. “I had wandering feet so I packed my bags, did a lot of travel and settled in to the corporate life in Sydney. After being incredibly happy in Sydney for many years Robyn decided – almost on a whim – to move back “home”. “And I couldn’t be happier,” she says.
Hand blended infused finishing salts was her first inspiration. Robyn let her imagination wander and by “putting a pinch of this and a pinch of that together to see what would happen” a range of blends of Tasman Sea Salt, featuring smoked walnut wood, cherry and pepperberry, beetroot and horseradish emerged. From salts, Robyn incorporated Tasmanian wild foods and other local ingredients into her increasingly unique range that includes activated walnuts.
“I pride myself on using ingredients grown or produced in Tasmania. And if they can come from my part of Tasmania, even better.” Robyn explains that her merlot molasses activated walnuts uses walnuts that come from five minutes drive from her home, the merlot grapes from 10 minutes in another direction and the rosemary grows some three feet from her back door – her own herb garden. “All my products contain a pinch (or two) of pure Tasmanian sea.”
But just what are activated walnuts? Robyn explains that the walnuts have simply been soaked in water and salt. This starts off the germination or sprouting process. They are then dehydrated at a low temperature to bring back the crunch. Soaking increases the nutrient value of the nuts and breaks down phytic acid which can block the absorption of minerals. So activating nuts enhances digestibility and makes the most of the nutrients.
But Robyn is still taking a pinch of this and adding it to local ingredients from fellow Harvest Launceston stallholders to. Her newest range of gourmet savoury crackers are uniquely Tasmanian. They are made with rye and spelt flour from The Grain Family, honey from West-Bee and a pinch of her own gourmet finishing salts. Robyn invites you to take a pinch of for a taste test at Harvest Launceston this Saturday.