Friday, 25 April 2014

Orange FOOD Week trip

A few weeks ago, I went on a little road trip with a friend to Orange. Enticed by the stalls at the recent Hyde Park festival, we decided to visit during the FOOD week (which held on the 4th-13th of April)

The Orange region is known as the 'food basket' of NSW, and FOOD week aims to showcase local produce, fine food and wine with this event. There's a lot on, from wine tasting to dinners, picnics and markets. Unfortunately, Forage was sold out by the time we had heard about it - apparently, it's their most popular event and sells out straight away!

We arrive in time for our first event at The Twisted River wineries, a 2 course lunch with jazz. The venue and jazz were lovely, but the food was nothing memorable - a shared nibbles platter, followed by a slow cooked beef and sticky date pudding. It was still nice to relax with a wine in the sun after the long drive though.

We then made a little trip to the bottle shop in preparation for our BYO wine dinner later on, and had a ball checking out all the local wines.

Philip Shaw 'The Idiot' 2012 shiraz

How cute is this Philip Shaw label?

The next day we went to the Sunday markets at Cook Park, not before getting a coffee at Bill's Beans (amazing coffee!)

I also had this fabulous honey pannacotta with the tastiest strawberries & hazelnuts. 

It's remarkable how much more flavoursome fresh and homegrown fruit and vegetables taste, we could not stop raving about the simple roast vegetables we had at dinner. 

Next stop was a cider making workshop at Small Acres Cyder, a boutique premium cider maker. Small Acres are the first producers of locally grown and made cider in the NSW Central West, and have won a number of awards.

The workshop was fabulous - very informative and hands-on. James Kendall explained to the group a bit about cider apples, and went through the different tastes (bitter, bitter-sweet, sweet, sharp) and we were given samples of various cider apples and had to try and guess which category they fell in. Not as easy as it sounds! Some were easily discernible, but others not so much. 

Then it was time to pick some apples to go into the basket for washing. This was probably the most fun, the apples ranging from adorable cherry sized ones, to the typical size. We threw out any of the bad apples.


After washing them, the apples go into this mulcher like machine to be crushed. 

Then scooped into these 'cheeses' layer by layer and wrapped up

And then wheeled over to this contraption to be crushed, and then put through the fermentation process. We had a taste of the fresh apple juice (cloudy was an understatement) and it was absolutely amazing. 

We then had a tasting of all the different cider products, with a cheese platter, plus terrine, bread & the most delicious cherry relish. I left with a couple of bottles of apple cider and pear cider. 

Overall, highly recommend this workshop, it was very enjoyable.

During our dinner the previous night, this lovely couple that we were seated with, recommended that we visit Borrodell Winery for the beautiful sweeping views of the lush countryside from the hill.

Places to visit in Orange

6056 Henry Parkes Way, Manildra NSW 2865
Ph: (02) 6364 5447

148 McLachlan St, Orange NSW 2800
Ph: (02) 6361 1611

12 Akhurst Road, Nashdale NSW 2800
Ph: (02) 6365 2286

298 Lake Canobolas Road, Canabolas NSW 2800
Ph: (02) 6365 3425

Shop 2, 200 Anson Street
Orange NSW 2800

Open 7 days

Monday to Friday 9am to 5.30pm 
Saturday 9am to 3pm
Sunday 10am to 3pm


Tina said...

The cider workshop looks like such fun!

Helen (Grab Your Fork) said...

The cider workshop would have been a blast. I can't stop staring at those layers of "cheese"!

Vivian - vxdollface said...

what a great trip away and that cider workshop is pretty awesome

Amy zhong said...

ooh cider making! that is amazing!

Tammi Kwok said...

oh wow I love contraptions like that!!! I can just imagine the crisp aftertaste now!