Monday, 25 March 2019

Bairro Portuguese Food and Wine Festival, Petersham NSW, Australia

The annual Bairro Potuguese Food and Wine Fair was recently held in Petersham, otherwise known as Sydney's 'Little Portugal'. It was the first time I've attended this festival and it reminded me so much of the times I spent in Lisbon and I miss it. Besides missing Portugal, there's one thing I simply cannot miss whenever I visit Petersham, and that is the Pastel de Natas or custard tarts from Sweet Belem. This place has the best Portuguese custard tarts in Sydney. A bite of this is like a slice of heaven, it's absolutely divine. But it is not just the natas that are delicious here, their Queijadas either in orange or cinnamon are amazing as well. You cannot go to Petersham without having some of them.

Portuguese national costume varies region to region. Some are rich and colourful while others are modest dresses with kerchiefs.

The ever colourful Barcelos Rooster (refer to the first photo) is a national symbol of Portugal which symbolises integrity and honour. 

Adobo seasoning mix comes in many flavours like cumin, bitter orange, coriander and even saffron. Did you know that the word 'adobo' originated from the Spanish word 'adobar' meaning marinade?

Malasadas are famous Portuguese doughnuts but without the hole. They are deep-fried then coated with granulated sugar and boy, oh boy they tasted amazing! 

The aroma of grilled sardines immediately transported me back to Portugal.

These Pastel de Nata were absolutely delicious and heavenly.

Molotof is a Portuguese meringue. It has a pillowy soft texture and tastes very, very sweet. 

Cinnamon and Orange Queijadas. They are small but quite filling.

Nothing beats the smell of freshly baked Pastel de Natas straight out of the oven. 

I cannot stress enough how delicious Portuguese custard tarts are, have you tried them?

These paellas will tantalise your tastebuds. Everyone loved it. 

Who doesn't love a good churro dipped in chocolate?

Sardines are a staple in Portuguese cuisine and culture.

Watching this flamenco show has brought me straight back to Seville (Spain). It was in Seville that I first got a taste of Flamenco. I watched in awe as these dancers in colourful costumes, fans and castanets stomped and clapped with grace and harmony. 

A diatonic accordion in Portuguese is simply called 'concertina'.

Sweet Belem Cake Boutique
35 New Canterbury Road, Petersham NSW

Sweet Belem Cake Boutique Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Eel Festival, Rosehill, NSW

I  love festivals, who doesn't? I like celebrating diversity and the spirit of harmony. Festivals are a great way to meet and interact with people, share traditions and learn from each other. Festivals are a fun part of life as well as it is important.

Eel Festival is an annual festival held in Elizabeth Farm in Parramatta, in Western Sydney. For thousands of years, in the area of modern-day Parramatta lived the Darug, specifically the Burramattagal people, who lived close to the Parramatta River where they caught fish, eels and other foods to eat. When it's Eel season, they would come together to feast and partake in storytelling.

I have long been wanting to attend this festival and only got that chance recently. This event was a great opportunity to learn more about the Aboriginal culture, its history and its food. As a travelling foodie, I've always been fascinated with unique and unusual foods and I'm lucky enough to have been exposed to many new taste experiences. During the event, we learned about bush tucker or bush food, these are native food that has been consumed by Indigenous Australians for thousand of years. 

Native flowers used for culinary and medicinal purposes such as lilli pilli, banksia, flowering gum, bottlebrushes and spider flower. According to the Australian Native Food and Botanicals, there are more than 6,500 native food species in Australia and this was my chance to try some of them.

The Eel

Fred showed us how to prepare and cook an eel in the traditional Aboriginal way. 
An eel getting cut, wrapped in paperbark, tied with leaves and grilled.

You must dampen the paperbark with water before wrapping in the eel.

Indigenous inspired sweet and savoury canapes made with natives herbs and spices.

Lilli Pilli Cordial
Vegetarian Frittata with Warrigal Greens
Native Rosella Flower Jam Drop Biscuits
Wild Lime Coconut Crumble
Kakadu Plum and Kangaroo Tarts

Wattle seed ANZAC biscuits, Lilli Pilli and Lime Finger Jams

These bright pink berries are called lilli pilli and are almost the size of a pea. 
The fruit is edible but it has a tart taste. However, they're wonderful made into sauce, jams or chutneys.

Lemon myrtle is a small native tree. Crushing its leaves will give off a strong lemon scent. It's great for cooking and can be used as a substitute for lemon, lime or lemongrass.

Aniseed myrtle tree is a rare rainforest tree. The leaves has a distinct subtle liquorice taste to it and is often used in desserts and jams to add flavour.

The didgeridoo is a wind instrument that produces deep sound when blown into.
A boomerang has many uses, mainly as a hunting weapon, meat carver, digging stick and even as a musical instrument.  

You can make your own boomerang to take home.

Elizabeth Farm House

Performers doing the kangaroo and emu bush dance.
Did you know that kangaroos and emus can only move forward but never backward.

So tell me readers, do you love going to festivals?

70 Alice Street, Rosehill. NSW