Produce from paradise a taste of treats to come at Taste Great Southern

Kellie BalaamAlbany Advertiser
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Fire roasted Akoya and rock oyster.
Camera IconFire roasted Akoya and rock oyster. Credit: Kellie Balaam/Kellie Balaam

Our region is home to some of Australia’s best produce and we are lucky to be immersed in it.

That’s why I am looking forward to next year’s Taste Great Southern food and wine festival — 11 days of eating, drinking and being merry.

On an exclusive media tour last week to preview what will be in store when the festivities begin in March, my taste buds had the chance to try some new food and brews.

I even tried an oyster for the very first time.

For me, oysters are not the most appealing morsel out there as they are literally the ocean’s filters, feeding on algae and other particles they draw through their gills.

But even though I think very few dishes can rival the raw oyster for unpalatable appearance and slime-factor, very few people would get the chance to try one minutes after it is harvested.

The experience of slurping down a fresh rock oyster on a boat in pristine Oyster Harbour is definitely something I won’t forget.

While its grey and slimy appearance was confronting at first, I was surprised by the soft texture and salty-sweet taste that didn’t have much of that “fishy” flavour.

Smoked mussels, chimichurri, fennel and watercress salad.
Camera IconSmoked mussels, chimichurri, fennel and watercress salad.

To all the oyster lovers out there, get excited for what some of our local chefs will be whipping up at Taste Great Southern.

The next stop after Oyster Harbour was lunch at Monty’s Leap — currently closed to the public — where Ocean & Paddock chef Trenton Brennan prepared the fanciest-looking oysters I’ve ever seen.

Fire-roasted Akoya and rock oysters went down a treat with a squeeze of lime.

The smoked mussel, chimichurri, fennel and watercress dish had a dressing to die for.

I think it is truly special to have access to so much top-shelf produce in our part of the State.

With events in Albany, Denmark, Mt Barker, Frankland River, Porongurup, Katanning and elsewhere, Taste Great Southern does a great job of showcasing the culinary riches of our region.

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