Barbara and Franz Knoll, of Barossa Fine Foods, are passionate about using fresh, natural products. This philosophy is why Barossa Fine Foods is Australia's most awarded small goods producer, now boasting more than 700 medals won from national and state competitions.
The Knoll family's tradition in smallgoods production goes back to great uncle Andreas Knoll who learnt to make smallgoods such as viennas, knackwurst and salamis in a Munich factory at the age of 15 in 1924 and went on to own his own shop. He was followed by his nephew Hans, who learnt the business from Andreas before migrating to Australia in 1957, eventually opening his own shop, Bavaria Smallgoods, where his son, Franz, started work at the age of 15. The company is now celebrating 21 years in business with its 120 employees across nine outlets focusing on the traditional hand-processing methods which have made it a market leader in small goods. While its production has increased significantly, Barossa Fine Foods prides itself on staying true to its traditional hand-processing methods and never compromises on the quality of its smallgoods.
Regular market shoppers at the Paddington Markets, Capital Region Farmer's Markets and Old Bus Depot Markets will be familiar with Anthea Cahill and her 'real chai' stall.
The fragrant aroma of cardamom, cinnamon, ginger and cloves will stop you in your tracks, if the sample cups of chocolate chai (with real chunks of yummy French dark chocolate) don't!
Anthea is passionate about chai and tells me she discovered it when she was travelling in the Czech Republic in 2004. She came home and took the plunge into small business after initially making up packages of her own chai blend as Christmas gifts for friends. 'I tried out at Gorman House Markets and was a big hit', she said. 'Old Bus Depot Markets and EPIC followed and then I had staff and here we are'.
Anthea's real chai range includes a caffeine free tea based on chicory and dandelion; white Christmas chai made with white chocolate, cranberries, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger; chocolate made with chunks of French chocolate; and original made with black tea, spices and love. For me, real chai is a far cry from the powdered, way-too-sugary substance sold in many cafes. There are recipes and videos on how to make the perfect brew with real chai on Anthea's web site, together with testimonials and FAQs. And if you can't make it to one of the real chai market stalls, you can shop online via the site. Try my prunes poached in Real Chai and Indian Spice and Vanilla!
In between running a restaurant, preparing a range of frozen meals and curry pastes, making media appearances and writing various blogs, the amazing Jackie M finds time to feed the crowds every Saturday at her Orange Grove Markets stall at Leichhardt in Sydney.
I had read and heard many good things about Jackie's cooking, particularly her Char Kway Teow and Roti. A container of Jackie's freshly made Roti Kaya (Roti with Coconut and Pandan Jam) disappeared before I had the chance to photograph it for this snippet. Indeed, it was so delicious, Peter and I couldn't help but tuck in immediately.
If you can't make it to Leichhardt, Jackie's food is also available from The Happy Hawker stalls at the Concord Hospital Market, Marrickville Markets and Hornsby-Kurringai Hospital Markets. Jackie's restaurant is at 85 Majors Bay Road, Concord and is open from 5.00-10.00pm Thursday to Saturday. Bear in mind that reservations are limited!
Ken Fuz, owner of Black Horse Fine Foods, is a quiet, unassuming gentleman who just happens to produce a very fine range of jams, marmalades, chutneys, relishes, sauces and other specialty foods.
Black Horse is a small family business based in Canberra. "We take a lot of time to prepare our products by hand," says Ken. 'Each batch is made to our exacting standards and there are no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, therefore you get a high quality product every time'.
Why the name Black Horse? "I've always had a vision of owning a black horse", Ken explains. "Oh, I've not seen rhubarb jam since I was a kid!", a lady shopper exclaimed as she sampled Ken's jam. I can vouch for that one, it's yummy, especially with scones. Ken also makes an amazing Carrot and Cardamom Jam. I used it recently to glaze some pork knuckles before baking! The flavours were lovely.
Black Horse Fine Foods are available at the Hall Markets in Canberra on the first Sunday of each month; the Old Bus Depot Markets in Kingston on the second and fourth Sunday each month; and at the Capital Region Farmer's Market every Saturday. Delivery can be arranged. How's that for good old fashioned service!
Here's a couple of bashful young fellows, Wes Johnston and Todd Sheens, from the Torry Hill Orchard in Young, NSW. You'll meet Wes and Todd each Saturday at the Torry Hill Orchard stall at the Capital Region Farmer's Markets. They will be at the markets during cherry season, selling boxes of freshly picked Ron cherries. Peter and I always make a beeline for the stall, as there are also wines, sauces and some yummy cherry pies on sale. The pies are made by a local bakery in Young, using fruit from the Torry Hill Orchard.
Buy also from the Torry Hill Orchard farm shop at 537 Cowra Road, Young, telephone 02 6382 5676.
Beatrice and Tobias Koenig grow premium organic garlic, potatoes, apples and other seasonal produce on their biodyamic farm, Ingelara, near Michelago. Eager shoppers were lining up to buy braids of garlic, garlic bulbs and garlic flower stems, which Beatrice advised are delicious baked or fried. 'You can even use the seeds from the flower head and sprinkle over food', Beatrice told me. Crates of beautiful baby apples are on show with the arrival of Autumn. I filled my market basket, the fruit is perfect size for the lunch box. Visit the Ingelara Organic Produce Stall at the Capital Region Farmer's Market each Saturday.
Farmers and growers, artisan producers, and wonderful providores.