I went to some of Canberra’s food Christmas markets this month and discovered lots of amazing products I never knew about. Three of them really stood out to me as products I’ll be using, not only all summer but most likely in 2018 and beyond! But it wasn’t just the products that got my attention, it was also the wonderful makers and the stories behind their products.
I can generally handle my chilli, so I was keen to try the hot sauces from The CHILLI effect. If you like chilli, then I’d recommend trying some of these. I met the friendly and charming Daryl at a market recently and got to sample the sauces they had on offer. I settled on the Bunny Chow spreadable hot sauce which had a ‘burn’ level that I could just about handle. Now that we’re well into BBQ season, I reckon I’ll be using this frequently. One of the things I love most about The Chilli Effect is that Daryl and Mark, who both founded the brand, are passionate about growing chillies. They work with local producers to position Australia as one of the best producers of quality chilli products in the world. Their product range extends to rubs, nuts and general merch.
Organic kombucha by Gift of Our Earth was another Christmas market favourite of mine. I had a good chat with Angela Noble, founder of the brand. She explained how taking medication for more than half of her life led to gut issues. She has been on a journey of health and wellbeing by creating products that have helped her healing process in a natural way. Hence, the production of organic kombucha and other probiotic fermented drinks that aid digestion and help heal gut problems. I liked Angela’s passion when she spoke about healthier living and the desire to resolve problems that come from diets full of sugar, caffeine and alcohol. Gift of Our Earth can be found regularly at Capital Region Farmers Market.
Last but not least was the award-winning black garlic by Garlicious Grown. I’m not typically a fan of garlic but speaking to the lovely founders, Cathy Owen and Jenny Daniher inspired me to try it and OMG was I so glad I did! According to them, black garlic is “caramelised preparation of garlic using controlled temperatures and humidity to produce tarry black cloves with umami flavours of sweet molasses. There are no additives, extra ingredients or preservatives, just pure garlic. Guaranteed NO garlic breath!” The flavour and texture blew my mind when I tried it on a cracker with cheese. Black garlic has now earned a permanent spot in my pantry. Cathy and Jenny are best of friends and are based in Braidwood. They have been growing their own garlic and looked to diversify and add value to their farming lives while bringing premium gourmet ingredients to a wider audience.