Friday, 7 September 2007


I often go to the 'food and wine writers' part of Tasting Australia and last year was no exception. I listened to Rick Stein, Antonio Carluccio and various other well known people and it was all quite enjoyable. However, at about 1pm I left the main tent to get some lunch as the next bloke was going to talk about beer, and I thought it would not be for me. I wandered around, talked to Maggie Beer, who was next to me in the food queue and took my plate outside to sit in the sun at a table there. I had just got organised and ordered myself a cup of coffee when it started to pour with rain. All the tables inside were full so I took my stuff into the speakers' tent and sat near the door, so I could escape from the beer man when the rain stopped.

The bloke took the stage and began his talk while I ate away. The tent was pretty full and the men listening didn't look like yobbos in footy shorts nor the women...well, worn looking ! The speaker spoke of old Italian monasteries he had visited, where beer had been made for centuries and still is. He spoke of hops growing, ancient tonics, English history and all manner of fascinating things. He was wonderful.

Down the aisles came a young fellow with little glasses, like large thimbles, full of 'porter' and handed them out to everyone, with a biscuit. The speaker then talked of beers that go with foods. He told the audience to take a tiny sip of the porter and savour it. Then take a nibble of the biscuit - dark chocolate and hot chilli. The effect was remarkable - they went together like spinach and fetta ! And so we continued on. The rain must have stopped because when I left the tent after applauding loudly with everyone else, it was sunny. It was the best talk of the whole day and you'll never guess what I did then - I went to the book-sales tent and bought his book 'Beer and Food' !! I use it a lot and it is full of recipes , some using beer and others to go with various beers. I had no idea there was so much to beer.

1 comment:

Kate said...

'Anecdotes' are keeping a whisker ahead of 'Education' in the labels competition. Goes to show how much rubbish I write compared to everyone else!Beat me if you can !