On my first visit to Vietnam I did what comes naturally to me – I bought the Lonely Planet guide and researched food like there was no tomorrow. And as soon as I saw the picture of the Saigon roll in my Lonely Planet guide, I knew I had to find one. A couple of issues there, starting with the folly of trying to locate food places in a very ‘dynamic’ country using a print version of a book that was four years out of date. Unfazed, I researched the best place in Ho Chi Minh to find the best Saigon roll and it happened to be a little stand located on a little street, which in spite of my best pre-breakfast efforts (and the herculean stamina and patience of my travelling companion) I could not locate. I needn’t have worried as pretty much every Saigon roll in Vietnam is wonderful (and I had a few!). Continue reading
Who would’ve thought… it figures
That immortal line by Alanis Morisette says it all for me. I have been a regular drive-past at the Aranda shops for near on ten years now, as both my kids have gone through primary school there. Forlorn, abandoned, crappy. Overrun by the activity at the nearby Jamison shops, which was nearly overrun by Belconnen Westfield and has only recently risen from the ashes. Almost everyday for ten years now I wished they would just do something with those shops, anything, but leave that hideous eyesore with broken windows and boarded-up doors. But what would you know, the irony of it, in September last year, just as I was about to farewell my youngest in year 6 to the big world of high school, a wee little pop up of a cafe opens at the Aranda shops. Not just The Juggernaut – for that’s what it’s called – but the super duper promise of so much more…. Continue reading
I’m a sucker for a Tim Tam. I just don’t suck Tim Tams.
This year is the 50th anniversary of the marketing of the Australian Tim Tam biscuit. It was inspired by the UK ‘Penguin’ biscuit. When I lived in the UK, I went out of my way to find Tim Tams, but never Penguin biscuits. The same was true for vegemite – I guess it comes down to what you grew up with.
Chocolate Chat – Murray River Pink Salt & Caramel Drops
This 70g pack of loveliness cost $9.50 from Coles. Very expensive, so I was expecting big things.
There is a new section in my local supermarket. It is stocked with the weird and wonderful, such as products from Canada, Iran and Scotland; including Persian spun sugar and Dr Pepper soda (trust me, this is an uncommon sight in Australia). Then a few local treats, probably from small/new companies. The packaging on this chocolate caught my eye and I was sold on ‘chocolate, salt and caramel’. I did gasp when I saw the price at the checkout, but I am not a quitter when it comes to chocolate. The packaging is intriguing. Simple recycled-looking cardboard with a tag cloud of happy-lovey words that begged for the chocolate to be shared. I don’t like sharing nice sweet things, so I hoarded this until I had a night alone. Fortunately, it had two individually-wrapped blocks inside, so one I ate, the other I stashed for another time.
The ingredients list milk chocolate with 33.5% cocoa, vanilla, and Murray pink salt among others. It reeked of quality ingredients. Handmade in South Australia.
Unbelievably creamy and smooth. First bite is a slightly sharp tang of the salt, with a bit of salt crunch, then intense smooth sweetness of the caramel and milky chocolate, and then more sweet, so much sweet. I badly wanted this to be more interesting. Maybe if the caramel was a different texture to the chocolate? I dunno. I needed a glass of water after this.
Would I buy it again? Well, maybe not this flavour, I can get a salty sugar hit for a lot less. But there were others there that definitely caught my eye – was it raspberry and white chocolate? I wanted to find out some more on-line, but their listed web site is ‘under construction’ and their Facebook page has only been up since August and has no content.
One to watch.