By Jeremy Rochow
Published: Tuesday, October 18, 2022
Food is the great connector. It can teach us about people, places and history. With that in mind, here are a few South Australian tours where you can enjoy food and wine, while learning a bit about our great state.
1. Tour a supermarket
“This is my happy place,” says the lady standing next to me in the middle of Adelaide’s Finest Supermarkets Pasadena Foodland. I’m not quite the supermarket aficionado like my counterpart, but I can instantly see why Pasadena Foodland is different to other shops of the same ilk.
Among the hundreds of spices, dry rubs and marinades on display in just once section of the supermarket, I feel a bit like Charlie in Willy Wonka’s factory. There are mounds of powders, dried herbs and other flavourful concoctions that would inspire even the blandest palate.
While I’d love to spend hours perusing the spices, I don’t have the time because I’m on Pasadena Foodland’s new Locale Food Tour, which launched during the 2022 Tasting Australia festival.
We aren’t just looking at spices though. The tour provides a refreshing insight into a supermarket that’s pushing the envelope with its range of products and sustainability. It’s more like a market with different stalls scattered throughout the store.
Hear about the cheese monger’s food philosophy, try freshly sliced cured meats, learn how to make focaccia in a wood oven from the in-house baker, and crush your own spice mixes. Sustainability is important at Pasadena Foodland.
The spices are sold by the gram so that shoppers only need to purchase what they need, and the chefs in the restaurant will use products off the shelf that are nearing their use-by-date, so they don’t go to waste.
Before we sit down for a five-course lunch at Mr Nick’s Kitchen & Coffee Bar, we head over to the pastry kitchen and watch the chefs prepare dessert. For lunch, we’re presented with dishes that include barramundi, wagyu steak and abalone. Looking up the table, I see the older lady enjoying every mouthful in between laughing and chatting with her friends – this really is her happy place.
2. Adelaide’s fresh produce cornucopia
The Adelaide Central Market is one of the biggest undercover fresh produce markets in the Southern Hemisphere, and has a bounty of fruit, vegetables, and other goods available.
Established in 1869, the market bubbles with excitement and colour year-round. Standing among the many traders, you’ll feel overwhelmed with food inspiration. There’s a stall dedicated to mushrooms, another that has French desserts by the dozen, and don’t forget the smallgoods, and paella simmering away on the stove.
A food tour at the Central Market will take you on an interactive gourmet experience. Designed SA food expert Mark Gleeson, you will see the markets in a whole new way and have the chance to eat food grown and produced right here in our state.
Learn about the market’s history, try artisan cheeses, taste seasonal produce, and meet the store holders and hear their stories. With the market being open for more than 150 years, I’m sure they have some tales to tell.
3. Food and wine in the Barossa
Adelaide is surrounded by food regions. Head south and you’ll find McLaren Vale and the Fleurieu Peninsula – home to fine wines and dairy. Go up the Murray and you’ll eventually reach the Riverland – one of the biggest wine producing regions in Australia, and of course, home to stone fruit, cherries, and citrus. Drive up the South Eastern Freeway and food and wine await in the Adelaide Hills. With so much fresh produce available, it’s hard to stand out, but the Barossa Valley does just that.
Home to world-class wineries and gourmet food, you’ll need at least a day to sample some of what the region has to offer.
On a tour of the Barossa Valley, visit wineries like Pindarie Wines and have a delicious lunch at Lambert Estate. Try the local produce at Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop and taste sweet treats at the Barossa Valley Chocolate Company. You’ll learn how wine and chocolate meld together so well and check out the 250-plus choccy products they have to offer.
You won’t be able to resist the ruby flavoured chocolate.