Which makes it an odd choice of name for a wonderful little deli in the heart of chi-chi pooh-pooh Laburnum.
THE TWIG & TWO BERRIES, 5 SALISBURY AVE BLACKBURN, 9877 4991
Super child, The Lima Bean has been waxing lyrical about this place as his "go-to" when he was a student at Box Hill High.
Unlike some mothers, I never had to worry about my kids roaming the streets, getting into mischief. I was more worried that they'd spend all their money on random organic cheese and bring it home for me to cook with.
So it was only recently, after 6 years of having The Lima Bean rave about this place, that I managed to get there.
They stock an awesome array of cheeses, smallgoods, pastas, passattas, Simply Tomato products, Lush deserts, Doodles creek yumminess and more.
They also stock Ben and Jerry's ice cream.
Ben and Jerry's is an American brand that I am only familiar with via online forums. As well as this place, SOLE Mama's, FB, Twitter and Chow, I run an online support network for women. It's a small community of some 300 souls, it's locked and closed and as secure as an Internet site can get. It's here that we plot and plan and scheme and support and nurture and air our dirty laundry.
And talk about food.
And I must confess that it's actually the only place I've ever heard of Ben and Jerry's. But that's probabaly due more to the fact that I don't watch commercial television than somehow missing out on having my finger on the ice-cream zeitgeist button.
I have heard of Cherry Garcia and I get the cultural reference, but I didn't know the brand!!
So I had actually heard of B&J's Cookie Dough icecream.
And yeah, I thought it sounded disgusting.
But when Lima and I were at the twig and two berries, there is was... in the freezer...
I've had women at The Tavern RAVE about this.. offer to pay my air fare to the US JUST to taste it.... offer to somehow send me punnets of it.
Babes I am SO glad you didn't. Because it tastes like crap.
Just like it sounds, think lumps of uncooked chocolate chip biscuit dough mixed with vanilla ice cream.
I profusely apologize to Lunchy and Kamper and Fun Mom and all my American sisters who've raved about this to me over the past eight years, but I just didn't get it.
However, I DID get the Woodside Saltbush chevre. Oh yes, I did...
Kris Lloyd at Woodside Cheese Wrights, is probably best known for pioneering a range of seasonal cheeses, with innovative packaging and presentation, that takes advantage of seasonal variations in milk supply. Woodside Cheese Wrights has won numerous cheese awards throughout Australia, including the Grand Dairy Award, and has won the South Australian Premiers Food Award in 2002 , 2004, 2005 and 2006. In 2008 Woodside Cheese Wrights was awarded 1 gold and 2 silver medals at the renowned World Cheese Awards held in Dublin - Woodside was the only Australian cheese maker to receive a gold medal in these awards.
The milk is set using a traditional long set method overnight. The following day the curd is ladled into cheesecloth bags . We allow the curd to drain for several hours this process is very gentle as the curd has a delicate structure. This product is pure with only a small amount of salt being added. Once salted a further draining process occurs for a period of ten days.
Our Chevre has a mild, flavour with almost a lemony tang, this comes from the acid in the cheese.
This product is particularly favoured by chef around Australia, it is perfect on its own and makes an ideal partner to both sweet and savoury dishes. Chevre can be used in tarts, both sweet and savoury, terrines and wherever a crumbling Goats cheese is called for.
We decided to team up this cheese with some Tassie smoked salmon and some home made pasta.
Cook the pasta until al dente, drain and return to the pot, crumble the chevre and let the heat of the pasta melt it a little. Tear the salmon into wee bits and add, again, letting the inherent warmth of the pasta heat it through without cooking it.
Serve with a couple of finely minced capers and some sea salt.