The New Zealand Food History Symposium – November 2014 in Wellington NZ
New Zealand’s theme “Ferment” gave a wide scope for the presentation of papers and the theme for the Symposium dinner.
Papers presented over two days explored everything from bread through, wine, tempeh, cider, kombucha, cookery books and food writing to food waste. These will be published as an issue of the Aristologist which is the mouthpiece of the Food History Society. It is published once or twice each year and contains papers from the Society’s Symposia, as well as new research material and historical recipes. (It can be obtained by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org).
One of the interesting papers or really a demonstration was by Kelda Haines from Nikau Cafe called “Fermentation – Flavour, Fear and Fashion” during which Kelda demonstrated making sauerkraut, which is really simple:
Sauerkraut – 2 grams of salt to 1 Kg of sliced cabbage rub the salt in and knead / press down till the juices run. Let it ferment (the cabbage should be submerged under the liquid – use a weight if necessary). Adding aromatics and flavour , such as chilli, fennel, dill, carraway, will help reduce any mould developing, but if it does grow just scrape it off.
Food at the Symposium and After:
Nikau – Kombucha Gin cocktail
The symposia was held at PreFab Hall and breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea were catered for by the associated PreFab Cafe. If you visit Wellington, book yourself in for breakfast or lunch – I will not concentrate on the seasonal ingredients etc – go for the donuts with jam and cream; these people have resurrected the donuts’ reputation.
The dinner was held at Nikau Cafe, starting with elderflower kombucha and gin cocktails we then launched into a series of courses from the menu list of :
Zucchini , Rabbit , Butter , Mussels , Kingfish , Lamb & Artichokes, Goats Cheese, Rhubarb & Strawberries. The beverages ranged from the Kombucha through cider to Reisling, Gamay and Pinot.
Beijing Restaurant – dumplings
Of the other restaurants we tried, those worth trying included :
Ortega Fish Shack:
Poau ravoli & poached crayfish, Rare Tuna Nicoise Salad, basil golden egg, selection of freshly churned sorbet – rasberry, coriander & lime, mango.
Bresolin in Willis Street where we enjoyed pearl barley, black rice, cavolo nero, pine nuts and currants as well as a plate of green lip mussels with white beans and Nduja (a spicy, spreadable pork sausage from Italy )