Sunday, March 28, 2010

Goose my banana passionfruit

Banana passionfruit - it sounds like one of the dodgy e-mails I get sometimes offering viagra... two new taste experiences today, firstly the banana passionfruit. Um. Well, I'll plant some. The flowers are beautiful and the scent... scented. The taste is a let-down. If it grows (and it grows in Lady Barron) I think it could be good for jam or a cordial. But as ready-to-munch fruit, not really a great hit.

Second off - on the opposite extreme - Cape Barren goose breast. This comes in as the best poultry I have eaten. (and me, as you might guess, I have tasted a lot of different birds). The meat is deep red and so flavourful and powerful it should be a chef's signiture dish. Australia should be famous for this, and have epicures from across the world beat their way here to taste it. It apparently breeds in captivity and can be effectively domesticated so long as you have big grass-paddocks. Having been endangered it is now doing rather well out here, and a limited harvest is permitted, under licence. B and I had two little pieces each, simply rubbed with a little oil to stop them sticking and grilled hot and just with salt - medium rare - pink inside. This licks ostrich with one hand behind its back, and a blindfold. There is some gameyness to it, but unlike wild duck or francolin (where 'gamey'can be the dominant description) - it tastes like poultry - add the gameyness and you're somewhere between grass-fed chicken and turkey - but the meat is not in the least dry. Just like that, with a simple green salad (in the picture, made from our garden with our first green beans - thin fingers of green crispness, and our very first sunripened tomato), it's a winner.

It'll perfectly partner a green peppercorn sauce - the flavour is strong enough to match it and lift both, or with oyster mushrooms and red jerepigo... or, well I think there are slew of stunning possibilities. Yes, you get the picture. I really loved it. I was telling John about our crab-soup and the wrasse and he shook his head. "Right. You'll eat the whole island at this rate. I reckon you'll love mutton-bird." I don't know... but there is such a lot to taste and try here. Years worth, I reckon. The island doesn't even have its own abbatoir anymore. Meat comes in from tassie - although my guess looking at them is that the grass-fed island lamb and beef - without even going to the exotic possibilities, should be worth coming all the way here for. For a self-sufficiency guy, a forager and foodie like moi... wow. It's hard to beat. I just wish they wouldn't ship the good stuff away without enjoying it here. People should come here to eat food as it should be: seasonal varied and wonderful. I am offering mouse on the spit, as my own meat-catch (yes -another mouse in the bath). It's a South African treat, and I'd be very hurt if you refused (The locals like Jimmy-the-plumber's-offsider have had some fun winding me up with seeing what tall tales we'll swallow, so a bit of quid-pro-quo, I reckon ;-))

We had a still, hot humid morning and howling curl your bean-shoots windy afternoon, and now a still evening. Probably snow by morning at this rate. Need to understand the weather? Come to Flinders, all your seasons in a day.


  1. The only goose I've ever eaten was Canada Goose. I'm always willing to try everything once. It's not something I'd eat again. I was surprised at how dark the meat was, and yes, it seemed quite gamey to me. I had emu while in Oz, but it was served ultra rare so it didn't get tough. I'm afraid the blood turned me off. :-P

  2. Well, these are not actually closely related to true geese. They tasted more like really really high quality turkey (but much more succulent) than goose. I cooked this medium rare (more than I'd cook duck breast, less than chicken) so no blood oozing out onto the plate.

  3. About your banana passionfruit -- any chance they'd do better cooked, like a plantain? I've accidentally eaten a planatin raw, thinking it was a banana, and it was awful. But cooked, they're great!


  4. Lin, I think they'd be good in cooking. They have bit more scent (as in delicate, flowery) than standard passionfruit. The pulp is a bit more tight-bound to the seeds and cooking might free it up so it could be tasted. I've kept seed.

    And yes, plaintains are awful raw