A couple of weeks ago, Peter chatted with Miami Herald Travel Editor Jane Wooldridge about some of her favorite destinations … for foodies! “I’m one of those people who thinks that food should still have taste. It’s an old-fashioned way of thinking,” said Wooldridge. “I’ve decided that the food and wine trips that I enjoy the most are made with really local ingredients. And these are not always the most obvious places.”
“You think about Ireland and you think about the potato famine in the 1850s,” said Wooldridge. “But in the last 10 to 15 years their economy has surged forward, and part of what that brought was a resurgence of food.”
She points out that in County Cork, Ireland, the small country markets are where you can find some of the finest artisan products in the country. A favorite example is the town of Schull outside of West Cork.
Here, Gubbeen Farmhouse has been producing the famous Gubbeen smoked cheese since 1979. Also in Schull, you’ll find the award-winning smoked sausages made by Frank Krawczyk of West Cork Salamis.
And, a notable force in the culinary world is chef Darina Allen’s Ballymaloe Cookery School, a hands-on culinary school located smack in the middle of a 100-acre organic farm.
More Than Shrimp on the Barbie
“Another one of my favorite places for food is in Australia. It’s a city that gets dissed even by Australians … Adelaide,” said Wooldridge. Adelaide, located in South Australia, is the center of a growing culinary scene and an already booming wine industry.
Among the many restaurants that have cropped up in recent years is The Grange Restaurant in the Hilton Adelaide Hotel. Here, chef Cheong Liew, originally born in Kuala Lumpur, has achieved celebrity status for his innovative French-Asian dishes, which, said Wooldridge, “many people credit for the foundation or the beginning of Asian fusion cuisine.”
Wooldridge also points out that The Adelaide Central Market is the “largest fresh produce market in the southern hemisphere.” Nearly 140 years old, the indoor market is an Adelaide mainstay, overflowing with more than 120 shops and stalls packed with produce, fresh-baked bread, and (perhaps most importantly), a vast selection of gourmet and artisan cheeses.
And when you’re talking about Australia, you can’t forget about the wine. About a 30-minute drive from Adelaide is the Barossa Valley, “known for its Syrah [or Shiraz], but really should be better known for its Grenaches,” Wooldridge explained. One of the Barossa Valley’s biggest claims to fame is that it has some of the oldest Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvèdre vines in the world, including the famous Shiraz vines at Langmeil Winery, which were planted back in 1843.
And lastly, while she admits that it’s not (yet) known to be a hot foodie destination, Wooldridge couldn’t help but bring up another favorite unexpected spot: Greenland. But don’t underestimate the appeal of Greenland cuisine.
Some consider this remote region to be the next hot destination (aided by a non-stop Air Greenland flight from Baltimore in the summer months), and it’s home to some unusual dishes that may tempt your palate.
With delicacies such as dried reindeer meat, musk ox and whale meat, you can’t get much more local flavor than that!
Are you a foodie? Don’t miss our Culinary Travel section.
By Sarika Chawla for PeterGreenberg.com.