It’s a supermarket, Jim, but not as we know it. And it’s not in a galaxy far, far away. I know, I know – I’m mixing up my galactic movie franchises. My point is this: the newest foodie frontier is right here, within 20 minutes of Geelong and Ballarat, and an hour of Melbourne.
The Moorabool Valley Taste Trail (the trek) is a giant foodie bazaar, only different. A swag of quality outlets within a short drive of one another where you (and I) can source the freshest, tastiest food products for creating inspirational meals.
Expect NO bright lights, boring musak or endless aisles of mass-produced, over-processed fodder. The venerable food artisans, growers, producers, winemakers and providores of the Moorabool Valley region are all about fresh, just harvested, organic, biodynamic, sourced on the spot, made on the estate.
Collaboration is inherent in this close-knit group – even if your target outlet is closed when you visit, there’s a great chance you can pick up the product at another local outlet, like the Golden Plains Farmers Market, Farmer’s Daughter Produce Store or Dorothy’s Kitchen. All tastes and all dietary needs are well catered for. A Hidden Secret specialises in ready-made home-style vegetarian and vegan dishes, and you can stock up on brekky staples at Kossies Free Range Eggs or Weseggs.
Instead of dodging dodgy trollies and queues that wend their way down aisle eight and beyond, you get to soak up the sublime scenery and breathe deep in wide open spaces. You get to chat with the people who nurture, create and curate the finest fare. You get to shop at the source with no margin-hungry middleman and zero-to-no food miles.
It’s a farmers market, a food bowl and a supermarket wrapped in an enigma that is the Moorabool Valley Taste Trail. Need convincing? Ogle this little (wine-matched) three-courser I put together from local produce using no skills other than a little shopper know-how.
Marinated Goats Cheese (Meredith Dairy)
served with Olive & Rosemary Sourdough (Inverleigh Bakehouse)
drizzled with Garlic Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Camilo Olives)
Wine: Sauvignon Blanc (Ceres Bridge Estate)
Strawberries and blackberries (Summer Sensations Café & Berry Gardens)
served alongside hand-crafted chocolate truffles (Moorabool Valley Chocolate)
finished with Natural Pot Set Sheep Milk Yoghurt (Meredith Dairy).
Wine: 2012 La Guache Cab Sav and Merlot/Cab Franc (Lethbridge Wines)
Inspired? Go forth and shop at the source. May the force be with you.