Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas time in the Sunshine @ Noosa

So, I am heading home to Gunnedah for Christmas this year, but C, my boyfriend is heading to either Noosa where his grandmother lives, or to his family property, so on the weekend I was in Noosa and sourced out some good Christmas goodies for him.

Noosa is a foodies paradise and literally has everything you could need for both the perfect traditional Christmas or a Modernised/Australianised version. I've put together a guide on where to get the best produce for those heading to the Sunshine Coast this summer.

1) Fresh seafood is always a staple at Christmas time and the Seafood Market at Noosa Junction has some of the BEST oysters I have EVER eaten. Not even exaggerating.

This could be because the oysters are shucked fresh daily and you can really tell.

The prawns are always superfresh and they also stock fresh crabs, lobsters and bugs and will clean them for you free of charge.

There is a good range of fresh whole and filleted fish which always conjures up some amazing possibilities, as well as frozen bits and bobs.

If you are feeling lazy or short on time, they have already prepared prawn rolls and other meal options like Lobster mornay.

I have been getting seafood from here nearly every weekend since they opened exclusively as a Seafood Market (they were previously a fish and chip shop- which is sorely missed.) The only thing is, their prices can be a little higher than what you would pay in Woolies/Coles but the quality is well worth it! May I reitereate they have consistently the best oysters I have ever eaten!! As a scallop fiend, I am also happy with the quality of scallop meat.

The market is self serve which really suits me because you can get exactly the fillets/fish/prawns/whatever you want without having to sound like a real pain by directing someone- "no not that one, the one two in front of it please!" (repeated 18 times -you get the idea.)

Seafood Market sell other seafood related stock from Black Pearl Epicure, Simon Johnson, Tetsuya's and Spirit House to name a few.

They also have house made sauces i.e seafood sauce, aiolis.

Get in early at Christmas time because the prawns, oysters and crabs/lobsters fly out the door- I'm not sure what the deal is with ordering but I would give them a call to suss it out.

So you can get an idea of pricing, I have added a list of the prices for popular Christmas items which were current at the time of visiting the store- these obviously could change.

Prawns - $36.99 per kilo
Oysters- $16.90 per dozen
Raw Spanner crabmeat packet- $24.99 each
Swordfish- $33.99 per kilo
flathead- $44.99 per kilo
assorted reef cod- $36.99 per kilo
gourmet marinara mix- $27.99 per kilo
baby octopus- $12.99 per kilo
squid tubes - $13.99 per kilo
rice paper prawn rolls - $2.99 each

Seafood Market
Cnr of Cooyar Street and Lanyana Way
Noosa Heads, QLD
ph: 075449 2655

2) The Cooking Company are well established in Noosa and have been around for about 10 years. It is tucked around the back of the street that the Fresh Seafood Market is on, -18 Lanyana Way. The Cooking Company has two shop fronts - one is the shop that has been around for ages selling cookware, cooking books etc etc and the other is the newish deli located just opposite on the other side of the lane (where Sweet Tempered Chocolateria is). The deli opened in February this year and is a cafe bar and specialises in fine foods. I have been into the deli a number of times looking for hard to find ingredients and I have usually been able to find what I am looking for.

They have some great christmassy items in.

* Flamigni Panettone- The Cooking Co stock a whole range of Flamigni including panettone. Apparently, according to my panettone obsessed Italian friend, Flamigni are THE best makers of the panettone. All Flamigni products are made in Italy and although I haven't tried the supremo cioccolato, it comes highly recommended. The Flamigni panettone retails for $59.95 and the prices rise from there for the more deluxe items in the range.

* Fresh duck eggs- Duck Eggs are harder to come by than one would think. I have not been able to find anyone at the Noosa Famer's Markets that sell duck eggs, but Cooking Co have solved the dilemma and have eggs available for $1 each that come from a local farm at Doonan. The same farm supplies to some of the local restaurants. The duck eggs are really fresh and could be the secret ingredient to making the perfect sponge cake this Christmas.

* I don't know about you, but Christmas time at my house is chaotic. I like to have a range of stuff on hand to serve people when they drop in for a Christmas hello and a few drinkies. Lotus and Ming stock a really cute range of gourmet asian goodies like shitake and leek or peking duck spring rolls, fresh pumpkin dumplings. They come with matching spicy plum and soy fusion dipping sauce and may just get you out of a pickle if you have unexpected guests. They are $14.95 for a pack of 8.

* Some of my friends are scared to cook. I'm not sure why, but they seem to think that it is too hard. These same friends however, are happy to buy packet cake mixes because they seem easier as they are already prepared. I'm not sure why it is easier, but if it gets them baking then surely that is a good thing. The Cooking Co stock a range of Donna Hay Cupcake kits for $13.95. They come in either chocolate or vanilla, and you can also buy molten chocolate brownie or cranberry and triple choc cookies. The Donna Hay range is really cutely presented and is the perfect gift for someone who is a little bit scared to bake up a storm.

*I love Bacco's crispbread. Kristy and Luigi Papagni own and run an artisan bakery in the little village of Murrurundi in NSW which isn't far from my home town. Every time we went to Sydney, we used to pull up and fill the car to the brim with crispbread galore. I was glad to find the bread available in Noosa - made me feel a little less homesick!! These crispbreads are a nice treat and great to keep in the cupboard over the Christmas period. I would also love to find a packet of fennel seed or chilli twiggies in my santa sack.

* Tabletop grapes- If you up for making your own panettone then these Tabletop Grapes will come in handy. The Cooking Co stocks the whole range and these are the grapes my Gran used so they don't come any more highly recommended than that!

* You can order Christmas hampers for any money value and any style, and they will be able to help you out if you don't have much idea about what you want to go into the hamper.

Aside from all the Chrissy gear, they also have a lot of other hard to find products, as well as some beautiful cheeses and a good charcuterie range.

18 Lanyana Way
Noosa Heads QLD 4567
ph. 07 5412 2750

3) Noosa Farmer's Markets
Noosa Farmers Markets are my alltime fave farmer's markets and there is plenty of Christmas stock available there. I picked up a Pudding Lane pudding and loved the fresh sweet crab meat on offer from the Spanner Crabs Noosa Stand. There are plenty of other great fresh producers there too- like the Bendele Farms Stall which have all organic poultry. Yum Yum.

What are your favourite products to have on-hand for those unexpected visitors over the Christmas season?

Pudding Lane distributors
Pete and Allison
073803 4319

Spanner Crabs Noosa
Unit 2 / 15 Production St
Noosaville, Qld, 4567
Mob. 0427 766 778

Bendele Farms
470 Bular Road
Kilkivan QLD
07 5484 7157

6 fabulous comments:

mademoiselle délicieuse said...

Ooohhh, duck eggs! And I can see a distinctly blue one in there =)

SOL's view said...

I've never tried duck eggs. Ever. Would you use them in place of chicken eggs?

I don't cater for unexpected extras for Christmas. I've been married for 25 years and it's never happened. :) Of course, just having said that......

Gastronomy Gal said...

Yep - you can use them in place of chicken eggs but generally one duck eggs = about 3 or 4 chicken eggs. They make things exceptionally light and fluffy. They are also richer than usual eggs.

We have so many people dropping on and around Christmas that we always have so much food on hand for people just dropping by for a quick hello!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Wow what a comprehensive recap! And I have to agree, duck eggs are near to impossible to get here! I was obsessed by them for a while and I scoured shop after shop for them to no avail!

Kitchen Butterfly said...

Sounds like you had fun....thanks for travel guide to Noosa!

Betty said...

i love donna hay
i was lucky enough to get a whole stack of her mags from my neighbour (her husband works at a printing place)

but at $14 per cupcake mix - i think that is very overpriced :s

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