Australian Functional Ingredients – by Vic Cherikoff

Why buy your Xmas gifts from Cherikoff Rare Spices?

Having trouble thinking of gifts for Xmas this year?

What about gifting a few Australian foods for anyone who likes to eat?

Most of the visitors to this website drop in looking to discover what Australian food is all about. I know they are not looking for lamingtons, Vegemite or meat pies. It’s gourmet food they’re hunting. They might have heard about Wattleseed or lemon myrtle or read articles on the occasionally mentioned concept of bushfood or bush tucker but have little idea of what our unique, gourmet food ingredients really offer.

They are the basis and essence of a totally authentic Australian food cuisine allowing chefs, cooks and foodies to start with local domesticated foods (beef, lamb) or items which might be locally indigenous (seafood or freshwater foods such as yabbies or perch) and by adding authentic Australian ingredients, dishes which will be created with that unmistakable flavor of Australia. These can even be developed using methods or presentation of other cultural traditions; French, Italian, Spanish, Asian, American or African, it doesn’t matter. Just the mere act of adding the herbs, spices, fruits, flavour oils and extracts, seeds and nuts or using food adjuncts such as paperbark (or Paperbark smoke oil for US customers), will impart that unique Australian quality.

Think of what could be France’s national dish; Coq au vin or chicken (originally a cockerel or young rooster) in red wine with a bouquet garni of herbs which are so familiar as to border on boring. Now an Australian version could include paperbark smoked chicken in a stock flavoured with Wildfire spice and made to pop with flavour highlights if garnished with riberry confit. Now I’d cross the road to eat that.

American quick service food known the world over features the hamburger. So what if we used the more environmentally considerate, nutritionally superior and ecologically sustainable marla meat in a burger with Alpine pepper. This could go in a bun scented with Red Desert Dust and the sauce could be a slightly spicy, full flavoured bush tomato chutney. The burgers are better this way by far.

What if we looked to a dish common to one of the most populated countries in the world – India. I see a curry with Fruit spice and riberries adding a depth of flavour to pumpkin, sweet potato, cauliflower and onion. A yoghurt raita made with Mintbush marinade and poppadums sprinkled with Alpine pepper.

Any cuisine of the world can be rejuvenated with our Australian ingredients. Do you want:

1. Quality and consistent product

2. Incomparable pricing (I recently saw a 5g sachet of Wattleseed from a popular herb supplier at over $295 a kilogram!!)

3. National and international stockists of food service range for chefs or globally on-line

4. Friendly, knowledgeable, efficient customer service

5. The backing of an industry pioneer with nearly 30 years experience

6. A wide range of exceptional quality products available

7. Rush, over-night and Express shipping available

8. Discounts for high volume purchases

9. Real time inventory information available

10. Both “Incoming” and “Outgoing” Quality Control

11. J.I.T. shipping available

12. Multi-Lingual representatives available (French, Maori, English)

13. International shipping

14. Vendor audit and in-house certification program

15. Technical assistance from a food scientist with the longest, deepest, most intimate knowledge of Australian wild foods

Well we have all this and more at our virtual store.

And one more thing. A customer recently emailed complementing us on our products but saying that the postage was significant at around $30. My comments back were my approach to shopping: You see I hate being lost in the void they call shopping centres or malls. Time slips away and that means your life being wasted. Who likes being the target of all that marketing? I value my time as a lot more than $30 for the hours it takes to shop, search and hunt down what I want in bricks and mortar store in shopping centers or strips. Give me the option of surfing, finding and buying on-line then simply getting my orders delivered right to my door – I’ll take that any day. Besides, think of the carbon footprint, the wear and tear on your car, nerves and brain.

Shopping on-line is just soooo much more convenient and cheaper.

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Vic Cherikoff