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Gourmet Groceries

By nick - 11 July 2005 69

Having moved back to Canberra from San Francisco fairly recently, I’ve been having trouble locating some food items I wanted for cooking, so I thought a thread on where people go for their shopping might be helpful. A few of the things I’ve been looking for are:

Parmesan – fresh, real parmigiano-reggiano

Monterey Jack – a white cheese, a bit like cheddar but not sharp, that melts well and is commonly found in California and used a lot in Mexican-style dishes

molasses – I was stunned that this was not available in a standard supermarket, but perhaps it is a very American thing

really, really good bread – I hear great things about the bakery/cafe in Kingston, but I’m in Lyneham and I’d prefer some place in the Inner North

My thought was people could post suggestions for where to buy things, and also lists of what they are looking for, as well as any special deals they run across (like really cheap dried porcini mushrooms, etc.).

What’s Your opinion?

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69 Responses to
Gourmet Groceries
llib 1:59 pm 11 Jul 05

there’s a few asian stores in dickson that will cater for the weird asian food-stuffs (e.g., straw mushrooms and the tiny thai eggplants [pea-sized]).

does anyone know where you can get tomatillos, or a tortilla press?

terubo 1:43 pm 11 Jul 05

Re how to catch a haggis: not easy. They are enormous bumbling beasts, prone to sip from the loch late at night.
You need a ladder, jam jar, binoculars and tweezers. Find a suitable tree by the edge of the loch, use the ladder to climb to the highest branches.
When – or rather if – the haggis approaches, view its activities through the wrong end of the binoculars. That way, it will be small enough to pick up with your tweezers and deposit in the jam jar.

Thumper 1:25 pm 11 Jul 05

Kashmir in Narrabundah for the best Indian. Ask for Iqbal and he’ll make sure you get one hell of a good vindaloo.

(If you’re reading this Iqbal then you owe me…hehehe)

RandomGit 1:23 pm 11 Jul 05

Best pide is Mahnaz in Gunghalin marketplace. He wholesales to a few posh bakeries who sell his pide and charge double what he does.

RandomGit 1:21 pm 11 Jul 05

Ah yes, that one. I tad out of the way, but I think I’ve noticed some stores carry some of his produce.

rossco 1:20 pm 11 Jul 05

Croissant d’or (in Civic) do really nice breads and french pastries too.

ssanta 1:17 pm 11 Jul 05

Poachers Pantry is on the way to Murrumbateman. About 15km’s past the border.

RandomGit 1:12 pm 11 Jul 05

For molasses, buy very dark brown sugar (thats what it says on the packet, made by CSR, available in all supermarkets) and melt it in a pot over a gentle heat.

Looks like a gourmet outing to Kingston is on the cards this weekend.

Where is Poachers Pantry?

wonsworld 1:08 pm 11 Jul 05

For those who ever get any of Oprah’s recipes….

Two items that I had difficulty finding were Hickroy Smoke Marinade (for cooking real good tasty ribs mmmmmm) and Grahams Animal Crackers (base material for biscuit bases etc).

After tasting them both in States I can tell ya that the first one can be a problem to be found here but you can generally find a good suitable substitute in Jack Daniels or Southen Comfort marinade sauce brands.

I have never seen the real Grahams crackers here but again after a taste test in the States, the best thing to say they are like would be a slightly saltier version of Arnotts Milk Arrowroot biscuits.

..and haggis is good tucker

ssanta 12:59 pm 11 Jul 05

black pudding… high country meats.

Thumper 12:53 pm 11 Jul 05

I’ve oftern wondered how you catch a haggis? Do they run fast? Do they live in little burrors in the highlands of Scotland?

What would happen if Haggis’ were released into the wild in Australia? Would they become feral noxious animals like rabbits?

The mind boggles. I can just see a red hairy Scotsman in a kilt with a big stick chasing a furry haggis around in the gloaming….


terubo 12:38 pm 11 Jul 05

Often hanker after a haggis – where to buy?

tortfeaser 12:08 pm 11 Jul 05

You’re going to have to make a trip into the inner south. Silo in Kingston have both the greatest bread this side of Victoire in Balmain, and have a specialist cheese shop in the store. That’s probably the cheese shop ssanta is on about.

Silo is run by a couple who used to have something to do with Cornucopia in Braddon. Cornucopia have great breat (not as good as Silo), and fantastic tarts and pastries (better than Silo). But no cheese.

Poachers Pantry have a few cheeses, but not the range and quality of Silo. Poachers have the most fantastic smoked meats I’ve ever had. Great smoked lamb cutlets and Christmas hams. Getting Monterey Jack anywhere could be a problem – its not common in Australia. Try gruyere instead.

Molasses – not common – try dark golden syrup – its a very very close substitute.

As to general calls about good places to shop in Canberra – its a small market, with some excellent individual places. But there’s some big gaps in the market.

Silo is the standout for foodies. Their sourdough on the weekends is fantastic. The butcher in the city market (Civic) (where Supabarn is) is great. The supabarn there is probably the best supermarket in Canberra.

The fishmonger in Belconnen markets is the best I’ve found, good produce and won’t lie on what has been frozen. Has some lines that are hard to get (eg unfrozen scallops on the shell). I think the fruit shop in the city market is a good one, with a great range. The poultry shop in Fyshwick markets is good. The deli near Deep Dish in Manuka is good for western meditteranean stuff. The deli in Fyshwick markets is good for italian.

But I can’t find french butter (lescure), paella rice, black pudding and a few other things not immediately to mind. Would love tips on sources for these.

ssanta 11:30 am 11 Jul 05

My suggestion would be to head for the fyshwick markets. Your cheeses will be able to be sourced from a joint called ‘Poachers Pantry’ out near Murrumbateman. there is meant to be specialty cheese shop somewhere, but i have no idea where.

Molasses you can get in a chain of shops called ‘Ankor what’ ironically and Asian produce joint.

As for bread, i make my own, so frankly i dont give a stuff!

rjg 11:03 am 11 Jul 05

Belconnen or Fyshwick markets, while out of area, would be a good option. The Ainslie shops have an ‘independent’ grocery store, that is foodie friendly, and a good deal closer.

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