Saturday, January 06, 2007

Taste of Tasmania 2006

Taste of Tasmania

The end of the year is always the time for the Summer Festival and the jewel in the crown is the Taste Of Tasmania. For several days a gloomy old warehouse on the waterfront is transformed into a culinary wonderland, with stalls selling an amazing variety of food and wine.

My mother used to put a little money aside every month so she could indulge herself at "the Taste." We come from a less frugal generation, but we managed to make a few visits to this temple of the gourmandizers.

We feasted on such items as hare, ostrich, buffalo, and even Senegalese Calamari. A large choice of wine, coffee and soft drinks was available to wash it down with.

Taste of Tasmania interior

The normally dark and dour interior of the building was festooned with wall hangings painted by local school-children, and the colourful signage of the stalls brightened up the place. Sitting inside, we could see out across the waterfront and watch yachts and boats coming and going.

In fact the Taste started 18 years ago as something to keep the public amused between the start and finish of the annual Sydney-to-Hobart yacht race. Today I suspect it is as big an attraction as the race is, perhaps even bigger in some circles.

The weather was good for the festival, but became a bit oppressive later in the week. The temperatures soared to around 30 degrees (about 86 fahrenheit)and my sister Julie had to resort to hanging wet towels over the cages to keep her poultry from suffering heat stress in the sultry afternoons.

One night the humidity was still at 73% at 2 a.m. I found it difficult to sleep as you might imagine and stayed awake late reading and listening to the radio. And wouldn't you know it, the following morning I was woken first by an early-morning phone call then by a visitor ringing the doorbell.

It was after midday before I felt human again. Not an experience I'd care to repeat again.

It was a relief when a change came over at the end of the week and we were able to enjoy a cooling breeze while light rain pattered down on the roof.

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