Sunday, December 22, 2013

Dilmah Marquee at Taste of Melbourne, by invitation, by Big Fil

My apologies to the nice people at Dilmah for the delay in writing this post (curse that thing called work) but Snooze and I were quite excited when we received the invitation to try some of their wares and attend a presentation by the charismatic Peter Kuruvita.


Now everyone knows tea as a drink and Dilmah certainly offered a wide variety of teas including a few interesting blended options such as a Ceylon spice chai (my favourite) and a acai berry with pomegranate and vanilla.  What isn’t always as well appreciated is how well tea works with chocolate.  

Our hosts certainly did, offering both a white chocolate spiced chai fudge and an earl grey infused dark chocolate truffle for our sampling.  Both were kind of obvious but still very good choices, a variation on the normal milky chai drink and the strong flavours of the earl grey and dark chocolate matching well.  What I didn’t expect and was new to me was the pairing of a rose and French vanilla flavoured Turkish delight with tea.  Snooze is a huge fan of Turkish delight but I am not, having tried far too many overly sweet varieties.  This though was the high quality version you’d expect from a company putting its wares on display, but what really struck me was the changing flavour of the sweet while sipping the tea, mellowing and adding depth to the flavour.

Next up was Mr Kuruvita’s presentation, showing another side of the versatility that is tea.  In this case it was tea as a palate freshener to allow the clear flavours of a Mexican variety of a prawn cocktail to shine through.  Peter has recently been to Mexico and as most people do raved about his experience there and the clean crisp flavours of the food compared to so much of what passes as Mexican food here.  Without the creaminess of the 60s and 70s dinner party favourite, the use of tea in the prawn coacktail as a palate freshener was something I’d never experienced before.  There was also much discussion around how long tea should be brewed for that perfect cuppa, not too long and not too quick, but I figure the perfect time is as you like it.

Chef Peter Kuravita

Tea, it’s not just a drink but also a novel way of creating new flavours and dishes.  I can’t pretend to have the skills or culinary imagination of a Peter Kuruvita, but I was able to appreciate his love of tea and the myriad uses to which it can be put.  Thanks again to our friendly hosts.

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