Monday, November 23, 2015

Rosella's 120th birthday (by invitation)

Iconic Aussie products that are Australian owned and Australian grown are a rare breed nowadays. Having grown up with bottles of Rosella Tomato Sauce in the pantry, the Eat And Be Merry Crew were chuffed to be invited to help celebrate Rosella's 120th birthday last week.  It was a celebration that was steeped in Rosella's rich history.  We toasted to Rosella in Cremorne, right opposite its original factories (which were operated from 1905).

Rosella, 120th birthday, tomato sauce
What started out as a backyard-operation in Carlton has become a much-loved Aussie brand.  Having said that, it's been a bumpy ride over the 120 years, with Rosella changing owners several times and was even at the brink of receivership.  However, in 2013, Australian company Sabrands bought Rosella and decided to take the company back to its roots.  Since then, Rosella stopped importing tomatoes from overseas and only uses home-grown ingredients, most of which are grown in Victoria.

Rosella, 120th birthday, Ben Farley, BBQ King
The birthday celebration included a cooking demonstration of Rosella's tomato sauce by Australian BBQ King, Ben Farley.  Thanks to Rosella, we've got a recipe for sticky Asian lamb riblets by Ben to share with our dear readers (see below).

Rosella, 120th birthday, Sally Williams, Aisle 2, Nick Morris
The event was hosted by Sally Williams, who has a personal history with Rosella.  Although you'd probably recognise her better with clothes on (as the BrandPower ambassador on the television ads), Sally posed nude behind a giant bottle of Rosella Tomato Sauce in Nick Morris' painting, Aisle 2.

Rosella, 120th birthday, tomato sauce, cake
The birthday cake

To commemorate the 120th anniversary, Rosella is encouraging everyone to share their own personal Rosella memories, stories and memorabilia on social media using the hashtag #Rosella120.

Rosella, 120th birthday, Ford T model
Sabrands chairman and owner of Rosella, Dan Presser and his mum (centre) posing in front of 'Rosie', Rosella's 1925 Ford T Model

Rosella, 120th birthday, barbeque
Naturally, it seemed fitting to have a barbeque as part of the celebrations, and we got to sample a range of tasty offerings that were complemented with Rosella products.

Rosella, 120th birthday, barbeque

Sticky Asian Lamb Riblets

Recipe by Ben Farley, reprinted courtesy of Rosella

1.5kg lamb riblets
250g Rosella Fruit Chutney
100g Rosella Tomato Sauce
1 brown onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoon Rosella garlic
1 teaspoon Rosella ginger
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup light soy sauce
1/2 cup dark soy sauce
1 red chilli, roughly chopped
1 star anise

1. Pre-heat BBQ to high heat.
2. Heat a heavy based saucepan on a medium heat, add a little vegetable oil, and saute the Rosella garlic, Rosella ginger and red chilli until soft and fragrant.
3. Add the Rosella Fruit Chutney, Rosella Tomato Sauce, brown sugar, light and dark soy sauce and star anise to the pan and bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until it's reduced slightly.
4. Place the lamb riblets on a roasting rack over a roasting tray and brush liberally with some of the marinade.
5. Turn the middle burners of the BBQ and the side burners to medium, place the roasting tray of riblets in the BBQ, close the lid of the BBQ and roast for 40-45 minutes or until the meat is tender, basting the ribs every 10 minutes.  Once the ribs are cooked, baste them once last time and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
6. To serve, sear the riblets directly onto the char grill for 1 minute per side to add a smoky flavour and then arrange on your favourite serving platter.

Rosella, 120th birthday, flowers
The pretty centerpieces that adorned each table

Rosella, 120th birthday, tomato sauce, vintage
 Vintage Rosella advertisements

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