There were some gems today at the Warrnambool Independent Market Traders monthly market, now relocated at the James Swan Reserve on Raglan Parade.
For those who love a taste sensation or prefer local products that are Australian grown, then first stop is Lana’s Garden with it’s speciality sauces and jams produced in Warrnambool by Lana Campbell.
Lana’s products are rhubarb-based, each batch home-made and individual in colour and taste due to seasonal availability.
Lana began her home-based business four years ago partly to remain a hands-on parent, but her husband makes it a team effort, having taken over marketing and delivery to meet growing demand.
Even Lana’s home-grown rhubarb supply has come under strain so extra supplies are sourced in and around Warrnambool.
‘Rhubarb is family friendly,’ says Lana
‘It can sit in the garden for one or ten years’.
Utilising her hospitality brackground and starting with ‘grandma’s’ rhubarb recipe, Lana’s relish went down so well that she now produces four products, all gluten free and prepared in her registered Home-Kitchen.
‘We use white rather than brown vinegar, and a maize-based cornflour,’ Lana tells,
‘Our products are also free of artificial colours, preservatives and additives’.
The dilemma becomes which to choose: grandma’s relish, the savoury sauce, rhubarb coulis or raspberry & rhubarb jam.
Fortunately there are samplers but that makes choosing all the more difficult.
The rhubarb and raspberry jam was mine for its dark richness of the berries against the lighter sweetness of the rhubarb and apple, and will do beautifully as a sauce as well.
The rhubarb relish is a favourite with the males says Lana, and made me sorry there was no cold lamb ready in the fridge. It could also add some bang to a lightly crumbed chicken breast grilled with cheese flakes, or re-do a simple nacho dish.
The rhubarb coulis bounces off the tongue and I mentally dressed it over a green salad with fresh grilled flake, but it would do just as well over muesli for breakfast.
Lana’s sauce completely one me over for its big pepper and onion tomato tastes and it was in a dish in the oven within ten minutes of reaching home. By browning off some trimmed chicken thighs with chunks of red onion and celery and adding a dab of ginger, mint and garlic I could simply pour Lana’ sauce on top and dinner was underway.
It is heartening to see so many local ingredients and products being utilised right here at home.
Lane Brother’s representative Mr Peter Lane says the family began producing onions some twenty years ago and their main variety produced is the popular ‘Patrick Brown’ onion.
Patrick Browns’ do well when chopped or diced for pan-cooked dishes like stir-frys. They hold their shape in high temperatures and are good for preserves. Their crisp juice keeps in oven-baking or hot-pot cooking.
Mr Lane says their onions undergo rigorous chemical testing and analysis before making their way into supermarkets.
However competition comes from oversees imports,or in the form of products with ambiguous labelling under the familiar ‘Australian Made’ logo, Mr Lane says.
The website for Australian Made states an independent survey by Roy Morgan in 2012 found ninety eight per-cent of Australian’s trust the recognized logo.
Today the same logo, a green coloured triangle with a yellow coloured kangaroo in its middle, is used for five different production categories: Australian Made, Australian Grown, Product of Australia, Australian Seafood and Australian.
However not all guarantee that the primary ingredients are grown in Australia, and Mr Lane says consumers wanting to be confident in a product should choose the Australian Made label ‘Australian Grown’.
Lana’s Garden products have gained strong local following and her products are available on-line or through the Warrnambool Independent Trading Markets held on the 4th Sunday of each month.
I am off to tuck into my all-Australian Chicken a’la Lana..
Wait……..I hope this chicken itself is an Australian chicken. Even better Free Range. Better go read the label.