Salamanca Markets, chipotle flatbreads + local designers.

Hobart has, like many capitals, a thriving food scene. Where Hobart differs is that this food scene has easy access to beautiful, fresh Tasmanian produce. Wandering through the Salamanca Saturday Market, sandstone warehouses on one side and the water on the other, we tasted handmade ginger beers, gins, whiskies, fresh produce, candies, jams, jellies and chutneys from the people who have made them, start to finish, by hand.

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But first, we went for a jog in the blistering cold along the Hobart waterfront at sunrise.

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We jogged through gorgeous Battery Point with its old, 1800s sandstone houses, and ended up at famous Jackman McRoss Bakery for breakfast.

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Their danish pastry was spectacular, crisp and flaky with just a little softness inside. Their flavours vary, but my favourites were the cherry, chocolate and coconut danish, and the goats cheese, spinach, caramelised onion and sundried tomato danish (AU$5.50 T/A AU$6 eat in).

They also have lamingtons, tarts, pastries, cakes, donuts, pies, sandwiches, quiches and bread. Mini buttermilk loaves filled with fruit are glazed, sliced and toasted, served with local butter; scrolls are massive and filled with fruits. The cabinets are filled and stacked with piles of freshly made pastries, and baskets fill the rest of the space, overflowing with dozens of varieties of breads and brioches.

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Jackman & McRoss Bakeries on Urbanspoon

Running every Saturday from 8:30AM-3:00PM, Hobart’s Salamanca Market is known as Australia’s best outdoor market. It attracts hordes of locals and visitors alike, who come along to have a chat to local producers, pick up fresh produce that is good for the environment and good for them (low food miles anyone?), and soak up the joyful communal atmosphere.

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Some highlights of the Salamanca Saturday Market:

Amanda Jammm Daily Pleasures for the most incredible and amazing jams and jellies you have and will ever taste. I consider myself a bit of a jam pro: I generally have a pantry full of homemade jams, but I think I will hand over the crown and retire. Amanda makes creative and delicious flavours such as Lime and Coconut Marmalade; Chocolate Pear; Pear Vanilla; Peach, Apricot, Cointreau and White Chocolate; Cherry, Cognac and Vanilla; and Rose Jelly.

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Lily & Rose Sweet Shoppe can’t be missed – look for the pink. The whole store is decked out with pink of various shades: ribbons, cloths, boxes, signs – even the staff sport gorgeous bright pink costumes. Any sort of candy your heart desires can be found here – try their chocolate coated Turkish Delight.

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Just beside the market, tucked away in the Salamanca Arts Centre are a number of necessary culinary and shopping stops. We dropped in to local ‘celebrity chef’ Matthew Evans’ (The Gourmet Farmer) foodstore, A Common Ground. The aim of the store is to ‘reconnect people who love eating great food with the people who produce it.’ They stock local produce from artisan growers, fishermen, farmers, winemakers, brewers and producers, showcasing the best of Tasmanian Produce.

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Next up was cute and quirky Tricycle for a spot of lunch and coffee. They serve coffee from Melbourne roasting superstars 5 senses, and a range of fresh, housemade small and large meals. One tip: if they have their chipotle beef flatbreads on the specials board, swoop in. Beautifully tender, flavoursome meat fills warm tortillas, along with bean puree, pickled chillies, sour cream and salsas (AU$18).

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Tricycle Cafe & Bar on Urbanspoon

On our way out we stopped into The Maker, a gorgeous little store filled with jewellery, clothes, homewares and knick-knacks from local designers.

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Situated in historic Salamanca Square, Smolt was a name that kept popping up when I mentioned I was going to Hobart. Hip and trendy, and smack-bang in the middle of the place to be on a friday or saturday evening, I can’t fault Smolt on food or service. We dropped in for dinner after a day traipsing the market and waterfront.

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We had the delicious fresh Tassal Salmon, with farro and a puy lentil braise, chimmichurri, chorizo and herb salad (AU$32.90) and the lamb rack from the specials board with white polenta and a fresh herby sauce (AU$34).

Smolt on Urbanspoon

After dinner, we stopped into Lark Distillery. They have been producing Australian malt whisky since 1992. Eric did a tasting and prepared the following whisky notes.

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Single Malt Cask Strength: Strong malt flavour with hints of maple and a long balanced finish
Single Malt Distiller’s Selection: Good malt flavour mixed with some port sweetness. Short finish.
Single Malt Single Cask: Good malt flavour but with little else going on. Short finish.

The Lark selection was the first taste of whisky I had in Tasmania. I found that while they were tasty, they lacked a lot of the depth of flavour Scottish whisky. This really came out in the Distiller’s Selection and Single Cask whiskys, as while they had a great flavour when they first hit the tongue, they quickly faded to leave a plain aftertaste. Luckily, the folks at Lark seem to be aware of this, so they came up with the Cask Strength batch. At 58% alcohol it was a far heftier drink than the other two, but the added kick gave a lot of strength to the drink and lent a fantastic warm aftertaste. This was definitely the pick of the lot. I also tried the Slainte whisky liqueur, which had a flavour similar to whisky based dessert sauces. While not bad, it was definitely not a purist’s drink, as the overwhelming sweetness masked a lot of the natural flavours of the whisky. – Eric Grigson

Salamanca Saturday Market
Salamanca Place, Hobart
Saturdays 8:30AM-5:00PM

Amanda Jammm
www.amandajammm.com

Lily & Rose Sweet Shoppe
Salamanca Saturday Market
Salamanca Place, Hobart
Saturdays 8:30AM-5:00PM

A Common Ground
Salamanca Arts Centre,
77 Salamanca Place, Hobart
www.acommonground.com.au

Tricycle Cafe
Salamanca Arts Centre,
77 Salamanca Place, Hobart
www.salarts.org.au

The Maker
Salamanca Arts Centre,
77 Salamanca Place, Hobart
www.themakerhobart.com.au

Smolt
2 Salamanca Place, Battery Point, Hobart
www.smolt.com.au

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