Bruny Island Providores: Four of the Best

Bruny Island, pristine and unspoilt, has been an incredible wild haven for the last week, but you might be surprised to find that it's home to foodie treasures too, with an increasing number of great food destinations dotted around the island. Here are four of the best - I hope you have a chance to enjoy their produce as much as I have!

Get Shucked Oysters

The roadside sign pointing to Bruny Island's Get Shucked Oyster Shack points you down a dirt road to a humble caravan sitting under the shade of a towering eucalypt. Just opposite the sparkling waters of Great Bay, where the oysters are grown and presumably live a happy life reaching plump loveliness in preparation for being eaten, the caravan sells shucked or un-shucked oysters ($12/dozen) and they don't come any fresher than this.

You can sit under the eucalypt and eat them straight from the shell, or take them home and arrange them on a plate before eating them straight from the shell. Either way, make no mistake, these oysters make for very, very good eating and need no acconpaniment other than fresh air and a hearty appetite. Thanks little oysters. I love you, I really do. 

Bruny Island Cheese Company

What a find the Bruny Island Cheese Company turned out to be! I really didn't expect to come all the way from Shanghai to find artisanal cheeses in a pristine wilderness, but those are exactly the sort of pleasant surprises Tasmania has the habit of dealing you every day.

Cheesemaker Nick Haddow makes seven types of cheese, all from Tasmanian cows' milk. Tasmania has incredibly luscious, rich milk (as an aside, in the 1930s the Cadbury Chocolate Company decided on Tasmania, from the entirety of Australia, for their factory because of the superior quality of the milk) and the resulting cheeses are all excellent.

The cheese house has a light-filled indoor area (for cold days) and a broad verandah (for warmer days) where you can sit with a bottle of good Tasmanian wine, and a sampling of cheeses with bread from the wood-fired oven, or even a wood-fired pizza. It's a lovely way to spend a sunny afternoon.

I really enjoyed their 'saint' cheese, a soft surface-ripened brie style with creamy full flavour, and the 'tom' (seen ripening in the cheese room above),  a five months ripened hard cheese. But they're all good, including the soft and light-flavoured o.d.o. (one day old) cheese, a baby steeped in olive oil to keep it soft and perfect with crusty bread, herbs, and prosciutto.

Bruny Island Berry Farm

Pick-your-own? Yes please, and berries are always a favourite. Sadly, the day we visited the Bruny Island Berry Farm it was absolutely clean out of berries because everyone else holidaying on the island had the same idea. Instead, I had to make do with a creamy raspberry and strawberry ice-cream from Tasmania's Valhalla icecreams followed by an excellent piece of berry cake. Small consolation.

The farm sits in an indescribably beautiful location opposite a tiny cove of Adventure Bay with aquamarine waters and silver sands, and serves coffees, pancakes, and home-made cakes as well as jams and berry sauces.

They grow a number of interesting berry varieties including Tasmanian pepperberries, blackberries, and raspberries, all in full season right now, so I returned today to try a few more ice-cream flavours (in the interests of quality research I'm happy to report they are all, including the sorbets, superb) and buy some plump ripe sweet raspberries ($10 for 500g) for dessert. A rare treat.

Bruny Island Smoke House

I have occasional dreams of setting up my own smokehouse, rows of oily fish hanging deliciously from the smokehouse roof ready for eating. Until I get round to that highly unlikely pipedream I can visit the Bruny Island Smokehouse, who smoke their own Tasmanian salmon, ocean trout, rainbow trout, sardines and meats, including wallaby from Bruny Island Game Meats.

The smoked ocean trout from nearby McQuarry Harbour is soft, luscious and lightly smokes, and pairs well with a glass of reisling sitting overlooking Sykes Bay. The wallaby, sliced finely, was less game-flavoured than I expected, and was delicious with crusty bread and pickles. I could imagine using tossing it through fresh orrechiete with mushrooms, herbs and olive oil.

The Smokehouse's prizewinning produce extends to smoked Pomegranate quail, Leatherwood duck, home-made pomegranate syrup (I'm taking a bottle of that rarity back to China) and spiced preserves and pickles, and they deliver anywhere in Australia.

The Details:

Get Shucked Oysters
Bruny Island Main Road, Great Bay
Bruny Island

Bruny Island Cheese Company
1807 Main Road, Great Bay
Bruny Island

Bruny Island Berry Farm
Two Tree Point, Adventure Bay
South Bruny

Bruny Island Smokehouse 
Lennon Road
North Bruny

Labels: ,