Through the miracle of Facebook, I was online-talking a couple of weeks ago with a cousin who lives in Australia. Kathryn and I have never actually met in person but were introduced through other cousins from Omaha. She is originally an Omaha girl but has lived down under for quite some time. In typical family-fashion, we’ve become fast friends.
I’ve never been to Australia. I came close – Singapore and then through the Java sea when in Uncle Sam’s Yacht Club – but that other-side-of-the-world-flight-as-a-civilian has eluded me, thus far. However… I’m thinking that the trip may just be worth it one of these days!
We were chatting about food – how unusual is that?!? – when she mentioned some garlic salts she had gotten from a place south of Melbourne – Otway Fields – and said she’d send me a couple of packets.
Yesterday, the packets arrived!
What fun to get local food from 17000 kilometers away! You should see it! After opening the packet, the salt sparkled. I wish the picture could capture the way the light was reflecting off the crystals. It really did look magical.
And the flavor… WOW! The Black Garlic has really been tamed by the long cooking – 40 days of heating – but the flavor is intense. Not garlic as you expect, but a rich, deep, earthy flavor that is really unique. The Smoked Garlic Salt has a stronger garlic flavor with a smoky undercurrent. Another unique flavor. As you may know, I’m a bit of a spice junkie. I think there are close to 50 different herbs and spices in the cabinet and 13 or so different salts. Well… 15, now. They’re all there for a reason and they now have some excellent company. They have both put a smile on my face!
I coated a tri-tip roast quite liberally with the black garlic salt and tossed it on the barbie – and it came out divine!
I didn’t add any other spices or seasonings – I wanted to see how it would fare on its own – and it passed the test with flying colors.
I think the next dish may be potato salad. The flavors would be perfect. And I still have to try the smoked garlic salt. That one definitely has a garlic kick to it – and a smokiness that may be calling for a piece of white fish of some sort… We shall see.
In the meantime, we had a great dinner and the joy of more to come!