British celebrity Chef Heston Blumenthal has graced Australian shores once again, this time to launch 15 new products under the Heston for Coles brand.
The partnership between Blumenthal and the supermarket was announced in September last year, and since then, Blumenthal has met with a host of local suppliers and manufacturers, with the aim of including as many native Australian ingredients as possible in his new Coles range.
Blumenthal, who holds multiple honorary degrees in recognition of his scientific approach to cooking, told Food Magazine that although it was exciting to experiment with Australia’s native ingredients, some are simply not cut out for the food manufacturing sector.
“We went through quite a number of varieties of bush tomato and there was one (variety) that was very astringent,” he said.
“The problem with some of the native ingredients is that they have to survive in pretty extreme conditions … So to have the ability to survive, (the ingredients) are generally going to be more bitter.”
Although the bush tomato presented some hurdles, Blumenthal says that Australia has some of the best produce in the world to work with.
“I’ve been coming to Australia now for 12-14 years and the produce here is amazing. From the seafood obviously to the best beef in the world, and the truffles, but also the native produce."
Some of the native ingredients that Blumenthal incorporated into the Coles range includes lemon myrtle in the in the Slow Cooked Asian Pork, and Pepperberries in the Beef Sausages.
Another product in the range is the Heston Remarkable Beef Burger which earns its name from the innovative way the beef is processed.
“We’ve developed a technique during the mincing process… As the mince comes out of the machine you basically catch it and then roll it into a big sausage… then when you cut the patties, all of the fibres are running one way, so when you bite down onto the burger, it’s really quite delicate," he said.
Blumenthal also said that the range has broken new ground by developing a number of slow cooked, supermarket ready products.
“One of the many things that have excited me about this range is that I don’t think that there is any supermarket, certainly in Australia, or even the world… that has managed to slow cook a piece of meat for 30 hours sous vide, which is an amazing thing to be able to have that as part of the range."
Other products in the new range include Pork and Sage Sausages, Slow Cooked Beef Ribs with Pepperberries, Beef, Onion & Shiraz Pies, Chicken, Leek and Mushroom Pies, Potato Topped Lamb & Rosemary Pies, Thyme and Lemon Roasted Chicken, together with a range of sauces.
Come September when the next Heston for Coles range will be rolled out, Blumenthal said that the inclusion of a few sweet treats are on the cards.
“We will be doing a sweet range,” he says. “We will be coming out with what I call the world’s best dunking biscuit. We did it for a show called Fantastical foods… [where] we looked at the science of dunking and tried to make a biscuit that can withstand it.”
The Heston for Coles range is now available at selected Coles stores across Australia.