The best of the best, a day at the Sydney Food and Wine Festival

The annual Sydney Good Food and Wine Festival took place last weekend, attracting thousands of food lovers from across the state.

Featuring a smorgasbord of innovative producers from Australia, New Zealand and around the globe, this year’s festival saw the Sydney exhibition centre flooded with unique aromas and flavours to tantalise every palette.

Featuring well loved producers such as Maggie Beer Products and McWilliams Wines, to smaller new to market entrants, the festival delighted food lovers with an endless array of new and delicious offerings.

Some particularly notable exhibitors included New Zealand’s Ikana, who specialize in Greenshell™ Mussels, and Pana Chocolate, a local Melbourne raw chocolatier.

Innovative packaging locks in freshness

Ikana introduced their organically grown, easy steam Greenshell™ Mussels range to the Australian market last year. The Mussels are prepared fresh with chef inspired sauces which are free from artificial colours and flavours, and are then lightly blanched and snapped frozen to retain freshness and flavour.

Ikana is a small family owned and run business, with distribution throughout selected Woolworths Supermarkets across the country. General Manager, Mark Ventress said that the reception of Ikana’s products at the festival has been fantastic.

The mussels are packed in an innovative ‘easy steam’ tray, allowing consumers to cook the mussels from frozen in under five minutes.

Raw, vegan and fair trade delights

Pana Chocolate is a raw, certified organic, vegan chocolate which is handmade in Melbourne. The company sources only natural ingredients, sweetens its products with dark agave nectar and its cocao percentage ranges between 50 to 80 percent.

Along with using only organic and natural ingredients, Pana Chocolate’s packaging is made of 100 percent Australian recycled cardboard, using soy ink, recyclable foil and a recyclable paper wrapper.

One of the most notable points of Pana Chocolate is its texture and decadent taste. The richness of the cocao delivers a strong full flavour, coupled with a surprisingly smooth texture which is achieved without the use of heat.

Pana chocolate is never raised over 42 degrees and the company’s cacao is sourced from fair trade cooperatives in Bolivia and the Dominican Republic.

Something to be nutty about

Continuing along the welcomed trend towards natural and minimally processed offerings, Pic’s Really Good Peanut Butter sources the finest quality hi-oleic peanuts from Farmers in Australia and Argentina. The New Zealand company started in 2007 and has grown to become one of the country’s most loved brands.

Pic’s Peanut Butter is made with 100 percent peanuts omitting added vegetable oils, sugars and preservatives found in many other brands. Pic’s Peanut Butter range is available in either original or smooth varieties, and contains either a little salt, or no salt.

The calibre of exhibitors at the 2013 Good Food and Wine Festival was exceptional. Innovative ideas borne from either identified gaps in the marketplace, or simply a pure passion for a product had consumers both curious and excited about the impressive range of new product offerings.

The exposure generated from the event will no doubt benefit both new and emerging brands as well as old favourites.


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