The Strawberry market in Australia is in big trouble. In recent weeks there have been a spade of issues coming to public attention. So much so that the Federal police in now on a national manhunt and the State of Queensland have offered a reward of $100000 for whomever helps to identify the culprit. You may ask what the issue is. Well in recent weeks, people, mostly children, have been surprised to find needles in their strawberries. What originally started as a genuine issue of a disgruntled former farm employee has now turned into a national problem with copycat creating chaos across the country. The farmers have now been dramatically affected and have had to either dumped tones of strawberries or worst close business for the season.
Since my last post I haven’t been too active in the kitchen and as a result haven’t been posting anything on Steemit. At one point I even thought that I won’t be able to ever cook again! You may wonder why? Well early last week, I defrosted some lamb shoulder to make a goulash. Early in the morning I put it in the slower cooker with all the ingredients and left it there to cook for the day. Roughly around 2pm I thought I’ll check on the meat. Good and bad idea. As soon as I opened the lid I was surprised by what floating around the lamb: maggots. There were hundred of them! I quickly closed the lid, switch off the slow cooker and just took it outside the house where I left it for my husband to take care of. From then on, I didn’t have the heart or courage to do anything. I was so disgusted that I couldn’t even set foot in the kitchen. Eventually I composed myself and went to the supermarket to complain. The Store Manager was very comprehensive to my plight but couldn’t take immediate action as it was not a store packed item but rather sold by a third party. He, however, offered to raise the matter with the appropriate company. He also gave me a gift card.
But my plight is nothing in comparison to what is happening to the Strawberry growers in Australia. They’ve gone to hell and back. And things are only starting to improve now. But it will take a long time to get things sorted out and people’s confidence in the product restore. In the meantime, there is a national campaign to try and encourage people to buy and consume strawberries. The campaign is focused on a shift in attitude; i.e. cutting or dicing the strawberry before eating them. In small way I’m trying to help the growers by buying more strawberries at the moment. In the last few days I’ve made 2 cakes using strawberry as my main ingredient and I don’t intend to stop. Before getting on to the cake, just a brief history of strawberry in Australia. Strawberries are grown all year round in all States of Australia. There are an estimated 650 growers involved in the industry. Production is concentrated in coastal regions. On the world scale Australia is said to be amongst the 30 largest strawberry producers by volume.
What made me use more strawberries when many are abandoning them at the supermarkets is the vision of those growers having to dump tonnes and tonnes of unwanted produce, creating mountains of red strawberry mountains in the country’s most eastern states. This just broke my heart thinking of these families who have invested everything in these farmers and might end up losing everything now because of one disgruntled former picker. And the only way to turn the wheel in their favour again is to buy more of the products. My daughter loves them and has kind of adapted to the new way of eating them, in diced form rather than whole. And at the current price I’m even considering making jam out of them for later use.
For this post I’ve made a berry (raspberry and strawberry) mouse hazelnut mousse cake. This cake was very pleasant on the taste buds. It was so nice than neither my daughter nor my cat could resist having a dig at it.
I hope you enjoy it too!
- 5 egg whites
- 200 grams caster sugar
- 180 grams ground hazelnut
- 45 grams flour
- 200 grams frozen raspberries
- 200 grams strawberries
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 70 g sugar
- 12 grams gelatin
- 350 grams thicken cream
- Strawberries to decorate
- Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until pale white, and start adding sugar spoon by spoon and fold in the Hazelnut and flour. https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmYbr1RJ95MRHLzJj46fnK5PoF6zdGjFVNXPN8N4vnC1Zp/IMG_0043.jpg https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmXqQvLmWtU8QaXEoWvgFntY6xmSgpG3qkPNbo2hCeuTy3/IMG_0044.jpg
- Divide the meringue in two 8 inches tins and bake for 25 mins. https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmdjmSwnTWjegGFk8kwgR5iabrbgjXFX1R5r3MiK5zgeSi/IMG_0049.jpg
- For strawberry mousse, cover the gelatine with water and put on the side for 10 mins.
- Heat strawberries and raspberries with sugar and lemon juice until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat, blend using a hand blender until smooth and add the gelatine. Mix everything together until the gelatine dissolves. https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmYqzjpMv76Cz4qqVMJa4qdDYhTFDCowey6xv6Y2f88ZLL/IMG_0048.jpg
- Beat the thicken cream in a bowl until thick and add the strawberry/raspberry puree. Fold together and pour in the tin with one of the cakes on the bottom. https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmQGAE8hm11b1we37m2AWWmky7JBBcFUnZPC9bPMHBG7LW/IMG_0050.jpg
- Decorate with half strawberry around the tin and pour the mousse on top and cover with your second cake and refrigerate overnight. https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmdbgzgzTZzZw6Y5SiLJfeSGQBBgmmJyxW3CkFchrk57hw/IMG_0054.jpg https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmcDuvzshGdVADucFJ5h4nNDQ9ZRXSYAfYs7PWcJCCgiw4/IMG_0055.jpg https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmc5sWxxNcyc7rpQciwdtUdEzbpjKuWmyGW7Rcq2fokFQR/IMG_0058.jpg
- Dust with caster sugar and add strawberries to decorate the cake before serving.