Friday, February 5, 2010

Gifts for gastro friends

Dukkah is a combination of Middle Eastern spices and flavours, made from pistachio nuts, hazelnut, sesame seeds, almonds, coriander, cumin, pepper and salt. It’s divine served with Turkish bread to dip in olive oil and balsamic vinegar or glaze. We also enjoy it sprinkled on chicken breast and served with salad as a simple weeknight dinner.

I fell in love with the delectable mix known as dukkah at a winery lunch near Mildura in late 2008 and then kicked myself for not buying a jar. I didn't make the same mistake when our friends Sally and Ryan took the Mister and I to Mount Zero Olive Farm while holidaying in nearby Halls Gap a year later. Our jar soon ran out and, once again, I knew I should have bought more. How happy I was on a trip to the Abbotsford Farmers' Market to see the Mount Zero stand and hear that they travel to a Melbourne market most weekends.

When my gastro(nomic) friend, Stacie, commented on the Mount Zero dukkah months ago, I made a mental note to scout out another jar for her birthday. With Christmas and moving, I knew I wouldn't be getting to the weekend markets, but a call to the lovely people at Mount Zero uncovered a whole list of Melbourne stockists, mostly gourmet delis and grocers. A quick trip to a local discount variety store for some little dishes to serve the dukkah, a hunt for my favourite balsamic glaze (Mazzetti brand, around $6.50 from Coles) and there it was – a gift for a gastro friend!

If you’re ever in the Grampians region, it’s worth a visit to the quaint Mount Zero farm (open everyday from 10am -4pm) to see a real biodynamic grove while trying some of their award winning olive oils and other delights. There is nothing like the feeling of buying direct from the source, but not everyone wants to drive 290km from Melbourne for the privilege. Lucky, online shopping has made it to the Wimmera! See the Mount Zero website for details.

Mount Zero Olives
41 Mount Zero Road, Laharum VIC 3401
Phone: 03 5383 8280 or 03 9315 1410


  1. i LOVE Mt Zero - I agree, it's fantastic actually visiting the people who make these delectable gourmet goodies!

  2. Here I was thinking I've uncovered something wonderful but you've already discovered how great the Mount Zero products are! Never mind, I'll make this a challenge to find something equally good that you don't know about:)




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