Festive foods for your Christmas table
The festive season is about what’s on the table as much as what’s under the tree. Whether your tradition is a Christmas lunch or dinner, these beautiful foods from regional Australia will bring a special flavour to your table.
Karen Kelly began Pud For All Seasons after moving from Melbourne to Castlemaine in 2004. Her traditional and contemporary handmade gourmet puddings use local free range eggs and Australian dried fruits wherever possible. She gets apples and oranges fresh from the local orchard and the bread from the local baker.
These gourmet puddings are to be enjoyed all year around but are extra special at Christmas when family and friends are gathered around the Christmas table. The bestseller is the Traditional Plum Pudding, which is made exactly as Karen’s grandmother used to make it.
Other favourites, like the Double Choc and Orange with Cointreau and Date & Butterscotch Pudding, are based on this family recipe. Pair each one with a bottle of their decadent Brandied Butterscotch Sauce.
If there’s anything Louisa Morris loves just as much as eating fruitcakes, it is making them. She assembles these beautiful, multi award-winning fruitcakes using locally sourced quality ingredients from farmers and producers in her regional town of Wahgunyah.
Fruitcakes are a beautiful centrepiece to any Christmas table. They can be iced and decorated with a Christmas theme, or left as is with the nuts and cherries on top. They also keep to a long time and make a delicious treat with a well-deserved cuppa tea.
Duncan Garvey produced Australia's first black truffle in Tasmania in June 1999. He’s now an old hand at putting together beautiful gourmet food hampers and has curated one for the Christmas table. His handpicked selection this year includes award-winning cheeses and condiments from Tasmania’s Coal River and the Bay of Fires.
Festive favourites are the Wicked Cheese Vintage Cheddar and Triple Brie, especially when served with Tasmanian truffle honey, made with fresh Tasmanian truffles. The Bay of Fires Semi Hard is a beautiful accompaniment to the Tasman Sea Salt Lavosh and the tangy Island Berries Quince Paste, while the Coal River Camembert is one of the best soft cheeses from Tasmania.
The Naked Farmers make their dukkah from Australian-produced nuts and their own chilli flakes and other herbs from the Hunter region of New South Wales. Dukkah is traditionally eaten on its own with quality bread and cold-pressed olive oil but can also be used to dress up other dishes.
Modern Australian Christmas tables ooze fusion, and on a hot day there are plenty of salads, salmon and other seafood and dips to keep hunger at bay while waiting for the main dish.
Sophie Love from The Naked Farmers recommends sprinkling their dukkah on a mixed green salad with olives and tomatoes, on homemade hummus, and as a crisp crust for grilled salmon. In other words, anywhere you want to add some spice and flavour.
Deborah Batchelor is one half of a father and daughter team who produce artisanal cold-filtered pure raw honey-based gourmet spreads and dressings. Based in sunny Geebung in Queensland, they own nearly one hundred beehives surrounded by native trees, and beautiful wildflowers and garden flowers.
Two Busy Bees’ beekeeping is sourced with care and commitment and their honey products are made with love. Whether it’s a jar of handcrafted raw honey, Dijon honey mustard dressing or honey soy chilling dressing, each one has a place on your Christmas table.
Nicole Street began Fudge by Rich as a small venture in Healesville, Victoria and very quickly made a name for herself with her deliciously rich fudge. Made with unique and diverse combinations of quality raw ingredients, her fudge has earned the reputation of being the best in town.
Fudge by Rich is hand made in small batches, individually wrapped with care and painstakingly string tied. Whether you pile fudge squares high on a centre plate or set indulge your guests with whole bar each, they’ll be talking about dessert long after dinner is over.
Luke Spencer’s interest in the bean-to-chocolate bar process was sparked when he travelled to Vanuatu in 2010 to manage a large cocoa plantation. When he returned to Australia he continued keeping in touch with a few cocoa bean growers there. When he eventually launched Spencer Cocoa in 2012, his milk and dark chocolate bars were made from scratch using cocoa beans grown in Vanuatu.
Chocolate bars are made for sharing and the act of passing a bar round a table after a meal helps enhance the communal bond. Luke’s creations add a delightful post-Christmas meal touch. It’s the ideal treat to nibble on after a feast or throughout the day.