SAFFRON, THE WORLD’S BEST FLAVOUR CATALYST
Geologically unique, Central Otago’s flora and fauna defines rare growing conditions. Extremities within the region deliver special micro-climates, coarse schist ideal for growing saffron. An elusive culinary delight, who would have thought the world’s best saffron is possible from here? With a delicate hand, only six to ten threads will intensify any dish with distinction.
THE WORLD’S MOST PURE THYME HONEY
Rugged hillsides, devoid of pasture potential, can only support scrubby thyme brush – it clings to rocky outcrops, giving up the world’s only pure thyme honey. This micro-floral environment produces the most beautiful aromas, attracting an army of spring bees, across the vast landscape.
REWARDING ONE’S TOILS
From early beginnings of toil in gold mining and farming, handmade, well-crafted beer remains a strong tradition for hard working people. These days, soft adventurers seeking slower moments are presented with a unique selection of beer styles during the long evenings across their journeys.
LEGENDARY HAPPY CHEESES
Happy browsing sheep and goats in this harshest of landscapes, strangely enjoy 5 star diets of native herbal pastures – producing the finest of cheeses. Talk to any Master of Cheese and you will hear legendary comments from our European friends in support of this region and its quality.
THE LONG GAME
The finest of walnuts are only possible using meticulous harvesting techniques and premium plant selection by locals. Here there are as many worry wrinkles as there are walnuts, in a twisted journey of success through many seasons of risk. There’s an incomparable luxurious, soft velvety texture to these nuts. As a grower, you have to play the long game, to produce such quality with all the patience and tenacity you can muster.
THE ART OF NATURE
The worst thing you can do in Central Otago is over-excite nature, with fertilisers, irrigation and the like – you have to prune sparingly, expect lower yields, but the returns are so much more pleasing. Here you simply coax nature, leaving it to do its own thing as it knows best. Sharp, peppery olive oil is a fine example of excellence and the art of Central Otago’s unique nature.
Early settlers of Scottish tradition brought shortbread, tartan and more. Heritage flavours remain today as new recipes, inspired by traditions and seasonality evolve. There is a real skill in the layering of Central Otago’s flavours without disguising their solo attributes. From pickled walnuts to saffron infused biscuits, the delights from the many loving kitchens in the region are experiences for the favoured few.
GARLIC, THE CHEFS GREATEST ALLY
This humble bulb grows in many parts, but never to the intensity as right here in Central Otago. Its pungent qualities are most powerful when not fussed over by good soil. Here, it needs to fight for its survival, the prize being the strength of flavour and aroma.