Our clean eating issue is out now, packed with super lunch bowls, gluten-free desserts and more - including our cruising special, covering all luxury on the seas.
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Toby Wilson and Rising Sun Workshop’s Nick Smith are teaming up for a one-night-only fiesta.
Under Sky are popping up with a luxe camping hotel experience at Mount Zero Olives this April.
What is this heat going to ruin next?
We’re spoilt for variety – and value – in Australia when it comes to good riesling. Max Allen picks the top 20 from a fine crop.
As the '90s dawned, darling chefs were pushing the boundaries of cooking in this country. A young Christine Manfield, just starting out at this heady time, soon became part of the generation that redefined modern Australian cuisine. She shares some of her timeless signatures from the era.
To travel to Normandy along the Seine is to take it by stealth, writes Larissa Dubecki, who ventured forth in search of chateaux and Calvados.
Cirrus moves the Bentley team down to the water and into more lighthearted territory without sacrificing polish, writes Pat Nourse.
A vegetable patch without rocket lacks a great staple, according to Mat Pember. The perennial performer is a leaf for all seasons.
Counting down from 20, here are this summer's most-loved recipes.
"Think of this dessert as a deconstructed version of a summer pudding, with thinly sliced strawberries macerated in elderflower liqueur and layered between slices of brioche," says Stone. "A dollop of whipped cream on top is a cooling counterpoint to the floral flavours."
The restaurant and hotel scene on Australia's favourite holiday island has never been more exciting and Australian chefs, owners and restaurateurs are leading the charge, writes Samantha Coomber.
A hotdog is all about the condiments. Here, choose between a smoky red capsicum relish or the bright flavours of chimichurri, or go for a bit of both.
Massimo Bottura and more are coming to the Sydney Opera House.
These baguette recipes are picture-perfect and picnic ready, bursting with fillings like slow-cooked beef tongue, poached egg and grilled asparagus and classic leg ham and cheese.
From an effortless tomato and ricotta herbed tart to Sri Lankan fish curries and chewy pork-and-pineapple skewers, these no-fuss recipes lend to relaxing on a humid summer's night.
"I've made all kinds of fancy cheesecakes in my time, but nothing really beats the classic combination of strawberries and almonds with a boost from vanilla bean," says Stone. "I could just pile macerated strawberries on top, but why not give your tastebuds a proper party by folding grilled strawberries into the cheesecake batter too? Cheesecakes are elegant and my go-to for celebrations because they taste best when whipped up a day in advance."
Decaffeinated coffee has a terrible reputation. There are no two ways about it. Regular coffee drinkers typically consider decaf to be chalky, less robust or generally just worse than its caffeinated peer.
It's about time someone taste-tested it. We roped in two Sydney-based coffee experts (Corie Sutherland of Darlinghurst's Edition Coffee Roasters and Sean McManus from Surry Hills' Neighbourhood) and two regular coffee drinkers with generally good palates (ABC journalist and occasional fine food judge Simon Marnie, and sommelier, latte drinker and Moya's Juniper Lounge owner Charles Casben) to blind taste test four different coffees.
With help from Coffee Kaizen and Mecca's Sam Sgambellone, our coffee tasters completed two rounds of tasting, one of espresso and the other with milk. Without knowing which was which, they tasted a Brazilian Cup of Excellence, a strongly roasted commercial blend and two different Mecca roasts, one decaffeinated and one not.
Surprisingly, none of the tasters picked the decaf coffee in both rounds. Of the four tasters, only Marnie picked the decaf in the espresso round. Even more surprising were the scores. Of all the eight coffees tasted, the decaf scored the highest with an average of 3.6/6. Both Sutherland and McManus thought the decaf was overwhelmingly "minerally".
"I thought it was quite nice, very sweet," said McManus. "It had this really nice smooth body that just sits there for a very long time. This is definitely my favourite out of all four."
Casben described it as elegant and rich without being too big. Only Marnie gave it a bad score, saying, "I felt a bit ripped off with this one. I was really put off by the balance."
A crucial difference here is that Marnie, unlike the other tasters, prefers the flavours of dark roasted coffee, which was more present in the other cups. What the scores from the three other tasters prove is that decaffeinated coffee at least has the potential to be good. Whether it can be as good as its caffeinated counterpart is more complicated to judge.
For those in the business of producing quality coffee there are two main ways to go about decaffeination: the Swiss water bath (SWB) and the ethyl acetate (EA) wash.
SWB entails decaffeination through osmosis in a water bath, a process sometimes criticised for its effect on taste. Soaking the beans extracts not just the caffeine but also much of the flavour and aroma. To get around this, each batch of beans is soaked in what's called caffeine-free green coffee extract, essentially water that contains all the flavour and aroma compounds of coffee. A final batch of SWB beans carries not their original flavour but a mixture of the flavours of those beans and the beans used to create the green coffee extract.
The EA process sees the beans washed in volatile chemicals. Sounds nasty? It's a bit of a moot point, because any trace of the chemical is extinguished, if not in the initial decaffeination process, then in the roasting of the beans.
David Kastle, vice president of the US-based Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Company, says his company uses the SWB process because it's more natural and has less impact on the taste. "I find that EA processing always leaves a flavour on the decaf, sometimes winey, sometimes banana or cherry."
We asked Mark Howard of Caravela Coffee, a company that uses EA, about the effect of that process on the flavour of the beans. "It smells different," he said. "It gives coffee an extra pump of fruitiness." Is that a negative or a positive? It depends on your taste.
Process aside, the fact is that decaffeinated coffee is rarely produced from premium quality beans. "The general consensus is to take stuff at a lower grade," says Howard. "The problem is there isn't enough market." Add together the expense of decaffeination and the premium cost of high-quality beans and you end up with an expensive product that relatively few people want to buy.
Decaf coffee, then, has the potential to be very good, but most of what's actually produced isn't as good as the top tier of caffeinated speciality coffee - hence its reputation as substandard.
And surely its lack of stimulant effect doesn't help? McManus disagrees, saying the true coffee connoisseur just wants a tasty brew. "The way I look at it, I'm not a drug dealer. I'm not in the caffeine business, I'm in the coffee business. I don't give a f--k if it's caffeinated or not. All I care about is that it's delicious."
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