Healthy Eating

We're championing fresh food that packs a flavour punch, from salads and vegetable-packed bowls to grains and light desserts.

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Farro recipes

Farro can be used in almost any dish, from a robust salad to accompany hearty beer-glazed beef short ribs to a new take on risotto with mushrooms, leek and parmesan. Here are 14 ways with this versatile grain.


There's nothing new about Nordic interiors - blond timbers, concrete surfaces, warm, mid-century charm without the twee - and thank heavens for that. It's a style that augments the beauty of everything around it, in this case, gorgeous Hobart harbour, which makes up one whole wall. What is new here, however, is the food - by veterans of Garagistes, which once dazzled diners down the road, Vue de Monde in Melbourne and Gordon Ramsay worldwide. There's a strong Asian bent, but with Tasmanian ingredients. In fact, the kitchen's love of the local verges on obsessive - coconut milk in an aromatic fish curry is replaced with Tasmanian-grown fig leaf simmered in cream to mimic the flavour. Other standouts include a gutsy red-braised lamb with gai lan and chewy cassia spaetzle, pigs' ears zingy with Sichuan pepper and a fresh, springy berry dessert. While the food is sourced locally, the generous wine list spans the planet. 

Secret Tuscany

A far cry from Tuscany’s familiar gently rolling hills, Monte Argentario’s appealing mix of mountain, ocean, island and lagoon makes it one of Italy’s hidden treasures, writes Emiko Davies.

Where to stay, eat and drink in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Beyond Kuala Lumpur's shopping malls, Lara Dunston finds a flourishing third-wave coffee scene, tailored food tours and charming neighbourhoods.

Moon Park to open Paper Bird in Potts Point

No, it’s not a pop-up. The team behind Sydney’s Moon Park is back with an all-day east-Asian eatery.

Kisume, Melbourne

Chris Lucas has flown in talent from all over the world, including Eleven Madison Park, for his bold new venture. Here’s what to expect from Kisume.

Grilled apricot salad with jamon and Manchego

Here we've scorched apricots on the grill and served them with torn jamon, shaved Manchego and peppery rocket leaves. Think of it as a twist on the good old melon-prosciutto routine. The mixture would also be great served on charred sourdough.


Prepare to enter a picture of the countryside framed by note-perfect Australiana but painted in bold, elegant and unsentimental strokes. Over 10 or more courses, Dan Hunter celebrates his region with dishes that are formally daring (Crunchy prawn heads! Creamy oyster soft-serve! Sea urchin and chicory bread pudding!), yet rich in flavour and substance. The menu could benefit from an edit, but the plates are tightly composed - and what could you cut? Certainly not the limpid broth bathing fronds of abalone and calamari, nor the clever arrangement of lobster played off against charred waxy fingerlings under a swatch of milk skin. The adventure is significantly the richer for the cool gloss of the dining room, some of the most engaging service in the nation and wine pairings that roam with an easy-going confidence. Maturing and relaxing without surrendering a drop of its ambition, Brae is more compelling than ever.

How to judge a cheese by its rind

When it comes to cheese, writes Will Studd, it's one time when it pays to judge something by its cover.

Look, touch and smell the natural rind growing on the outside of any artisan or traditional cheese and you'll find important clues about what lies beneath. With the exception of rindless cheese such as feta or fresh curd, a protective rind defines the type, character and maturation of specialist cheese, and provides an essential guide to its quality and flavour.

Cheesemakers have a diverse variety of rind options to play with. These include natural rinds containing yeast, mould and bacteria, traditional natural inert coverings such as charcoal, leaves, cloth and bark, and modern protective barriers such as plastic and wax. The rind they choose depends on the type of cheese and how much control they want over the ripening process.

Many traditional cheeses employ ingenious natural coverings developed long before refrigeration. Powdered charcoal mixed with salt, for example, is traditionally used to cover goat's cheese in France to neutralise surface acidity and encourage the growth of a protective mouldy blue-grey rind. Plane tree leaves are high in tannin, which discourages excess mould growth, hence their practical use in wrapping blue Valdeón in northern Spain. Covering hard cheese in cloth smeared with lard, meanwhile, is a hallmark of English territorial cheeses, including Cheddar. It helps to create a semipermeable rind that allows air to move in and out of the cheese, releasing moisture and fermenting as it ripens.

The natural rind on surface-mould-ripened soft cheese is a good example of how a rind provides a guide to selection. The most popular examples of this type of cheese are covered in a damp fluffy white mould that smells of mushrooms. The presence of this predictable modern strain of mould is, for me, cause for caution. Originally developed for stabilised "double" Brie and Camembert before being adopted by artisan cheesemakers, it looks impressive when young, but will inevitably develop a taste like wet cardboard and a whiff of ammonia as the cheese ripens. The preferred alternative is a surface-mould-ripened soft cheese covered with a wrinkled ivory rind, which I consider a sign of more interesting flavour and texture.

This old-fashioned strain of mould is becoming increasingly popular. Known as Geotrichum candidum, it has a distinct yeasty flavour and is recognisable in its purest form on goat's cheeses such as Holy Goat's La Luna. The downside of this mould is that it's temperamental, hard to grow and difficult to wrap. Consequently it's often mixed with more robust modern strains in mould-ripened soft cow's milk cheese (such as Normandie Camembert) and signs of its distinctive wrinkle gradually emerge on the surface of the cheese as it ages.

The reddish orange rind that covers washed- and smeared-rind cheeses like Pont-l'Évêque, Époisses, Taleggio and Tilsit indicates the use of a bacteria known as Brevibacterium linens. It's not important to remember the name, but it's useful to know that the finest examples of cheese ripened with this bacterium have a very distinct smelly aroma and mild flavour.

I avoid cheeses with a cracked or excessively wet and sticky rind - this typically indicates the cheese has not been made well, or that it's been matured in the wrong conditions and is unlikely to improve if ripened further.

The natural rinds covering blue cheeses vary from the thick natural mottled rind of a Stilton to the clean salted rind of Roquefort, which is protected by foil.

I avoid blue cheese with a discoloured grey soggy rind; chances are it's been frozen or is past its best.

Traditional types of hard cheese also ripen under a wide variety of natural rinds. These include the smooth, golden, leathery rind on Parmigiano-Reggiano, which must be regularly wiped free of mould contamination, and the hard crusty rinds found on Comté and Gruyère. Again, I avoid cheeses with a thick rind and a greyish subcrust - a sure sign the cheese is past its best.

Finally, perhaps the most important rule to remember when judging a cheese by its rind is to ensure it breathes. Waxed cheese and rindless block cheeses matured in a plastic vacuum bag are cut off from fresh air, inevitably resulting in flavours that bear no resemblance to those found in similar cheese carefully matured under a natural rind.

Next time you visit your local cheesemonger, check out the rinds of the cheeses on display; you may well be surprised how they influence your choice.


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