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Berry Hill

berryhill

If you want a real Australian success story, this is it. The Paech family have been on their land in South Australia's Adelaide Hills since 1840 and started making jams in 1969 as a means of diversifying.

Strawberry jam was first, and next came chutneys, sauces, marinades, dessert sauces, pickled onions, all originally from Carol's kitchen using traditional recipes for a good old-fashioned taste. It worked, and now these jams, pickles and condiments are in gourmet food shops, supermarkets hotels and airlines in many places.

When researching the first edition of Australian Regional Food Guide in 1998, I spoke to Grant and he told me how the first jams were stirred by hand in a copper pan on the family stove. Even then Beerenberg was become a well-known brand, and of course now it is known worldwide.

This well illustrated book, part family history, part memoir, part catalogue and history of an Aussie icon, understandably has a foreword by Dick Smith.

Grant and Sally Paech have combined to create this entertaining history in which you'll learn about the famous Beerenberg barn, the 1971 blackcurrant disaster, and what it was like to be at the centre of the horrific Ash Wednesday fires in 1983.

But this book always had to be about food as well and the family has co-opted the many chefs and food people in their area to provide recipes using Beerenberg products (of course).

As you read the story then create dishes such as chicken roulade with red aioli, Thai chicken and potato triangles, or fig and cinnamon tarts, it's impossible not to give a cheer for this family who have contributed so much to our food culture.

- reviewed by Sally Hammond

Berry Hill - stories & recipes from Beerenberg Farm,  by Grant Paech with Sally Paech, published by Wakefield Press, 2012, hardcover, rrp $39.95 ISBN 978 174305 0934.

 

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