Review: United Flavours of the World Gourmet Safari

K’s father bought us gift vouchers for a Gourmet Safari for Christmas last year and we finally got around to going on the tour last weekend, choosing to do the United Flavours of the World tour. I wanted to go on this tour as I thought it would capture the best of the multiculturalism and food diversity of Australia.

We started out bright and early at 8.30am on a Saturday morning, with a group of around two dozen people meeting at Central Station in Sydney to get on our coach bus. Our fellow gourmet travellers were all older, averaging around 50 to 60 years old. We were very much the young people on the tour. As soon as we started our journey, our tour guide Alex explained how the stops on our tour would be based in south-west Sydney. In his words, “South West Sydney is where raw materials for Sydney’s gastronomes are produced”. In other words, you can buy a gourmet chorizo from an expensive deli in the city, or you can go to the south-west and get it straight from the source.

For those unfamiliar with Sydney neighborhoods, south-west Sydney is an older and more industrial part of town, with a large migrant and ethnic population. It’s not an area that I’ve ventured into yet in my year in Sydney, as I live on the North Shore of Sydney, which is arguably the wealthiest and most white-bread part of town. This was all going to change though! Our first stop was Sunshine Meats, located in Milperra.

Sunshine Meats We were introduced to the Portugese owners of this business, and given a history of how they came to make some of the most popular small goods in Australia. We had a tasting session as well, led by owner Maria Pereira, her daughter, her niece, her mother, and her aunts. Talk about a family-run business! Some of the items we tasted included: chilli chicken breast, chocolate turkey, smoked beef, pork chorizo, chilli chicken chorizo, and a caramelised onion jam.

The most interesting part of the meal was when Maria demonstrated how to cook chorizo on an individual barbecue. That’s the two little pigs you see in the last photo above – essentially, you pour alcohol into the well in the ceramic barbecue and light it on fire. You then skewer a chorizo (or any other meat!), and let it cook over the flames. It creates this perfect crispy outside, while the inside remains nice and juicy.

I can’t even begin to describe how tasty each and every item at Sunshine Meats was – this was probably evidenced by the fact that we left the shop after having spent $50AUD on chorizo, chicken and jams.
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