Vive la difference: foodies in the Simbu
26 March 2011
BY PETER KRANZ
There is an enterprising Frenchman living in Kundiawa who owns a string of businesses and an old plane (now defunct and sitting sat the end of the airport. He rides a horse through ‘cowboy town’. Quite a character.
He had the foresight to establish a French bakery and coffee shop in town, and this has developed into a chain which has spread throughout PNG. There's one at Jacksons airport. Great coffee and pastries!
I happily discovered the bakery on my last day in Kundiawa during a recent visit.
We planned to have a farewell morning tea before our plane left and I volunteered to walk into town and get some nibbles.
I strolled into the French Bakehouse in the middle of a potentially nasty incident when a local man was accused of stealing a bun (resolved peacefully) and came back home loaded with croissants, baguettes, brioche and French pastries. Quite a find for Kundiawa.
Father-in-law took a croissant, said "Nice bun, but it needs vegemite!" and proceeded to ladle a generous helping of the aforementioned Aussie spread onto the chocolate-chip.
I thought it a fitting statement of the union of cultures that you can come across in the most unlikely places.
Photo: Kundiawa Market (Peter Kranz)
Thanks Phil - I can't find it locally - just have to search further afield. And I prefer SP's Ice. A great bru!
Posted by: Peter Kranz | 06 October 2011 at 03:54 PM
SP is available up and down the east coast Peter. I get my brown bottles from Dan Murphy.
Posted by: Phil Fitzpatrick | 06 October 2011 at 02:50 PM
You may already know this, but if you have a hankering for some good taro, tapioc and cooking bananas whilst in Oz, try your local Asian grocer.
We found a good supply at the Filipino-run Asian grocery at Jesmond (Stocklands) Newcastle. Par-boiled and frozen but perfectly tasty. (The Tapioc is called Cassava). Filipino brand-names are Fresh Crop, Cassava King and Saba.
Just cook in coconut milk, add some onion, garlic, ginger, kaukau, green pumpkin tops and chili, and serve with roast pork or kakaruk and you can have lovely PNG style food in Oz.
Only thing missing is SP!
Posted by: Peter Kranz | 06 October 2011 at 02:23 PM
PNG coffee blend wins at Sydney Show
ABC - Armidale-based coffee-maker, Ross Patch, has won a Silver Award in the Cappuccino Class at this year's Royal Easter Show in Sydney. The coffee blends were blind-tasted and assessed for their standard of crème, taste and depth.
Ross Patch says making a good coffee blend is like baking a cake and he's very proud of the accolade. "Well, most of the blends are made up of a combination of four or five particular blends; there may be Colombian, Brazilian, a lot of beans now are coming out of India and Papua New Guinea, too," he says.
Posted by: Peter Kranz | 02 May 2011 at 10:03 AM
Starbucks is now using PNG coffee in some of its specialty stores in the US.
"“When Starbucks partners find a coffee with a particular interesting flavour, it’s sold on its own. There will be enough to do these small batches.”
The specialty coffee is sold as a Starbucks Reserve Coffee and includes varieties such as Kona Coffee and Papua New Guinea Arokara.
Pity more coffee chains in Australia can't do the same.
I believe Coles brand Fairtrade instant coffee uses beans from PNG as well as Colombia.
Posted by: Peter Kranz | 06 April 2011 at 05:52 PM
Peter - Australia always pays lip-service to PNG to do something about the ongoing trade imbalance between PNG and Australia.
It is within Australia's power to improve our trade balance in future. But it has always chose to ignore PNG products.
So we will just have to go somewhere where there is market demand to sell our products if the Aussies think it's not good enough for them.
Many Australian consumers complain about their government importing from faraway countries but none is pressuring Canberra to buy PNG stuff.
It's a shame that Australia is not doing enough to help PNG improve its trade figures. But it thinks nothing of giving big money to PNG in annual aid that's simply wasted.
Posted by: Reginald Renagi | 30 March 2011 at 03:40 PM
Here's an interesting site with examples of PNG-style food available in Malaysia, including taro ice-cream and breadfruit cooked in coconut milk.
Posted by: Peter Kranz | 30 March 2011 at 09:21 AM
Thanks Lucy - I'll check it out. I think that PNG could develop a market in gourmet organic food. It just needs some good marketing and decent transport.
Ramu beef is the best, as is the local pork meat. Fresh PNG tropical fruit and vegies are superb. Coffee, tea and cocoa, of course. And seafood.
A good example is Betty Higgin's trout farm and lodge near Mt Wilhelm. She grows all her own produce, and raises trout.
I believe Carpenters tea and coffee is sold mainly to the European market, but not as high-end gourmet product. This is what they should aim at.
There is untapped wealth here.
Posted by: Peter Kranz | 26 March 2011 at 07:44 PM
Peter - Check out 5 Senses Coffee. They have a strong relationship with Kongo Coffee from whom they import and roast at their premisis at Rockingham, Western Australia.
I buy it at Beaufort Merchant on Beaufort Street, Mt Lawley (Perth). It seems they have expanded to Melbourne and started sourcing from other parts of the World.
How it all started:
"And so 24/7 and 5 Senses were born together in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea, and their destinies are intermingled".
Posted by: Lucy Timmer | 26 March 2011 at 01:17 PM
Of course the coffee in the PNG Highlands is the best in the world.
The only place I have have found PNG coffee in Australia is in the Parap gourmet delicatessen, Darwin. Please correct me if I am wrong
Why don't Australian companies recognise the perfection of PNG coffee?
Where are Coles and Woolworths with their 'fair trade' fluff from Colombia and Africa, when the best coffee available is on their doorstep?!
Fair trade? I say a fair go for our PNG brothers and sisters.
Posted by: Peter Kranz | 26 March 2011 at 11:00 AM
Peter - Nice photo. Reminds me of home.
Posted by: Bernard Yegiora | 26 March 2011 at 07:44 AM