Kate’s Berry Farm on the east coast of Tasmania.
© Tourism Tasmania and Rob Burnett
Tasmania has a reputation as a gourmet’s paradise. Tasmania’s clean surrounding waters, cool climate, fresh air, pure water sources and fertile soil produce an incredible variety of foods.
Agriculture contributes 16 percent to Tasmania’s gross product and 20 percent of total State employment.
Meat in Tasmania
Tasmania is known for high-quality beef, based on a natural grass-fed production system (as opposed to grain-fed) and free from hormone growth promotants, antibiotics and chemical contaminants. This is controlled by strict legislation. In fact, Tasmania is the only Australian state which bans the use of hormone growth promotants and antibiotics in the cattle industry.
Premium quality beef is mainly from king island and flinders island. Flinders Island also farms prime lamb.
Game meats such as quail, wallaby and farmed venison are also available in Tasmania.
Livestock slaughters contribute well over two hundred million dollars to the Tasmanian economy every year.
Dairy foods in Tasmania
Tasmania accounts for around 10 percent of all Australian dairy products. There are more than 700 farms in Tasmania and one cow for every three people on the island. About 90 percent of the milk production is exported.
The most well-known of Tasmania’s cheese producers would possibly be King Island Dairy, whose superb brie and thick, rich cream is sold all over Australia. Other Tasmanian cheese producers specialise in varieties including cheddar, organic cheeses from both sheep and cows milk, goat cheese and many specialty cheeses.
Seafood in Tasmania
Tasmanian seafood. ©TAFI
Nothing compares to Tasmania’s seafood which is taken from unpolluted waters. Many species of fish, abalone, scallops, oysters, mussels and crayfish are harvested from the Southern Ocean. Fish farms such as huon aquaculture produce top-class Atlantic Salmon and the rivers are bountiful in trout.
Tasmania grows the only farmed salmon in the world that does not require treatment to remove impurities.
Fruit in Tasmania
Known as the ‘Apple Isle’, Tasmania’s cool climate means that it also produces many kinds of superb berries and stone fruits. Roadside stalls in the huon and tamar Valleys offer the opportunity to buy freshly-picked fruit at bargain prices.
From the abundance of fruit in Tasmania, many kinds of jam, sauce, fruit wine, cider and juice are produced. These can be bought at gourmet food outlets and markets.
Vegetables in Tasmania
The Tasmanian farming culture values clean, green and genetically unmodified produce. A wide variety of vegetables and herbs are grown. Tasmania is Australia’s largest producer of potatoes, provides a third of the national onion crop and is responsible for 80 percent of Australia’s overseas onion exports. The vegetable industry in the north-west of Tasmania supplies processors who source peas, beans, carrots, potatoes, onions, broccoli, brussel sprouts, sweetcorn, cauliflower, celery, pumpkin, swedes and cabbage from the State.
Specialty foods in Tasmania
Island Olive Grove in Tasmania.
© Tourism Tasmania and Nick Osborne
Because of its small size, Tasmanian food producers have tended to focus on a range of specialty products, catering for ‘niche’ markets. Tasmania is well-known for food such as Leatherwood honey, chocolate and fudge, olive oil, walnuts and mustards. Tasmania also produces buckwheat, wasabi, wakame (edible seaweed) and saffron.
did you know?
Tasmania has the largest acreage under organic farming per head of population in Australia and the area is growing rapidly.
In recent times truffles, the internationally renowned food delicacy, have found a home in Tasmania. There are truffières near Launceston and Hobart. The highly-valued fungus is being unearthed by specially trained dogs on farms in northern Tasmania. Truffles are in demand in Europe and Japan, and sell for between $1,500 and $3,000 per kilogram.
Truffles from Tasmania.
© Tourism Tasmania
and Garry Moore
Saffron, another high-priced and prized delicacy, is found in the Huon Valley in southern Tasmania.
did you know?
Tasmanians are Australia’s biggest vegetable eaters.
award-winning tasmanian cheeses
At the 2007 Sydney Royal Fine Food Show, King Island Dairy not only collected two gold and nine silver medals, it also won the Champion Cheese award when its Discovery Ash Brie beat almost 950 entries from around Australia.
Ashgrove Cheese was another Tasmanian award-winner, with their Rubicon Red cheese one of the five selected for the coveted Australian Cheeseboard Perpetual Trophy.
National Foods Burnie and Spreyton’s Fonterra Australia Pty Ltd also collected several medals and trophies.
did you know?
There are more than 100,000 olive trees in Tasmania and more than 600 hectares have been planted to grow walnuts.
An A-Z of Tasmanian food can be found at the brand tasmania website.