Ah. The Great Cornish Pasty Adventure.
‘What?’ I hear you ask. ‘Is this an actual thing?’
You betcha it is! In Arizona they have an awesome, mildly hipster Cornish pasty restaurant. Mildly hilarious given that pasties are kind of considered equal to hot dogs – cheap, filling, and generally a takeaway food eaten from a paper bag. But they are good. And they can be amazing.
So, I decided way back in March when I got to the UK I would hire a car and drive to Cornwall.
The pastrami. Reading review after review, I was continually confronted with raving fans of Saul’s house-smoked, spice rubbed pastrami. So off we set on a 30 minute stroll into Berkeley’s ‘Gourmet Ghetto‘, an area of Northern Berkeley in which the ‘pursuit of quality is absolutely uncompromising’. Alice Waters’ (the president of the Slow Food US chapter) was largely responsible for this foodie revolution with the installation of her restaurant Chez Panisse in the area in the early 1970’s. But nowadays, you can find some of California’s most well known and celebrated food revolutionaries and a stack of remarkable quality dining options.
At Saul’s Restaurant & Delicatessen I ordered the toasted celery seed vodka, simple syrup and lemon cocktail. At US$8, I was tempted to keep ordering them… still used to Melbourne cocktail prices of around AU$18. The bloody mary was made with house pickle juice, but was definitely a meal in itself.
Known as ‘the heart of artisan cheese-making country’, it’s been called the Normandy of Northern California. Artisan cheesemaking is experiencing a resurgence, and the Marin and Sonoma counties are home to the largest concentration of artisan cheesemakers in California.
22,000 acres of land are dedicated to making cheese and fermented milk products in the region. The free Sonoma Marin County Cheese Trail map guides you through the dozens of cheesemakers in the region.
Local cheesemakers say the salt air, cooling fog and abundant grasslands make their cheeses unlike any other.
In Point Reyes, we stopped in at foodie tourism destination Cowgirl Creamery (also known as Tomales Bay Foods) to pick up some local cheese and have lunch.
The grilled cheese seemed the best way to get the full cheese experience, and it was quite possibly the best grilled cheese I have ever eaten. With honey maple mustard and caramelised onions, on a soft, local sourdough: simple foods are so often the best.
We had a side of hot-smoked trout potato salad, and I picked up an amazing maple-smoked chevre to take home.
Driving the California Route 1, we head from Mendocino down to Point Reyes to start the Sonoma Marin County Cheese Trail. We started the day driving through the Navarro Forest.
We woke up before the sun this morning, loaded our backpacks into the campervan, and drove off into the dawn towards the harbour. We were heading toward the cook strait ferry, heading with our little Jucy campervan over to the south island of New Zealand to adventure around what has been said to be the most scenic island (after seeing it all, we would have to agree).