Saturday, 12 December 2015

TV review: A Taste of Landline, episode 2, ABC (2015)

Another episode packed with useful and appealing information starts with a segment on the specialty fruit and vegetable market in South Australia. Talking to a chef as well as growers and distributors allows the programmers to examine in detail the supply chain of produce in the state. One of the items the distributor sources especially for one of their client chefs is pomelos, an Asian fruit with a lot of pith that is not usually associated with an Australian diet. As chefs look outward to international cuisines for ideas the use of such items in local restaurants has to expand.

The second segment in the program takes us to the Darling Down in Queensland for a debutante ball where a local tradition risks being dropped because of a lack of interest among young people. Most young couples might balk at the idea of square dancing and a supper of cold sandwiches and a cup of hot tea but the people in the community of Gowrie Little Plain enjoy the event and come out in numbers paying a $10 entrance fee. The young couples who turned up for the event were enthusiastic. This segment shows metro viewers something of the traditions of rural Australia in a sympathetic and informative way without making any judgements.

The third segment of the program focuses on seaweed, which is potentially a lucrative crop for acquaculturists in Australia. The producers introduce us to a marine ecologist, a medical researcher and a chef, each of whom is working to find new ways to use seaweed in their industry.

The final segment looks at the deregulation of the unpasteurised cheese industry in the country, and so in addition to talking with cheese makers and dairy farmers - including one dairy farmer who used to work as a chef - we get to listen to a representative of the local food standards body.

Once again, the producers of the show have approached the job of storytelling by asking "what kind of angle will appeal to metro viewers". But rural and regional viewers, especially farmers and fishers, can also get something useful out of the program because it helps them to see the links that might exist in the value chain from paddock to plate.

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