They are hard to source due to their threatened status but there are remote areas where they are breeding and bountiful.
Last weekend he was at the Cleveland Produce Markets and was informed by our friendly butcher there that they are for sale near Capalaba at Kiwi Fine Foods, QLD.
I googled them and realised that I have found a foodie haven! I looked up their website and the products found on their online store.
So what did my husband buy today?
o Two mutton birds
o A bag of mixed confectionery from New Zealand
o A bottle of New Zealand’s L & P lemon drink with Peroara
So what are mutton birds and why do they taste like oily fish?
Mutton Birds are described in Wikipedia as:
“Muttonbird, mutton-bird or mutton bird refer to seabirds – particularly certain large shearwaters – whose young are collected for food and other uses before they fledge (see also Muttonbirding).
There are several islands where “muttonbirds” breed and are harvested:
– Mutton Bird Island, Tasmania, Australia
– South East Mutton Bird Islet
– South West Mutton Bird Islet
– Broughton Island, NSW, Australia
-Titi/Muttonbird Islands, New Zealand”
( Wikipedia article on Mutton Birds
Mutton birds REEK of oily fish. My Uncle could not believe the smell coming out of the plastic bag alone. The ones he purchased were soaked in brine to preserve them and were very salty.
Wikipedia states that “The Sooty Shearwater feeds on fish and squid. They can dive up to 68 m deep for food, but more commonly take surface food, in particular often following whales to catch fish disturbed by them. They will also follow fishing boats to take fish scraps thrown overboard.”
The mutton bird meat you buy is very scrawny but a little bit of mutton bird flavour goes a LONG way!
Philip had cooked mutton birds when we lived in Tasmania (2000-2002) so I was grateful that he purchased an electric frying pan and cooked them out in the backyard. They were far too salty due to the brining but researching online the general consensus is to boil, drain and boil again.
Imagine an anchovie crossed with a large quail and you might get an idea of what it tastes like.
On the website I spotted some confectionery native to New Zealand that piqued my interest. I asked Phil for a 100g mixed bag with Mayceys Feijoa and cream, Boysenberries and Cream, Sour Peaches – and many more.
NEW ZEALAND’s famous drink
L&P – LEMON & PAEROA – SOFT DRINK is apparently lemon juice, water of Paeroa, mineral salts and secret ingredients. It tastes like lemonade mixed with still mineral water. Coca Cola makes it and is “WORLD FAMOUS IN NEW ZEALAND”.
My Aunt and Uncle had been there before and said that there is a little animal park on the property. Phil says he will definitely be back and I will be sure to get over this flu so I can do more than window shop online.
From Kiwi Fine Foods webstore:
“We stock a variety of imported goods from New Zealand such as Bluebird, Griffins, Cadbury, Watties, Cerebos, Whitlocks, L&P and Fresh Up amongst many others.
We are dedicated to ensuring Australia has access to authentic New Zealand Food. Shop online, or come in and visit us at the Capalaba Produce Village.”
KIWI FINE FOODS
Address: 3247 Old Cleveland Road, Capalaba West