The Barossa is renown around the world as a foodie paradise, and with very good reason. We're spoilt for choice, with some of Australia's best restaurants and finest culinary experiences dotted across our region.
But this list is a little different than you might expect. Of course we recommend that you dine at St Hugo, or Hentley Farm or Fermentasian. And don't forget a visit to the Barossa Farmers Market. But today we wanted to focus on some of the less well known food experiences the Barossa has to offer. They may not be big ticket items, but these are the tastes that bring the Barossa to life for me - the moments I'll seek out as soon as I come home from travelling to remind myself that I'm really home again.
In this edition, we're looking at the wonders that come forth from the ovens of the Barossa. Stay tuned for the meat-lovers Butcher Edition!
Salt stick at Apex Bakery
Apex Bakery has been firing up their Scotch oven since 1924 and is currently in the capable hands of the fourth generation of the Fechner family. Much has been written about Apex Bakery over the years - it's a true champion of the Barossa's traditional food culture, and of course you should have a pie while you're there - but for me, nothing beats their salt stick. The soft, chewy dough with just the right amount of bounce, liberally coated in crunchy, flaky salt flecks and caraway seeds is a simple thing of joy. No need for butter (although a soft cheese schmeer does up the delight factor), these are best eaten straight from the display cabinet as you stroll down town Tanunda.
Proper cake from Allerlei
Allerlei is a glorious little shop in the main street of Tanunda (about one salt stick's walk from Apex Bakery). 'Allerlei' is German for "all kinds of (things)" and it really lives up to the name, with crafts, clothing, knitwear (I buy my winter socks from here every year and they're thick, woolly and so warm) and homebaked treats a'plenty, all made, baked, knitted and stitched by local women and sold to raise funds for local charity organisations. Chose from jams, chutneys, preserves, pickled vegetables and of course, cake. The recipes skew towards the Australian Women's Weekly cookbooks circa 1957 - good news for lovers of proper cake - and while the selection rotates depending on who's baking that week, you'll always find something delicious. Make sure you check out the running total on the wall of funds that have been raised through the store over the years and donated to local charities - it's heartwarming and inspiring.
Eleni's cinnamon scrolls
Super star of the Barossa Famers Market, Eleni's cinnamon scrolls are embedded in the collective consciousness of the Barossa locals and particularly Barossa Farmers Market shoppers. Eleni's Farmers Market stall is easy spot - look for the bright table cloths, beautiful wooden display cabinets and the four-deep crowd.
You might need a slightly earlier start to secure your scroll, but it's so worth it. Soft, yielding dough is smothered in butter and cinnamon and sprinkled with traditional Swedish candy sugar. Surprisingly, given that description, they're not overly sweet, but have a beautiful spicy warmth from the cinnamon and the perfect dough-to-topping ratio. Best enjoyed straight from the paper bag as you wander the market, with a latte in your other hand.
Buttered pretzel at Tanunda Bakery
To many children across the Barossa, Tanunda Bakery is simply known as "the Pretzel Shop!" It's packed from morning to night with good reason - Elke and her family make an astonishing array of traditional German breads, cakes and slices, interspersed with doughnuts, filled rolls, pies.... the list goes on (and includes icecream and coffee as well).
But for our family, nothing beats a buttered pretzel. The pretzels themselves are divine with a soft, mouth-filling dough, salty exterior and the perfect crunch of the little end-y bits but if you ask nicely the shop assistants will whisk away your pretzel and, for a mere ten cents, return it to you smothered in butter. If you can stop at one you have more self control than me.
Of course, the Barossa has been baking for over 160 years. There is a cornucopia of baked goods to discover but we hope this list is a good place to start. Have we missed anything? Comment below and let us know what baked treat you can't go past in the Barossa. Happy eating!