Bountiful Blues at Mundubbera Blueberry Festival

Image source: Photographer Lorraine Maskell Photography

With the return of the Mundubbera Blueberry Festival, Matt Golinski is very happy to have the blues!

Believe it or not, some people don’t like coriander. They can’t stand it and it’s almost like they’re offended that it even exists.

Humans get funny about all sorts of food. They hate certain cheeses, or different fruits and vegetables for their particular flavour or texture.

But you’d have to try really hard to find someone on this earth who would say ‘no’ to a blueberry.

These crunchy sweet little morsels that have no seed, that you don’t have to peel, that you can gorge yourself on with little fear of a bellyache (within reason), and that anecdotally make you smarter and less oxidised, are universally adored by humans all over the world.

Consumers’ appetite for these little blue spheres of deliciousness has seen the Australian blueberry industry flourish in recent years, with extensive research into low chill varieties helping to make it possible for farms to successfully grow fruit in more temperate regions.

Queensland’s own town of Mundubbera has traditionally been known for its exceptional citrus and has now become equally as iconic for its blueberry production – with roughly 100 hectares of orchards under nets (we aren’t the only species that loves them) it is the largest farm of its kind in the southern hemisphere.

With an ideal climate, good soil drainage and ample water to grow winter varieties of blueberries, the success of the crop has been a huge boost for the local economy since its inception.

In 2022 the community decided to celebrate the little berry’s contribution to the town and the Mundubbera Blueberry Festival was born. In September 2024, the festival is back bigger and better than ever, with a jam-packed program including a gala dinner called Locavore 4626; The Berry Big Day Out – an artisan market held under the gum trees in Bicentennial Park; and The Blueberry Jam Sesh, a live music concert featuring rock, country and indie artists and headlined by legendary rock gods, The Angels!

Mundubbera is a beautiful oasis, being on the junction of three rivers, and its a must-visit country town. It is the State’s largest producer of table grapes as well as adding citrus, blueberries, avocadoes, mangos, lemongrass, pecans, pork, beef, free-range eggs and more into its food bowl! I’m inspired for the Locavore 4626 dinner on opening night.

Mundubbera is just over 200km from Hervey Bay and just under 300km from the Sunshine Coast with lots of RV and camping options so its perfect to hook
up the camper or caravan or pack the tent and make a weekend of it!

The full program is yet to be released so keep an eye on the Mundubbera Blueberry Festival website and social media and plan your camping trip or book accommodation now!

Until then, enjoy this recipe I created for IN Noosa Magazine readers back in 2015 – it’s still as easy to cook and  delicious as it was almost ten years ago!


BLUEBERRY AND TANGELO TARTS

Makes 6 small or 1 large tart

Ingredients:

For the pastry:

  • 250gm plain flour
  • 125gm butter
  • 60gm caster sugar
  • 1 egg

For the syrup:

  • 500ml tangelo juice
  • zest from 1 tangelo, finely grated
  • 100gm caster sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 50gm cornflour

To serve:

  • 1 punnet fresh blueberries
  • 2 tangelos, segmented
  • 4tbs orange marmalade, warmed
  • 200ml double cream, to serve

Method:

  1. In a food processor, pulse the flour, butter and sugar until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
  2. Add the egg and process until the pastry just comes together.
  3. Wrap in plastic and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Roll the pastry to 5mm thick and cut circles large enough to line 6 small or one large tart tin.
  5. Trim the edges and blind bake at 180° C for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the paper and weights and bake for a further 5 – 10 minutes or until the pastry is crisp all the way through.
  7. Bring the tangelo juice, zest and half of the sugar to the boil.
  8. Whisk together the yolks, remaining half of the sugar and the cornflour in a heat proof bowl and slowly whisk in the hot juice.
  9. Return the mixture to the saucecan and stir over a low heat until it thickens.
  10. Divide among the pastry shells and allow to cod.
  11. Decorate the tops of the tarts with the bluebertes and tangelo segments.
  12. Gently brush the warm marmalade over the tops of the tarts to glaze them.
  13. Serve with a big dollop of double cream.
About the Author /

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Matt Golinski is a highly regarded chef with a passion for simple, produce-driven cuisine based on seasonal, fresh local ingredients. He is an active member of the Slow Food movement, a champion of artisan producers and a generous mentor to keen young chefs. He is the Food and Culinary Tourism Ambassador for the Gympie region; Ambassador and Advisory Executive Chef for Peppers Noosa; and a festival favourite.

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