A taste of history at Vaucluse House
Harvesting, preparing, and tasting foods from the past can bring us closer to the everyday lived experience of the Wentworth family, their domestic servants, and their colonial contemporaries.
Here at Vaucluse House we are lucky enough to have an expansive vegetable garden filled with heirloom produce that reflects the daily fare of the 19th -century Sydneysider. We can spend many happy hours pottering about in the garden and kitchen, pickling, preserving, and baking the recipes of the famous Mesdames Beeton and Rundell.
Lovers of lemon butter or curd will love Mrs Beeton’s version of the sweet spread, confusingly named ‘Lemon Cheese’, and a refreshing cup of lemon barley water.
For a more savoury palate, there will be pickled fennel with cheese, and pickled nasturtium pods - which were once eaten as a colonial substitute for capers.
And while you’re in a daring mood, why not munch on some Warrigal greens, the native spinach which kept Captain Cook’s crew from scurvy, now popular with modern Australian chefs such as Kylie Kwong and Neil Perry?
After all that, a warming cup of mulled apple-cider should be the perfect way to finish off the day. We hope you’ll come along.
Latoya Schadel and Leila Eqbal Wallace