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It’s that time of the year again when the Royal Queensland Show, or as the locals know it – the Ekka, hits Brisbane Showgrounds for 10 days of family fun! Now in its 140th year, the Ekka celebrates agriculture and the critical role it plays in our everyday lives. Every year is getting bigger and better with more animals, competitions, fashion, rides, showbags and delicious food. This year marks a 30 year milestone for the Ekka’s partnership with the Prince Charles Hospital Foundation. Supporting research teams with early detection, treatment and recovery from heart disease, lung disease, dementia and arthritis, the work of this foundation is truly irreplaceable.
The Ekka is bringing back the family favourite Strawberry Sundae again this year! The show’s sweetest icon – Brisbane based gourmet ice creamery LICK supply 6.2 tonnes of strawberries, 830 litres of fresh cream and more than 22,500 litres of ice cream to make this delicious piece of heaven! These tasty strawberries are locally grown by our very own Aussie farmers.
Strawberries are grown in farms all over Australia. Production is highest in the coastal regions of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. Queensland alone produces upwards of 60 million punnets each season, which is an incredible task considering each strawberry is planted by hand! Millions of strawberry plants are tended to carefully to ensure the roots stay straight. Now that’s some tasty hard labour!
We caught up with Anna Vincenzino who has been organising the Strawberry Sundae stalls for the last 33 years. It takes a lot of experience to organise the strawberries for the Ekka and she gets it right year after year. She shared with us her memories of tasty Strawberry Sundaes with her children at the Ekka 60 years ago. Anna enjoys sharing locally grown strawberries with her grandchildren now as a tasty lunch snack.
Q: Why is the Strawberry Sundae your favourite treat?
A: “The ice cream is made with real local strawberries and it’s so nice and creamy. Strawberries used to be considered a delicacy because they were expensive, having a Strawberry Sundae at the Ekka with my children was a rare treat, I guess It’s become a tradition every year”.
Q: Is running the Ekka Strawberry Sundae stall a family tradition for you?
A: “Yes it is. My three grandchildren, friends and other family get involved. It’s something everyone looks forward to”.
Q: What is your favourite strawberry recipe?
A: “I enjoy making strawberry jam at home! In winter I freeze strawberries for my grandchildren to enjoy as ice blocks – so refreshing! For the little ones I blend them with honey for them to enjoy straight out of the cup”.
One of our favourite ways to eat strawberries at liliLife is in a delicious, healthy salad! Locally grown strawberries add flavour and colour fresh salads. The juicy taste of the strawberries with the crunch of a pecan or walnut make for the perfect addition to a tasty chicken salad. Sprinkle a little feta on top to finish it off! Delicious!
Show your support for the Prince Charles Hospital Foundation and local Aussie farmers with a sweet Strawberry Sundae at this year’s Ekka from August 11th – 20th at the Brisbane Showgrounds.
Author: Lauren Hoskin
Images: Ekka Media Library and Stock Images