BECOMING THE PLATTER QUEENS...
Andy was the one who challenged me with the name Port Willunga Fine Foods; Port Willunga has a long history for his family, with his grandparents enjoying it’s coastline in the 1920’s and then his own parents building in the 70’s.
I was first introduced to Port Willunga in the late 70’s (during the start of our 30 something-year marriage!). There was much to like and compare with where I had been brought up by the beach; it was a constant source of enjoyment including food catching!
My childhood was spent:
Fishing from the local swing bridge with its huge mudflats underneath, which at low tide exposed crabs for us to chase.
Fishing for flounders at high tide- providing us with sweet, fresh fish for the table: we collected pipis for bait and tuatua, periwinkles and muscles for eating; all shell fish and all the yummier for the searching.
Ducks, quails and rabbits were a natural part of our diet, hunting trips providing that special time in the bush.
Seasonally we picked wild blackberries, plums, crab apples, walnuts, tamarillos, gooseberries and mushrooms, roaming over vast distances and proudly coming home with buckets full.
Feijoa was a particular favourite, it is now one of Port Willunga Fine Foods bestselling products; and one that we love to share on our family platters.
We pickled and bottled, made wine and other beverages, stored walnuts and caught whitebait. Our orchard was a constant source of fruit; plums, nectarines, apricots and peaches and artichokes grown in the chook run.
Baking was commonplace with many tins filled with biscuits, slices and loaves.
Port Willunga and the Kaurna People…
Port Willunga has always been a significant site for the Kaurna Aboriginal people; the land and waterways not only provided them with nourishment, it also carried spiritual beliefs and dreaming stories.
The Aboriginal dreaming specific to Port Willunga described the ancestral warrior and law-giver Tjilbruke, who had stopped to mourn the death of his beloved nephew, as he carried his body along the coast to Cape Jervis.
It tells that Tjilbruke wept tears along the shore, creating fresh water springs. The remains of these fresh water springs can still be found today along the Port Willunga shoreline.
The Iconic Port Willunga Jetty…
By the 1860’s Port Willunga was the second largest port in South Australia and was used primarily to transport large amounts of grain and slate.
Known by some as the ‘coast of sorrows’, the site of Port Willunga has become famous for its notorious ship wrecks, the most legendary and well known being of the Star of Greece, the Ida (which can sometimes be seen at low tide in winter) and the Tempest, which in 1914 tore a hole in the middle of the jetty.
Today Port Willunga beach is a popular walking, swimming, fishing, diving and surfing site; and a place for many happy family holidays.
The shell of the old jetty remains, looking like colossal burnt matchsticks.
From this image the inspiration for the Port Willunga Fine Foods logo was born.