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Lifestyle : My Kitchen
1HERSA1 E022 This Food, Wine & Cultural Tour of Portugal is designed to take you on a journey of the senses. You will not only be able to enjoy the flavours of traditional dishes prepared for you by Expert Chefs, you will also be given the opportunity to replicate some of these dishes in a cooking school. Learn how cheese is made using traditional methods, be shown the art of bread making, and how wine is made using a mixture of old and new world techniques. Whilst discovering this beautiful country you will also have the opportunity to visit numerous Wineries and Port houses, which Portugal is famous for. The unique characters of these wines will be sure to impress which is why they have received such International recognition. At the end of the day your accommodation in Pousadas, Deluxe and Boutique Hotels will provide you with luxurious comfort and ambience to unwind at the end of the day. Allow us to give you this ultimate experience in a small group tour (max 16 persons) with a qualified local guide and an Australian escort who has extensive knowledge of the country and language. Book now & mention this ad to receive 2 bottles of Portuguese wine 22 Tuesday, November 16, 2010 smh.com.au good living kitchen gadgets special report Biggest bestsellers When buying essential cooking equipment, it's not just the big-ticket items that are a hit with customers, writes Kate Gibbs. Popular . . . (from far left) funnels; herb snippers; jam jars. Photo: Marina Oliphant Talk to kitchenware stores about the items that fly out the door and a certain television program comes up a lot. When Quay's Peter Gilmore made his poached meringue, guava and custard apple snow egg on MasterChef,every aspiring home-based chef went out and bought a hemisphere mould, says Patsy Jovellanos of Kitchen Kapers at Crows Nest. The moulds became one of the store's best- selling items ever. Then there are the surprise hits that seem to come from nowhere. This year it's been small, disposable boat-shaped dishes made from pine wood, useful for serving nibbles, such as olives, at parties. They are now among among the shop's best-selling items and Jovellanos suspects they have replaced cardboard noodle boxes as the must-have food container for caterers. Fraser & Hughes, a kitchen outlet with stores in Parramatta and Darlinghurst, has been stocking up on Microplane zesters since MasterChef introduced them. ''This is [our] biggest seller in Sydney,'' says owner Stuart Dale. Grating lemon zest straight onto a board will no longer do and Fraser & Hughes has had many queries about zesters that allow you to zest a lemon, garlic or ginger straight into a pot, he says. Knives have always sold well but the market has changed. Where once a generic block of knives was considered a good investment for any home cook, Dale says, ''people are suddenly aware of which knife they want. They know the size, the weight, what they will use it for.'' Every MasterChef challenge ignites a new wave of culinary consumerism, which explains the sudden popularity of the food lathe, Dale says. Essentially a vegetable slicer, a food lathe turns carrots into ribbons or sheets of lattice at between $450 and $700 for each machine. At the other end of the fiscal scale, one of Ikea's best sellers is Chosigt, a set of two plastic funnels for $2.49. Ikea's plastic five-piece kitchen utensil set, the Gnarp ($4.49), is a popular staple for people setting up their first homes. At Peters of Kensington, a Regency silicone baking mat ($10) is one of the best-selling items along with Zyliss herb snippers ($8). At another store, the simplest thing is in high demand. Michael Robertson, at Camperdown store The Chef And The Cook, says people in their 20s and 30s, and even teenagers lately, seem to have an insatiable appetite for empty jars. ''We buy these pallets, you know, 3000 jars, and we're going through them,'' he says. ''It's not just Italian mammas. It's Joe Public going down to the grocer and buying a case of something and then making preserves with it. I think they are making their Christmas presents.''