Last October, I challenged myself to eat potatoes, cooked or prepared in a different way, every day for the entire month. Almost every day since the conclusion of the challenge, someone has sent me potato-based content.
I’m not mad, this is the dream.
Recently, a pal mentioned that there was an annual potato festival in regional Victoria, merely an hour from Melbourne. It had been cancelled for the past couple of years (due to Covid-19), but it was back for 2022!
I was pleased to attend The Trentham Spudfest yesterday as a spec-tater… and I yam not sorry for any spud pun related eye-rolls that occur whilst you read this.
The Trentham Spudfest claimed that this year was going to be “bigger than last year, but not as big as before.” I appreciated the upfront expectation setting but was quietly rooting for the day to be a mashing success!
ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
The festival is located across two areas of Trentham, The Heritage-listed former railway station and the “main” streets of Market and Victoria. Both locations were within a few minutes walk from one other.
Spud related food vendors had dishes such as Hot Chips, Baked Spuds, Spiral Spuds, Spud Nuts (potato doughnuts), Potato Scones, Leek and Potato Soup and Fries with Calamari available. Additionally, shop-owners created spud dishes and potato related specials, such as the butcher selling baked spuds directly from the storefront (which sold out immediately).
The local celebrities were four local Potato Farmers who were selling spuds straight from the ground to take home. And SpudMan (pictured above), who was determined to become a viral celebrity by warmly welcoming everyone to the event.
Fantastic local musical acts were programmed for both locations all day, there was a horse and cart and there was a petting zoo, mini-golf and a hay maze for “the kids”. This big kid made quick work of the hedge maze.
One could say as a member of the Australian Hide and Seek team, that I have an expert carbo-hide-rate. Yes, I’m bloody proud of that pun.
HOT POTATOES WARM UP A COLD DAY
I’m unsure if the cold weather and the semi-persistent drizzle kept crowds away, but with a lineup almost an hour-long for the Spiral Spuds it certainly seemed like the festival was well attended. There was also a sturdy lineup for the local Potato Vodka crew, an award-winning vodka that certainly helped keep the chill out of the bones.
White’s Fresh Spuds had sold out of their “famous Purple Majesty” potatoes before midday. I sadly did not get any of these famed taters. Certainly, a reason to attend (earlier) in 2023!
Local tuber lover (Linda) and I met while lining up for the Spiral Spuds. She mentioned that there were more local food vendors in the previous years and we both hoped that the next year would bring the festival back to its former glory.
We passed the time by brainstorming what other kinds of potato dishes would work well at future potato festivals. Gnocchi was a resounding yes and I personally think a Poutine stand would absolutely rake it in!
I did purchase just under 5kg of freshly dug up spuds for $12 and this seems like a steal to me? I nabbed some King Edward, Crimson Pearl, Cranberry Red, Pink Fir Apple and Kipflers and most of these varieties are certainly not available in a regular supermarket. Pink gnocchi here we come!
On that note: The spuds you can purchase from a supermarket are usually weeks, if not months old. So having the chance to get some unusual spuds, as fresh as they come, and support local farmers was a bloody privilege. Looking forward to the 2023 SpudFest!
Also… I did not see the below
statue sleep paralysis demon at the festival.
For that, I am supremely grateful as someone would have needed to call a “yam-bulance”…