New birds on the Christmas table

Rob Broadfield Food EditorThe West Australian
New birds on the Christmas table
Camera IconNew birds on the Christmas table Credit: The West Australian

West Australians are changing their Christmas eating habits.

Leading WA food retailers note a marked increase this year in sales of non-traditional meats, game birds and seafoods as Christmas cooks are increasingly drawn to niche and boutique organic produce to spoil their families.

The turkey and ham dinner or the cold seafood lunch are still popular but fresh muscovy duck, suckling pig, self-cooked green (raw) cray-fish, fish for curing and game birds are increasingly in demand.

"It's been one of those years where it's been a bit tough for families so they're spoiling themselves with a big slap-up, luxury dinner at Christmas," Inglewood butcher Vince Garreffa said.

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"But it's not just Christmas Day. People are adding to the celebrations with special foods for Boxing Day and for the New Year period."

Mr Garreffa says sales of specialist products at his Mondo Butchers have increased dramatically.

"Sales of our quintet - a quail inside a spatchcock inside a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey - are up 25 per cent and sales of organic turkeys are up 100 per cent."

Mr Garreffa says sales of pork shoulder are up as slow-cooked, southern style pulled pork is on trend as is demand for muscovy duck, and Pekin ducks, quail, spatchcocks, WA peacocks, pheasants and guinea fowl.

Our tastes for seafood are also changing, with Partridges Seafood at Claremont and Kailis at Leederville reporting strong demand for non-traditional seafood.

"The typical Christmas cold seafood lunch is prawns, lobster and crab, but while these remain popular, we've seen a move towards less traditional seafoods," Partridges owner Matt Beagley said.

"It seems people want to get more involved in the cooking, so we're seeing an increase in orders for whole fish like line caught snapper and brook trout," Mr Beagley said.

"There's also a huge demand for exotic products like hand-milked caviar, smoked eel and king fish for (lime juice-cured) cerviche."

Partridges will sell 1.5 tonnes of Australia's most popular fish, Atlantic salmon, on Monday and Tuesday alone. "Our customers are buying them whole and curing their own gravalax or poaching the whole fish as a centrepiece dish."

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