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Taste and Tastability

If you are a science whiz like I am then you probably know that taste is one of the five main senses. The other ones in no particular or particularly relevant order are: spidey, tingly, smelly, soundy and hot or not. Hot or not is the easiest one. Allow me to demonstrate: Helen Mirren in a bikini = hot. DHMSCO truck driver in a bikini = not. Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft = hot. DHMSCO truck driver in the skin-tight leather onesie he wore to the Christmas party last year = not. Lana Del Rey naked on the cover of GQ = hot. DHMSCO truck driver naked on the front of the company newsletter = don’t even try to imagine it. Ever. And to the over-confident truck driver in question: it will never happen. Stop emailing me, I know those aren’t your real abs. See? Easy. Taste on the other hand is waaaaay more advanced so we will focus on that one now because I know heaps about it and want to appear smart which is why you should all picture me in a white lab coat and goggles saying really really intelligent things about atoms and gravity and what sneezes are made from and anything else impressive like that.
Tasting things can be a good and at times tasty idea. What does this apple taste like? Taste it. It tastes like an apple. I am now an informed and prepared consumer confident enough to go out and inform others of the appley taste of apples and the benefits of tasting tastes. But be warned: tasting things is not always the best idea. For example, when the yoghurt that’s been in the office fridge since mum packed it for my lunch last autumn even though I specifically asked her for a chocolate Yogo has ballooned to the size of a large apple maybe don’t taste it. Even if you suspect there’s a chance it might taste like an apple now. Maybe don’t even open it. MAYBE wait until a certain truck driver who stuffed you in a bin last week isn’t looking and hurl it in front of the forklift so that it splatters all over him and his guilt-stained face. Maybe. Similarly, I was once very curious to know if Ryan Gosling tastes as good as he looks. He does btw - like manliness and sensitivity. But restraining orders give your tongue the worst paper cuts so when tasting people, apply self control where possible.
There are festivals - let’s say founded by me because it would be time consuming and exhausting for you to prove otherwise - dedicated exclusively to the tastes of things. They are called the “Taste Of” festivals and there is one happening in Melbourne this very week! As a seasoned member of the whole “Taste Of” experience I can offer some insightful and very valuable advice on how to survive the festival that never goes bland…
Whatever you do do, don’t do what I did and assume that the whole venue is edible like the lickable walls in the Willy Wonka factory or the gingy house in Hansel and Gretel. You will be judged and then asked to leave (also, sometimes animals and even humans wee on the outside of buildings. Lil’ something I’ve learnt the hard (read: tasted it, got an infection) way…
Here is my list of things that are okay to taste at the Taste of Melbourne:
Foods and drinks that are being solicited by any of the genuine stalls exhibiting.
That’s pretty much it. Except for any wall if you think it really really might be one of those lickable Willy Wonka ones. In which case, go to town on that bad boy.
Lastly, at Tasty festival there will be wine. Wine is a delicious, fruity and ancient beverage invented by the Romans in the 1960s or possibly even earlier - history hasn’t been traced back that far yet so we can’t know for sure. Now, unlike DHMSCO delicious beverages that you can drink and drink without any serious harm ever befalling you (unless you don’t like winning burping competitions with your co-workers??) wine must be drunk in moderation and apparently not through a straw, funnel, sippy cup or hose. If these strict guidelines are not followed peculiar and seemingly uncontrollable events can occur. It’s important not to dwell on these transgressions, which is why all video footage from last year’s festival of Adam skipping flamboyantly through the Champagne lounge sprinkling a trail of bread crumbs in his wake and me licking and snuggling with who I thought was Adriano Zumbo but with what turned out to be a “caution: wet floor” sign has been destroyed.
So now that you are armed with the skills for survival, come and see us at Taste Of Melbourne at Albert Park from today until Sunday! There’ll be loads of opportunities to practice your tasting and wow all your friends with your wicked amounts of knowledge and superior decorum. Speaking of decorum, if you happen to see a man in a pleather onesie dancing Gangnam style on top of the Keg Bike, feel free to enjoy some of the other stalls until we’ve had the chance to feed our very professional truck driver some food and a strong coffee. Who invited him anyway? Sheesh…
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What Do You Mean I Only Won Second Prize??

Apparently, lots of different cities have food. Which is confusing and frankly inconsiderate. As a seasoned traveler who’s owned houses in more than two (less than four) different Monopolies, I don’t appreciate having to worry about what I’ll be eating on my worldly adventures that have seen me check into eleven different places on Facebook.  My concern is this: how do I know if I will like a city’s food until I get there? And how do I know where to find the food that I want at the temperature that I like? And what if it’s too late by then because Mum forgot to pack my emergency supply of freeze-dried Doritos and canned Tiny Teddies? Nightmare.

The good news is that there’s really no need to be too panicked about travelling to the exotic far-aways of Woolloomooloo or Paddington or Community Chest. Well, you can be a little bit scared but not too scared. Feel free to be Desperate-Housewives-is-in-its-final-season alert but not Terri-Hatcher-hasn’t-got-any-definitive-new-projects-lined-up alarmed. But how to avoid potential starvation and / or  culinary disaster? Um, it’s easy peasy cross my heart no duh infinity. To find out about a city’s food you can visit a “Taste Of City” show and taste all the different not to mention available food and drinks and people a city offers (yes of course people have different tastes depending on the city they are in – lick someone and then go to a different place and lick somebody there, you’ll see).

So we trooped off to Taste of Sydney to a] find out how many jars of preserved Fruit Loops and dehydrated Pop Tarts we’d need to pack on any future visits to the Bondi Vet set (a golden retriever who’s been attacked by a parrot shouldn’t be the only one allowed to lick Dr Chris) and b] to reassure the nervous crowds with the knowledge that you can depend on yummy, fizzy, fruity and minerally drinks being available in Sydney whenever you’re in town for a trip to the Sydney Harbor Bridge Club or whatever (talk about high stakes - the last game I went to my mouth went so dry I played my trump card way too early and it cost me the under 65s metropolitan final. That’s the last time I let Ira psych me out into thinking the bar’s gone dry. He walked away with the trophy and I was left licking ginger beer off a coaster, trying to convince Val and the girls to renew my contract for next season).

Ira’s impending epic and very public embarrassment at the hands of a whoopee cushion aside, knowing that you don’t have to BYO mineral water on any interstate travel saves a lot of luggage space not to mention the time and tears wasted at domestic check-in when security realizes that your hand luggage is full of glass bottles and you’re left with no choice but to chug down a long weekend’s supply of organic cola before spending a very uncomfortable 70 minutes at high altitude trying to suppress the amount of gas that can only be produced by boat-racing ten liters of carbonated soft drink. It’s really no way to make new friends (travel bingo is the way. You’ll have the whole cabin asking who the cool cat is with the plastic bingo set and the bag of Columbines. Trust me).

To borrow a term from my bridge buddies, our Taste of Sydney stand was pretty bingo-bango-bongo. Unlike the fridges at certain bridge clubs that will remain nameless, ours were well stocked and psychological warfare free. Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t Calombaris or Zumbo pulling all the babes. I guess word got around pretty quickly that there was a mineral water enthusiast who’s recently won second prize in a beauty contest and collected $10 for their trouble working the water stand. And Ira said I’d never pull again in this town. Never underestimate the power of local mineral water and a fail-safe pick-up line. Now, before I go I just have to ask, is that a Columbine in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?

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Change Is Fine As Long As Everything Stays Exactly The Same…

I don’t trust change. Never have, never will.  I mean, why make something different when it’s already pretty good? Name me one thing that’s been made any better by change and I’ll name you something incredulous that you wouldn’t believe because it’s impossible and totally unimaginable and could never happen no matter what and would sure teach you a lesson (note to self: think of a list of those things just in case, you don’t want to look stupid later). So, yeah, change is the worst.

Lucky for me and change-haters everywhere, all old things become new again one day. So if you can just resist change long enough, you’ll be cool eventually and you can claim you were doing it first. It’s what the hipsters do - stay ahead of the trends by looking backwards and never forwards. Good advice when you’re riding your penny-farthing down Gertrude Street, good advice when you’re deciding what length jeans to wear. And hells yeah, staying true to my lycra power suits throughout the more breathable fabric favoring naughties was hard and at times pretty awkward work. And sure, a year ago you might have laughed at my stockpile of tasseled push-down socks and water-proof stirrup pants. And yes, since getting around town on my sweet “new” one-wheeler there have been more recorded penny-farthing related accidents in Melbourne since 1880. But yesterday I saw a group of hipsters riding backwards on horseback in Brunswick so who’s laughing now?

Still, you can imagine that when I was taken aside one day last week and told that DHMSCO would be releasing not one but two new drinks, I maybe freaked out a little bit. Threats were made, my pre-colonial urban bonnet was thrown, and more than one limited edition signed Baywatch poster was destroyed. That’s when I should have known I’d gone too far - you just don’t mess with the Hoff in Speedos. I’m genuinely sorry about that. But when not even a cordless phone maimed David Hasselhoff was enough to convince a clearly delirious staff that change is how Saved by the Bell: The New Class got made, I did what any mature, cool-headed adult would do: I threatened to destroy the entire mineral water industry and then called my mum to come get me.

After Mum calmed me down with a sippy cup of apple juice and a hard boiled egg with buttered soldiers, I agreed to take a look at these two “new drinks:” Organic Lemon Lime Bitters and Organic Orange Soda. Organic Lemon Lime Bitters and Organic Soda! Even despite the hyperventilating and tyrannical swearing, it was becoming clear that actually, they really weren’t as offensive as I’d assumed they’d be.  The labels are contemporary retro (yeah it’s a thing), the bottles could easily have been recycled from my last abandoned milk bar party, and the taste is frankly Hoff-in-jocks dribble inducing. Conclusion: what could be more hipster or more amazingly forwards-backwards than sitting on an upside down rubbish bin outside a roasting-warehouse-meets-nana’s-sitting-room styled café, ordering an Organic Orange Soda float? Nothing, that’s what. Unless you do it while you’re wearing a poncho as a skirt. Which would prompt me to doff my propeller cap to you. Or it would if I hadn’t already done it weeks ago. Sheesh.

DHMSCO’s new organic Orange Soda and Lemon Lime Bitters have landed. Make sure you get in before the hipsters do. Because once I’ve tied some string to one of the empty bottles and used it as a satchel, you won’t be able to get your hands on one anywhere.


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Still DHMSCO From The Block

We’ve come a long way since our humble beginnings five years ago. There’s been a whopping 600% increase in our Beanie Baby portfolio from its modest inception as a two man show all those years ago. And gone are the halcyon days of grabbing an invoice from the printer, entering it into the system, filing it away, high-fiving the room and obtaining an icy-cold  ”another job well done” blood orange with one lazy reach of my arm.

And while all major decisions are still being put to the Magic 8 ball, and nothing will ever get in the way of Beanie Swap Tuesdays or Coconut Ice Entourage night, things are happening and, don’t tell anyone, but I think we might be cooler than we used to be…

In fact, you could say we’re just like J.Lo. It’s what I would say, and do, a lot. And not just because we know how to shake it on the dance floor and stop the press in a plunging green Versace-esque gown (the Magic 8 ball did strongly advise against that one. And yeah, maybe a floor length navel exposing gown was a little much for a Saturday morning farmers’ market, but there’s only so many times you can be told to “ask again later” before an eventual “don’t count on it” fails to hold much gravitas). Mostly we’re like J.Lo because from humble beginnings we’ve built careers as successful singers slash actors slash tracksuit designers… Okay okay, that was a lie; my vocal range is two notes and something that sounds like a Jurassic mating call, and our spring line of velour press-up pants won’t be released until at least October 2014, but mineral water we’re good at. We’re doing for local mineral water what J.Lo’s done for the perfume-designed-by-celebrities-who-don’t-know-anything-about-fragrances-or-even-basic-chemistry-and-make-everything-smell-like-vanilla-and-cat-sick industry. But in a good way.

You don’t have to take my word for it though, John Lethlean wrote it all down in The Weekend Australian on Saturday. Have a read of our story! He doesn’t make any direct references to the J.Lo connection, but the subtext is there. And if he had to spend the rest of the day smelling like vanilla cat sick because he’d gotten over excited with a bottle of J.Lo Glo he might be comparing himself to Jenny from the Block a lot as well…

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Don’t Lick That!

Do cities have a taste? Apparently, or else I don’t know what that whole Taste of Melbourne thing that happened on the weekend was about. The key thing to keep in mind when pondering this question is not to take the phrase as literally as, er, some people might be inclined. To find out what a city tastes like don’t, I repeat DON’T get down on your hands and knees and lick the steps of the State Library. Ditto that for the walls of Parliament House, double it for one of the seats in the Southern Stand at the MCG. Because they pretty much all taste the same (although I’m pretty sure I detected hints of tomato sauce at the MCG, it was right after the Hawthorn v Collingwood game, I also found half a chicken burger which was a bonus because I hadn’t had any dinner).

Anyway, it seems the seven different types of bacteria poisoning I contracted were a total waste of time and ipecac because there’s a much cleaner, less crazy-bird-lady way to go about discovering the tastes of Melbourne: you just go to the Taste of Melbourne – which is what we’d apparently planned to do all along with Keg Bike, lots of cups, and our tongues kept firmly inside our mouths.

Just quietly, being at the Taste of Melbourne was more fun than licking warm plastic benches. We made a fort out of mineral water boxes which is just like making one out of cereal boxes when you’re a kid only now we’re grown-ups, so it was bigger and more awesome and after I explained to her that it was for work, Mum didn’t make me take it down. After we stopped pretending that we were all knights and that Keg Bike was a battering  ram that we could use to siege our neighbouring stalls, we realised that hydrating the masses with rainbow coloured mineral water delights was equally as rewarding as taking pretend prisoners to feed to not-real dragons. And far from being our enemies, our next door neighbours Longrain had some serious speakers for music making which meant we could wow the crowds with our killer dance moves and enviable-yet-accessible coolness. Which we did. A lot. Ask anyone.

But if you somehow missed us at Taste of Melbs (maybe you were confused too and spent the weekend licking the platform at Flinders Street Station?) never fear! Because us, our Keg Bike, our impenetrable cardboard fort and our trademark water-sprinkler moves are heading to Master Chef Live in Sydney on October 7th.  And since we’re (ahem) the preferred mineral water partner of the event, you’d best come by to visit and more importantly, to check out what’s shaping up to be a very elaborate, highly choreographed multi-stage dance routine. Just don’t try to siege our fort or pillage our women because Keg Bike will feed you to a dragon faster than you can say, “but this water doesn’t taste anything like the Yarra.”

And dibbs on using the “oh, I thought this was Taste Of Master Chef” explanation when I’m found licking George Calombaris an hour into the event. Get your own excuse.

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Family Ties

Spring has sprung early at DHMSCO. When we realized that bee-keeping was going to be the next big thing we just couldn’t wait the extra months to flaunt our brand new bespoke bee-keeper masks with customized GaGa-inspired netting, detachable monogrammed ear protectors and scratch and sniff honey scent patches (pair with a preppy Oxford shirt and any kind of Italian hand-embroidered soft mahogany leather loafer to take you from the office to the hive to drinks afterwards). And as is customary in Spring, there have been some new additions to our mineral water family:

Keg Bike…office windows… a blowfly named Angus that won’t stop circling my head (possibly a direct result of the honey scented apiarist mask I’m wearing)… the puppy I’m pretty sure I’m getting for my half-birthday… and of course, Lindy.

When our little bundle of joy and galvanized iron arrived we were all the proudest of parents. Certain members of the family had been lead to believe that an actual baby was on the way and had spent weeks excitedly knitting pink booties and nurturing a now redundant cabbage patch - it’s all very well to refer to your machinery as “he” and “she” until you’re on an all coleslaw diet waiting for your thriving cabbage crop to run out. Still, weighing in at a healthy 6,261 pounds, 12 ounces, Lindy arrived and she was perfect. An early bloomer who was already walking and could lift over twice her own weight, she may not quite have been the sister I was hoping for but she could hold her own at a monster trucks rally which is more than can be said for my human sister who’s afraid of monsters. And anyway, she looks like a character from Brum which is awesome.

But now that the initial excitement has worn off, I can’t help but be somewhat suspicious of Lindy. At first my contempt and my unwillingness to share my new Tron suit were dismissed as a textbook case of sibling rivalry. But I swear this is bigger than Freud and my love of dressing head to toe in sci-fi gear and thwarting imaginary attempts to destroy the Pentagon. There’s just something about Lindy that makes me think there’s more to her than meets the eye. Beneath that orange veneer is a seedy underbelly of a corrupt and troubled past I just know it!! So I did what any suspicious person wearing a Tron suit would do, I googled it.

Tell me that’s not Lindy in that video!! Now I know how Charlie must have felt when he found out Coach Bombay was dating his mum. It’s not that it happened, it’s that she didn’t tell me… Still, even though I’ve just discovered that my forklift sister has a penchant for destruction, I think I’m going to give her a second chance and I might even let her play with my spankin new Tron Legacy Light Cycle later. Besides, I need to get out of the office for a while because it’s day 18 of the coleslaw diet and the ventilation in here is less than ideal and let’s just say I’ve never been more grateful for scratch and sniff headwear…



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In Our Wildest Dreams

It’s not often you get confused about whether you’re inside or outside. I mean it used to happen to me all the time but we eliminated the problem by not building windows into our new office - a good rule of thumb: can’t see the outside = inside or night time or playing a wicked awesome game of murder in the dark. But it happened again on Tuesday night at The Forum which is weird because they were using the ol’ no windows trick themselves and I’d been sure to cancel my standing Tuesday night murder in the dark game (my MITD buddies were not happy to be losing their best ringer, especially since we were up against league favorites Zombreed and they’re having a killer season. Still, as I explained to Leron while we were playing each other in World Of Warcraft last night, I’m all about the arts). Of course, The Forum gang are their own worst enemies because they’ve gone and lit their blue ceiling up like the Roman sky at dusk. It’s enough to confuse the most discerning of inside/outsidies! So we walked in for the program launch of the Melbourne Festival confused about the time of day, arguing about who’d win in a fight between Russell Crowe and Kevin Sorbo, and concerned that our MITD team weren’t going to utilise the new plays we’d been strategising all week.

Luckily, anyone who knows us knows we’re not fussy. Stick a mineral water in our hands and we’ll happily listen to any band if they play Serbian acoustic-trance music from the post-independence Bulgarian border that was written between March 2007 and February 2008. And we’ll pretty much just veg out in front of the TV and watch whatever. As long as it’s Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. So you can imagine we’re a receptive audience to anyone announcing a festival program. Provided Riverdance and The Dixie Chicks are on the bill, what’s not to love?

But apparently Michael Flatley left Riverdance like ten years ago and The Dixie Chicks are busy or not very good or something. Anyway, the Melbourne Festival has managed to come up with a program that doesn’t rely on recalcitrant arms or uninspiring country music circa 1999 to get our attention. Ever wondered what Shakespeare would be like if a Great Dane was cast as Hamlet? Me too! And have you ever watched a play and wished that when you screamed for the brooding male lead to “just kiss her already!” they would do it instead of having you escorted out of the theatre by an attractive but frankly curt security guard? Samesies!! And have you always dreamed of having a baby with the tail of a devil and the wings of an angel and the height of Godzilla and a head so shiny you can see yourself in it?? Oh… yeah, me either.

Still, all of our wildest dreams are coming true this October! Don’t be jealous because we got to find out before you did. Be jealous because we got to find out at an awesome launch party being all cool and artsy, casually slipping words like “uber” and “neo” and “iconoclast” into all of our sentences. But jealousies and indecipherable nonsense sentences aside, if you’re into traditional Rajasthani music performed in red-light district windows, or maybe thumb pianos playing psychedelic folk pop are more your thing, get yourself tickets to some or most or all of the festival!!

And if you’re after tickets to the highly anticipated finals season of the third annual Central Highland’s Murder In The Dark tournament, get in early because seats are limited and it’s after dinner in Leron’s mum’s backyard every Tuesday this September.


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Greenhouse by Joost

We went to Sydney last week for the opening of our dear friend Joosts Greenhouse at Circular Quay. What an inspiration.

Ideas have been distilled, improved developed, and new technology introduced since we were at the Greenhouse at Federation Square in the summer 2009. Walls that capture carbon, a frame that was fabricated on site by an amazing machine that cut each individual piece, labelled it and handed it to the guys to bolt together like a meccano set, all fabricated from recycled metal. Kitchen waste composted on site and used to grow veg on the roof, grain delivered each day to be ground on site to make the bread /pasta/and pizzas, even the oats are rolled to order for your muesli.

And then there is the mineral water. In a world first and only possible with the support of Joost we have started bottling our sparkling mineral water direct from the spring in recyclable Eco Kegs. Joost is making cola, lemonade and tonic water in house with our mineral water as base as well as serving it in its beautiful natural state in jam jars of course.

If you are interested in your environment, design, food or new ideas or the endless possibilities we all have to make a change for the better you must go and see this building. Just don’t eat the strawberry walls, their magic.

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Daylesford World’s Longest Lunch

Daylesford & Hepburn Mineral Springs Co. are excited to be involved in next years’ Daylesford World’s Longest Lunch.

Our world’s longest lunch table will be set in the English romantic garden at Stuart Rattle’s beautiful Musk Farm, with all proceeds going to the Daylesford Primary School kitchen garden project. Andrew Dennis (Daylesford’s Perfect Drop) will be joined by Adam D’Sylva (Coda) and David Ricardo (Pearl) to prepare the best produce from our region, matched with equally enticing wines.
MARCH 4th 2011, 12.00pm - 4.00pm

More information and to purchase tickets

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Fine Food Show Melbourne 2010

The Fine Show Australia show was held in Melbourne, September 13th-16th 2010 at the MCEC.

For all that visited us, thank you.
We had overwhelming feedback about our products and our stand design and very much enjoyed building new relationships with business owners and customers.

We will be next exhibiting at the Sydney Restaurant 2010 show from October 25th- 26th at the Royal Hall of Industries. 
We are also the offical water sponsor for this event. More information about the Sydney show

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