The Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory

Junee is located in the Riverina of New South Wales, about 350km southwest of Sydney. It is a nice looking town with some well-restored old buildings, surrounded by the sorts of landscapes that I grew up thinking were iconically Australian: low hills, brown grass paddocks dotted with sheep and trees, and fields of wheat and other crops.

Situated in a beautifully restored old building which used to be the town’s flour mill, The Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory was the drawcard that brought us to town while we were visiting family in Griffith, about 2 hours’ drive further south.

We enjoyed a delicious lunch in the outdoor area under the shade of Virginia creeper supported by old wooden beams. The menu may not be extensive, but the food was absolutely delicious.

Visitors can stroll through the building and watch the different kinds of chocolates and sweet treats being made through large viewing windows.

The factory’s chocolate shop offers a multitude of organic sweet treats: plain chocolate, regular or raspberry licorices in plain or chocolate coated varieties, rocky road, freckles, chocolate coated pretzels, varieties of chocolate with different fruit or nuts in them, just to name a few. The hardest part is deciding what you want to take home, and how much work you’ll have to do to make up for it later on.

In addition to all the sweet things, there are all sorts of produce on offer: pickles, sauces, balsamic vinegar, jams and chutneys, honey and olive oil – all locally produced.

It honestly doesn’t get much more Aussie than this.

Out of responsibility to the folk who read my blog, we bought some chocolate to taste-test, and we are not sorry.

The chocolate is smooth, creamy and delicious. That freckle I just bit into for the sake of the photo is the perfect blend of crunchy and smooth. The rate at which my husband ate his chocolate covered raspberry licorice bullets was definitely indicative of superior quality and taste. The chocolate-coated pretzels I bought were as good as the ones I had in Amish country in Pennsylvania, and that’s really saying something! Consequently, they did not last long enough to have their photo taken. It was only a small packet, after all.

In retrospect, it’s probably a good thing that the Junee Chocolate and Licorice Factory is a ten hour drive from home.

The Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory
#chocolate #organic #travel

Downtime!

For the chronically busy person, there is nothing like a little downtime for reenergising and resetting the mind. 

I always feel as though making it to the break at the end of third term is like sliding into third base and only just making it, looking shabby and feeling a little worse for wear. 

Life has been crazy busy in recent weeks with work, a non-fiction book release, and theatre commitments. 

So, while my sister is able to care for my dad for a few days, I’ve been able to escape to the countryside. 

Today’s drive rewarded me with blue sky, fluffy white clouds, sunshine, and some gorgeous scenery. 

It really was a glorious day– and just what I needed!

Amish country, PA.

This is genuinely some of the prettiest countryside I have ever seen. It’s a patchwork of farms with deep green grass, yellow straw fields from the last crops of corn, white or red barns, and pretty houses.
The roads have a separate late each side for horses and buggies, or the alternative Amish transports of bicycles or push scooters. There are some scooters that are converted bicycles, with a platform to stand on between the wheels. We saw several of these, with an adult or teenager transporting a child who was standing in front of them.

We don’t see many mules in Australia, but they are commonplace here because they are the work animal of choice on the farms. Horses are reserved for transport.
We have seen families, individuals and courting couples all out for a ride on this beautiful, sunny Spring Saturday. A courting couple is distinctive because they must ride in an open and uncovered buggy.

Everything is clean and well presented. The whole scene is absolutely charming. I don’t say that to be condescending. It’s genuinely pretty, and it seems they take pride in making it so. It also seems to me that they have maintained a sweetness or pride in the fundamental things of life that our society often overlooks – family, friendship, hard work and moral values. There is no abuse of the environment here, nor any waste or litter.
There are things we could definitely learn from their way of life, even though I am not willing to give up using electricity, electronics, or my car.