sharing recipes from one generation to the next
It’s a pearler!
“Pearler” is Aussie slang for first class.
Broome is a pearler of a town. The perfect winter climate attracts people from the cooler southern states in droves.
The Indian Ocean break onto miles of pristine white sandy beaches interspersed with tanned bodies on beach lounges when the sun is at its peak, then, as the sun begins to drop, trains of camels arrive offering tourists sunset rides along the beach. They vie for position with four wheel drivers unloading chairs, tables, champagne and snacks in preparation for the parties that erupt all along the shorelines as the sun sinks into the sea.
The first major tourism initiative in Broome was a 5* resort at Cable Beach. The arrival of well heeled holiday makers ensured classy restaurants and bars followed though it was the mother of pearl industry that first put Broome on the map.
For centuries before white settlement the traditional people had been trading pearl shell with the Indonesian tribes. The innovation of strong plastic buttons almost wiped Broome’s pearl industry out in the 1950s but the Japanese pearl culturing techniques proved so effective in the local shells that the future of Broome’s industry was assured. Pearl shell collection has gone through many phases including dangerous free diving with huge human cost. Many young Japanese divers lost their lives diving for shell and are buried in Broome’s Japanese cemetery.
Initially what set Broome mother of pearl apart was the shell size, almost four times larger than old world shell. Now the local pearl oysters have proved to be just as valuable for farming, as the size and quality of the pearls cultured for jewellery makes the Broome brands unique. Paspaley and Autore have an international reputation for the flawless structure, prized colour and lustre of their large pearls.
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