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The Kiss Wrapped Sweets, made by Stillwater in Kuranda!
Kuranda, the village in the rainforest, is just outside the city of Cairns, in north Queensland, Australia. There are many different ways of getting there and you can either take the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, which goes above the forest canopy; you can go with the famous Kuranda Scenic Railway up the Barron Gorge, through some of the oldest rainforest in the world; or you can just drive there. As we were five people, we decided to take our Rent-a Bomb car and drive to the village ourselves!
Once in the village we saw and art gallery and saw some artists busy painting; we bought a hand-painted boomerang from an aborigine; played some interesting wood puzzle games and just admired the many souvenirs and handicrafts available for sale in the village shops. Just before taking a walk down to the Barron Waterfall, we stopped at a place that goes by the name of Stillwater Workshops and it turned out to be a cute and interesting shop! The building was an attractive wooden hut, set all by itself on a side street, with small windows and a green door. As soon as we went in I saw many attractively wrapped gift bags, crates and barrels on the shelves around the shop and a man with a red t-shirt working behind the counter. He was mixing and twisting what looked like a huge sugar mass, which he reckoned weighed 15 kg! Once he was pleased with its consistency, he guided the goo, which resembled a long snake by then, into a machine, which swiftly wrapped the sweets, before they spurted out onto a big, oval metal bucket they had on the floor.
A friendly woman then offered the Kiss Wrapped Sweets to the wide eyed visitors assembled around to try, but many could not resist having just one, so they got a second, or even a third piece! The sweets tasted very good and were not too cloy at all! I later found out that they had different flavours, including some tropical ones, like banana, coconut, coffee, Kakadu plum, mango, pineapple and sugarcane!
They make the sweets according to old time traditions and cook them in copper kettles. Each kiss is then wrapped on an antique kiss-wrapping machine before being beautifully gift packaged. The traditional workshop did not end there though! On the right side of the shop they also had hand poured Pewter Jewellery! Their designs were traditional, or they mimicked the calm and shimmering waters of the sea, the beauty of nature’s creatures and the intricate details of plants, flowers and sea life. A most appropriate shop to have in tropical Queensland, close to the Barrier Reef and the tropical rainforest!
I was most inspired by this shop and wished I one just like it! In the minutes I spent there I found myself transported to my childhood, when my mother and grandmother used to prepare toffees, fudge, divinity, peanut brittle, walnut balls and other confections. For wedding and other special occasions, we used to wrap our delicacies by hand, as there was no such a thing as a sweet wrapping machine then!