As an immigrant, Melbourne’s Immigration Museum holds a special place in my heart.

Housed in the beautiful Old Customs House by the river, the museum presents the stories of people from all over the world, people just like me, who have made their home in Australia and Victoria. It’s important to me to support and promote a dedicated space that acknowledges the contribution of immigrants to the richness of life in Australia. (Oh and there’s a picture of me in the ‘Identity’ exhibit – that’s another story!).

And when their newest exhibition is about desserts….well, it’s right up my alley!

Starting on 15 March, Sweets: tastes and traditions from many cultures will explore the ways in which Victorian communities use sweet foods in their cultures.
Five different communities have been chosen to participate in the exhibition – Indian, Italian, Japanese, Mauritian and Turkish – and the exhibition will examine how the sweets are made and how they are used to mark important rituals, celebrations and life events within the community.

Two events relating to the exhibition will also be held in conjunction with Melbourne Food and Wine Festival – a five course dinner with matching wines, the Sweet Dinner by Guy Grossi on 15 March, and the Sweets Festival on 18 March.

I was invited by the Immigration Museum to have a taste-test of some of the delights that will be on offer at the special one day Sweets Festival, from Japanese mochi to baklava to pistachio biscotti to gateau coco. Most of the treats (other than the notoriously difficult to make Japanese sweets) were made by women from the communities. Impressive!

The Sweets Festival will also feature cooking demonstrations, films, workshops and displays, making it a great day’s outing along with a visit to the permanent exhibitions at the museum.

Giveaway!  Thanks to the Immigration Museum I have double passes to the museum plus a Sweets exhibition catalogue (which contains recipes for the sweets featured) with each pair of tickets for 5 lucky readers. You’ll be able to use the passes to visit the museum at any time until 30 June 2012 though of course you can use them to attend the Sweets Festival.

To win all you have to do is leave a comment and the 5 winners of each ticket + catalogue pack will be drawn randomly and announced on Wednesday 14 March 2012. Good luck!

The random winners are: #2 Sophie, #4 Jillian, #12 Madeleine, #29 Ross, #33 Zanna – your prize will be posted to you shortly!

Immigration Museum, 400 Flinders St, Melbourne
Open daily, 10am – 5pm (Closed Good Friday and Christmas Day)
Adult $10, concessions & children free

Sweet Dinner by Guy Grossi
Thursday 15 March 6:30-10:30pm
Adults $180 MV members $170

Sweets Festival
Sunday 18 Mar 2012 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Included with museum entry