Tuesday, April 24, 2012
The Mount's bounty
This past Sunday we went over to the weekly Farmer's Market to see what they had to offer. The market is open from 9-1, rain or shine. It is located in a parking lot that is maybe 4 blocks from us. Upon walking up we were greeted with a food stall selling Cornish Pasties. They had 2 varieties: the "regular" standard spices and filling (beef, onion, potato) in a flaky pastry or "kiwi-style" spicy spices. I opted for the "kiwi-style" and it really made for an awesome snack. The heat started off subtle and then grew to maybe a medium heat. It was just enough heat to let you know that you weren't eating a regular pasty.
We made our way from stall to stall tasting the vendor's goods. Ok I did most of the tasting. There were probably a dozen or more stalls. Including a dude signing to 80's classic rock underneath a canopy. A stall that both Beth and I enjoyed was Cellarman's cheese. She had many varieties of cheese to select from, but Beth enjoyed the Kaimai Red. The ranking on the NZ flavour metre was tasty. The other options are mature and extra tasty. Many of the other cheeses were smoked and aged for 24 months. I particularly liked the Smoked Gouda, but opted to buy it on some other weekend. There is no reason to go all out right away. Next to Cellarman's was the one of two baked goods tables. Beth thought that I should just go into business making my baked goods and selling at the farmer's market, but we don't have an oven. I also don't know what policies they have in place about selling goods out of your house or if you need to use a commercial kitchen. I could always research this and start making choco-pucks and a variety of cupcakes and bars. Seeing the amount of bakeries and what they are offering, my offerings would be unique and could possibly get an audience here.
After the baked goods comes the corner of produce. The deals here were awesome. The variety and price couldn't be beat. We filled a bag full of produce for under $20 and it will most likely last us until next week. It is almost like we are participating in our CSA back home, but we get to select what we want each week instead of being handed a box of random goodness. I wonder what goods he will bring with him next week.
The next bank of stalls included the smoked fish, Indian Samosas, Sour Dough Bread, Venison Salami, a few small produce tables selling basil and avos. We purchased something from the 1st 4 vendors. The spicy venison salami is very good as well as the multi-grain sour dough bread. I haven't broke into the smoked tuna yet, but I was thinking of having some of it for lunch.
In the center there was local honey vendor, which I plan on making a purchase this week as I love toast and honey in the morning. Next to the honey stall was a guy selling chili sauces ranging from sweet and mild to tangy and spicy. I tried probably half a dozen different sauces before I realized I already have 2 bottles of spicy sauce at the apartment. Maybe when we run out I'll make a purchase.
This farmer's market is small in comparison to the Downtown market I grew accustomed to on my weekly trip for cinnamon roasted pecans, but it has the same feel as the market set up in church parking lot on Johnson. I'm glad that this is available to us because of its close proximity to the apartment and we our helping out local community instead of a nation wide chain of grocery stores. We also made our first stop at the local butcher and the selection was pretty awesome. We had some fillet last night and it was so tender and rich in flavor. Also got some free range chicken breasts for dinner tonight.
We will hitting up the market each weekend and we may even venture over to Tauranga on Saturday for their market. I would recommend you to check out your own farmer's market as you might also find "vacon" or venison bacon. It was too expensive for me as you only got 2 thin slices for about the same price I paid for a half a log of salami. Maybe when I get a job I will splurge a little bit. Oh wait, we are already splurging a little here and there on tasty pies and Tim-Tams.