April - my five foodie things
This little corner of my blog can't be bought or sponsored - they are entirely MY choices of foodie things that I think worth knowing about.
Awapuni Herb Bundle - All their seedling bundles are really good value, but this one is the best value - an instant herb garden for less than $4.27!!! I've seen cut herbs in the supermarket for more than that. So even if you are not a green thumb - this is worth the gamble to chuck in your garden (or pot planter) and see if they survive. The seedlings are hardy and ready to transplant when they are sold. So pick a little corner somewhere and trust me on this one. Even if you are renting this will make financial sense - because if even one or two, of the 4 (but usually more) in the bundle, survive and you use over and over again in your meals - you win!! Big upside when you cook with these is that you know that you are adding something to your meal that hasn't been sprayed with nasties or had any extra packaging or food miles than necessary!!
Manuka Honey Cough Tablets - I first came across this from his stall at The Old Packhouse Market in Kerikeri, at the time, I had an itchy dry throat and a cough that I couldn't shake (you know the one where you have coughed so much you head and ribs hurt). I was at the point that I had nothing left to lose, and the fortuitousness of the timing of finding this particular stall. I've been back since and stocked up. A Micro Farm described as a "Honey Bee Sanctuary" of Fruit trees and Natives that supports a few hives, chickens, etc - all managed organically. This time the Lemon, Ginger, Manuka Syrup was bought - as a winter tonic for the family - beats standard syrups by far.
Ingredients include for the Cough Tablets....Manuka Honey 10+, Menthol, Lemon, Vitamin C and Sugar.
Cheese - anyone who knows me, is well aware of my cheese addiction, so there will probably be a regular spot in this '5' series devoted to cheese, or close relative to cheese. This month the spot goes to the Burrata - King of all the cheeses. I usually buy food to cook and share, this is the one time I feel exactly the opposite. I am buying it with a plan in my head, of where to hide it and when I next think I will be alone to devour it. The creamy Stracciatella centre that spills out like a soft boiled egg yolk is what wins this spot. It has only been recently that you can buy local, fresh handmade ones. Buy two if you have to share. On top of a salad or tomatoes.... you can't go wrong. Trust me on this next time you are considering the bocconcini or mozzarella and upgrade to the burrata. This one is Massimo's - made locally in NZ by Italians - worth it!!
This Book!! This book!! There is a shift at the moment amongst 'food media' about what exactly NZ cuisine is. This book was written long, long before that. Joanna Knox lives in Featherston and her book is found in good bookstores - the University Book Store is where I recently got a copy for a gift. It is a thorough, comprehensive guide to New Zealands' edible flora and fauna - with a range of great recipes, to get you started. No colour food photography here - just serious info and drawings of the plants, true botanist style. This book should be on your shelf as part of any NZ Foodlover library, but Vegans out there this should be your bible, this will increase your choices in the most unlimited way, and a lot of what she writes about can be easily foraged (if you are into that).
Sourdough Bread - specifically from Pasture. I dined here as my birthday treat from the boyz and have never forgotten the bread. Pasture does a lot of amazing natural things with food, but when friends announce they are going - its the bread that I recommend - in a utterly clumsy way "you gotta have the bread!" they look at me, in a way that says "that the best you can do?" or "she's only recommending the bread perhaps this booking is a mistake...." Definitely not!! ALL the food is wonderful (that's another whole blog post), but do not skip the bread. You can buy loaves to take home....
This is a little monthly piece in my blog - if you would like to check out the previous month here's the link for Five Favourite Things March Edition.