Thursday, July 31, 2008

My three picks at The Food Show

Artisan food:
Visit Greg and Kath Scopas
of Salumeria Fontana at the Matakana Coast Wine Country Food Producers
Stand 202-204A.

Best for artisan sausages
and olive oil.

Need Coffee:

Feel good with a cup of
Stand 370
And be good, support organic and
fair trade coffee.

Best Coffee set up.

Italian Flavours:

Practice your Italian while tasting
cheese, wine and mortadella.
Europeanfood Ltd
Stand 306-307

Best for buying imported goods.

The Food Show Auckland 2008 is running from
31 July to 3 August 2008 ASB Showgrounds 10am - 6pm Daily

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Food Traditions

Maori New Year

Matariki is the Maori name for the group of stars also known as the Pleiades star cluster and its appearance in June low on the horizon shortly before dawn marks the traditional Maori New Year. The New Year is marked by the rise of Matariki and the next new moon.In Maori culture the sighting of the Seven Sisters also defines the coming season’s harvest (maramataka): the brighter the stars, the warmer the season would be, the earlier the planting and the more productive the crop. If hazy then the next winter would be cold and seeds would not be planted before October. In addition to defining the seasonal cycles, Matariki refers to the collecting and storing of food for the winter period (Matariki ahunga nui - Matariki provider of plentiful food). Matariki is an important occasion for families to gather, an opportunity to meet and share rituals, and enjoy celebrating together. Women sing and dance to greet the new cycle and prepare traditional dishes with freshly gathered produce. Forgotten by many Maori due to progressive adoption of western culture, traditional New Year celebrations have been revived in recent decades. Matariki is a time for reflecting on nature, a central concept in Maori culture: Maori believe they are Kaitiaki, guardians of the land and all natural resources, protecting and nurturing it to ensure its sustainability. Traditional agricultural practices – such as observing the phases of the moon, the stars, bird activity and the flowering period of the plants - are followed by the 800 producers united in the Maori Vegetable Growers food community. Following organic and traditional methods, they cultivate corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes (kumara, with some varieties deriving from the sweet potatoes brought by the first settlers from Polynesia a thousand years ago), and zucchini. The producers are also members of Te Waka Kai Ora - the body which certifies traditional organic Maori farming methods.
From Terra Madre Newsletter 06/08

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


This is a traditional Tuscan peasant soup based on
Cavolo Nero, the Italian black cabbage (well, actually
is dark green in colour) that is now making its way into
Farmers Markets and fancy restaurants around New
Zealand. Cavolo Nero tastes like no other cabbages; in
fact it is so delicious that it improves any dish, even the
simplest ones, like Ribollita.

Ingredients (Serves 6)
A few leaves of Cavolo Nero
1 large onion
1 large carrot
1 celery stalk with leaves
1 tbsp Extra Virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
1 can peel tomatoes
2 L light vegetable stock
Salt to taste
1 can cannellini beans or borlotti beans
1 tbsp chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
6 slices of country style bread, best if one day old.

Wash the Cavolo Nero leaves, cut along the central
vain and remove it (this is quite hard). Set aside. Chop
the onion, carrot and celery into very small pieces and
place into a large stock pot. Sauté the vegetables with
a tablespoon of olive oil and then add the leaves of
Cavolo Nero cut into strips. When the cavolo nero start
wilting add the content of the tomato can and simmer
for 5 minutes, then add the stock and bring to the boil.
When the vegetables are soft add the cannellini beans
and the chopped parsley and cook for 5 more minutes.
Adjust with salt and pepper. At this point remove half
of the soup and blend into a mush. Pour back with the
remaining soup and stir. It may sounds crazy, but this
trick will make the final product taste even better. Place
a slice of bread at the bottom of each plate or serving
bowl and pour the soup on top. Drizzle with olive oil and

Ribollita means ‘boiled again’. In fact this soup is better
the day after, and traditionally it is ‘boiled’ again and
then poured over bread. If you prefer you can serve the
bread on the side.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Slow and Fishy

Slow and Fishy

Fish cooking demonstration and dinner with Dean Betts
at Cosi Café in Matakana.

California-born Dean Betts has been professionally involved
in sourcing and cooking the freshest fish available for more than 30 years.
Dean is also the owner of Cosi Café in Matakana, author of
Fish! Fish! Fish! Simply Delicious New Zealand Seafood (New Holland Publishers)
and The Fish Market Cookbook.

After the cooking demonstration
enjoy a selection of seafood antipasto and crostini
accompanied by a glass of wine,
and then sit down for a seafood lasagna dinner.

For more information check the Slow Food Waitakere blog.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

International Year of the Potato

Slow Food Waitakere Photographic Awards 2008 - call for entriesOpening Wednesday 22 October, 6pm Exhibition runs 22 October - 16 NovemberSlow Food Waitakere and Lopdell House Gallery celebrate World Food Day, the International Year of the Potato and Terra Madre with a photographic competition to be exhibited in the Spiral Gallery.
Entries are invited in three categories:
1. The Potato as Food (still life) (open to all)
2. The Potato in Society (open to all)
3. The Year of the Potato (amateur photographers only)
Entries to be received framed and mounted by 30 September and will be judged by international photojournalist and Titirangi resident John Chapman.
Multiple entries are welcomed and entry fees are $15 (or 2 for $20)
or $10 (2 for $15) from Slow Food Waitakere members.


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