The Great NZ Food Show 2017

I wanted to go to the Great NZ Food Show last year.  But I didn’t.  The year before that, when I hadn’t had weight loss surgery, I actually had no interest in it.  So why would someone who has the stomach the size of a shot glass and a food addiction want to spend hours in a hall with all sorts of utensils, food, spices and seasonings – and everything else food related?

The answer, to me, is quite simple.

Quality.  Don’t eat more, just eat better.

I went to the Food Show looking for new herbs and spices and some ideas on how to increase the nourishment and satisfaction that we get from the foods that we eat. We eat 80-90% whole and real food with a bit of (sometimes simple) carbs thrown in. Our treat meals aren’t happening as regularly as they were but I still want to make a few REALLY NICE meals each week instead of the post gym meat and vegetable stir fry.

So I’m really bloody glad I took a big ass tote bag on Sunday – and my Mr to carry it all as well!  When we parked in Claudelands the sun was out and the Waikato Farmers Market on was on so we strolled on over there, grabbed a coffee and a hot chocolate and enjoyed some beautiful sunshine.  Then it was all on!

Fark it was busy in there.  I guess $15.00 for an adult is very cheap and a pretty good reason to just go in and eat your way around the event.  We were a bit more selective, especially to start but I found so many yummies! From left to right …

Our Sunday haul number #1 -from left to right …

East Bali Cashews in Garlic Pepper and Chilli Crunch.
I was introduced to East Bali Cashews by an amazing food blogger Bri DiMattina‘s monthly food finds and holy shit, cacao cashews …. just holy shit.  They had run out of those by the time we got there so I went straight for chilli and Ken said Garlic Pepper looked good to him.  I have to admit Garlic Pepper are delicious – they have a lovely crunch and a sweet garlic aftertaste.  What I love about East Bali Cashews is their social enterprise story – they focus on processing the cashews in the country and therefore benefitting the region rather than sending more profits offshore.

Amola Salts – Smoky Espresso Salt and Aztec Mole Salt.
These little beauties are going to be the perfect seasonings for all the meat that is so going in the slow cooker this week!
The Smoky Espresso Salt is a mix of sea salt, espresso beans, chilli powder, ginger, peppercorns & turbinado sugar. It will make such a good meat rub – I’m thinking a pork shoulder with some cauliflower rice and some creamed spinach.
The Aztec Mole Salt will give me the chance to experiment with famous Mexican-inspired dishes such as mole chicken, rich stews, and even braised meat tacos. With the richness of chocolate and the spiciness of chipotle chili, they tell me that this salt will make my food dance! It is a mix of sea salt, cocoa nibs, cocoa powder, cinnamon and chipotle pepper.

Waiheke Herbs
Waiheke Herbs was the first producer we came across and it was actually the gorgeous colour of the Herb Paste that caught my eye but then I saw the Herb Salts. I picked up two – and I’m excited to see how I can use them both.  I chose the Wild Salt with chilli, cayenne, lemon, dandelion, nasturtium leaves and flowers and the Native Salt with manuka, kawakawa, karengo and NZ spinach – exactly the sort of products I hoped I would come across!

Clean Paleo Co Biltong in Chipotle & Garlic and Smoky Chilli.
The Clean Paleo Co is best known to me for its protein powder (and in the last year or so, one of its directors) however I hadn’t tried any of their products until the show. I picked up the Biltong as yes, it’s processed but I’m all about options that are transportable when there are no better foods available. I could really do so much worse!
Biltong contains NO artificial flavours, NO added sugar, and NO preservatives so whilst it’s not real real food, its pretty damn close. And you have to agree with the tagline on their website “I really regret eating healthy today – said no one ever

Poppy and Olive Foods Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
Made from the perfect blend of 80% New Zealand hazelnuts from the South Island, and 20% quality dark chocolate. This is a delicious and healthier alternative to other popular sugar-laden chocolate spreads, with nearly four times less sugar and double the protein. I’m going to add it to smoothies, and spread it all over my apples. And even though our nut butter cupboard is full, more room for a chocolate nut butter can always be found!

NZ Salami Venison Chorizo – or Venizio.
Who can go past a delicious chorizo?  Definitely not me!  And these guys have an amazing ingredients list and a desire to use the least amount of additives possible.  That nutritional information looks pretty damn good to me.  I’m in.
Nutritional Information – per 100g serve: Energy 811kj, Protein 24.0g, Saturated Fat 5.2g Carbohydrate <0.1, Total sugar 0.6, Cholesterol 70mg, Sodium 960mg

Primo Cheese Kranksy’s.
It’s a Kransky – well actually its two. They are not super healthy, they are quite fatty but fuck they are delicious. And they were two packs for $5!.

Pirongia Streaky Bacon.
We do buy bacon and we try and stick to bacon without added sugar (the only brand we have found is Colonial Streaky) but I talked to the guys at Pirongia and they took the time to explain the curing process and how sugar is used and why its on the nutritional label. Then he handed me some cooked pieces. I took two packs thanks.
I have to say chatting to the vendors is one of the best things about the show, aside from the nibbles, you get to ask the questions you have in the back of your mind.

Meyer Gouda Cheeses.
We were actually introduced to Meyer Cheeses via our Emmas Food Bags so we usually have a little in the fridge. Meyers Cheese is a family business, started in the Netherlands in the 1970’s and still thriving in Cambridge today. We picked our favourite up, the Cumin Gouda – even though Cumin is an Indian spice cumin Gouda is an extremely tradition Dutch cheese. Early spice traders from India set out for Europe and the spices were quickly found to be used in the Cheeses. We also tried, and I really really loved the Vintage Gouda – it has a crumbly parmesan like texture and a lovely strong bite.

Our number #2 purchase was a real adult one.
We are now the proud owners of a set of Japanese chef knives – and a pouch to keep them in (and protect them from our shitty kitchen drawers). I feel so grown up!

And number #3 … a big ass beef bag from Green Meadows Beef.
For $60, we grabbed sirloin, mince, patties, sausages, diced beef and lots of samples of the new beetroot range.
I’m not afraid to admit that our wee chest freezer is probably 80% Green Meadows – its the best beef I’ve found and their Build a Box and delivery service is A+++

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FYI: I paid for everything I came home with from the Food Show.  Our entry tickets for the day were a gift from Green Meadows Beef.

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2 thoughts on “The Great NZ Food Show 2017”

  • Oh I love a food event!! Like you, I go for inspiration.
    Cumin gouda is by far my favourite cheese – one that’s not easily found in the UK.

    Those salts sound amazing too! Perfect way to season food with minimal calories.

    • I’m just writing up our weekly meal plan and am looking forward to working those salts in somewhere!

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