Saturday, June 20, 2009

Auckland City Farmers Markets - Which One is Worth Getting Out of Bed For?

I had a whole morning to myself as husband was on a song writing course and stepson didn't finish rock climbing until 12, so I thought I might get up early and check out the Farmers Markets in town.

But who can drag themselves out of bed early on a cold winter morning? No one, thats who. Except those freaks who like jogging in a chill factor of minus one. Really you guys? You like that stuff? My lips get chapped just thinking about going outside.

Anyway so I dragged myself out of bed eventually (fark my house is cold!) and headed to britomart. Urgh Inner city Auckland. Surprisingly got a park right outside the market ($2 an hour) and wandered over, first impressions...

Its small! Where are all the people? Poor souls trying bravely to bring spirit and atmosphere to the britomart car park on a clear cold winters morning. Still everyone was friendly enough.
I bought Macadamia nuts, only to find they were Californian...WTF!! I thought farmers markets were supposed to be about local produce. Tricky Bastards. But then I bought some coastal honey from Barrier island. Yum and toxin free! Then I saw the muffin stand, I was sans breakfast and they looked so perfect! Made by The Godmother bakery and only $2 each. I chose passion fruit and it was glorious people! Absolutely glorious! Best cupcake I've had in ages. Perfect for the next morning tea shout at work I think, must make a note of it for my boss........

Then I was all about the free range eggs, a must have for todays conscientious consumer. By then I had walked around the tiny market what felt like a dozen times and I still had an hour to kill. So I drove the short distance to the Parnell farmers market at La cigale.
Now this was more like it! Traffic chaos, a good sign, I turned around and parked further down the street and wandered up. Already I could smell aromas of garlic and baking bread. Now this was worth getting out of bed for. More stalls and more chaos. People were speaking french all over the place and the salmon man was actually hawking his wares. Game meats, sausages, petite fours, nuts, cheeses, breads, fresh fruit and veges, fish, spices and heaps of other stuff. Inside I grabbed some kind of almond french pastry thing , it was still warm, perfection. As I nibbled my pastry aimlessly wandering the market I was tempted into buying some smoked Gouda and not long after some Cajun garlic chicken sausages, no filler all meat, sooooo goood! Just then I spotted Peta Mathias, shocking red boots and a shock of red hair, buying a hot ham roll. This must be the better market for foodies then. Before I knew it I had to leave and go pick stepson up, I could have stayed for a coffee and maybe more french pastry delights but alas, responsibilities call.

Its definitely worth a repeat visit, even just for a pastry. I'll be going to one of the Weds/Thurs night dinners at La Cigale, they serve slow cooked meats (good ol' comfort food for winter) and fabulous desserts all for very little money. $20 main, $8 dessert and complimentary fresh roast almonds with pre-dinner drinks. Sounds Divine.... any takers?


Zed said...

I'm in! ;o)

minnowandlou said...

wow! there are more then one farmers markets in auckland??? we only have one in my lil city in canada.

Anonymous said...

Yea there are quite a few farmers markets in Auckland now .. some a bit out of town, like Clevedon, Oratia.

I went to the britomart one last weekend and it was great - music, busy, lots of stalls + customers and tasty things. I haven't tried the other farmers market in Parnell yet (by the old blind institute)- I think that's a real farmers' market as well wheras La Cigale is a French style market, i.e they can sell what they want which is why they have the paella and lots of imports. Shame about the nuts - guess not that many nuts in NZ?!

Anonymous said...

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