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A visit to a farmers' market is never a quick trip. You end up bumping into neighbours and friends, helping visitors with directions and feasting on samples.
Feilding Farmers' Market runs on a Friday when the town is at its busiest with the local stock sales, the guided tours through the live auctions, and it being a main shopping day for locals. One of my favourite stall holders is Marie Mullins of Eclectic Country, who makes an extensive range of jellies, jams, chutneys and sauces. Each week without fail there is always something new to try, whether it be something spicy, something sweet, it always has a twist on the original recipe.
Recently when a colleague and I visited Marie she offered us a tasting of Pie Melon and Ginger Jelly. "What's pie melon?", we said almost simultaneously. Well, to cut a long story short, Marie sent us home with two massive pie melons (3 kilos a piece) and a challenge to create something tastier than her popular products.
We sat on it for a couple of weeks, then expanded the challenge to our team members at work. One is a trained chef, so a little intimidating for us, but oh well. I think we did pretty well as a group - some making traditional recipes like myself (Pie Melon and Tamarillo Jam), to the very creative winning dish - a Feijoia, Pie Melon and Lemonade Pie.
So, during your travels in New Zealand, try to coincide your trip with a visit to a local farmers' market. You never know what you might come away with!
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