Whitianga Scallop Festival serves up feast
05 Aug 2010
Whitianga Scallop Festival, Coromandel
28 August, 2010
Scallop fever is about to hit Whitianga again, during the annual celebration of the popular local delicacy.
For fans of the delectable slippery mollusc, the scallop festival serves up a huge range of temptations from lessons on how to cook them, to samples and competitions, and the sound of top New Zealand bands.
The festival is famous for its innovative stallholders who each year come up with fresh new recipes as they try to tempt palates and outdo each other.
Lip-smacking highlights at the 2010 festival will include steamed scallop ‘siu mai’ or Chinese dumplings, scallop wontons, ‘quick shuck’ shots, scallop mornay, scallop kebabs and barbecue pork belly and scallop rolls.
Thousands of visitors
The Whitianga Scallop Festival - now in its sixth year - is a wildly popular event that brings thousands of visitors to the little seaside town on the Coromandel Peninsula.
More than 60,000 fresh scallops - sourced from the Mercury Islands, off the western coast of the Coromandel Peninsula - are served up to eager appetites every year.
Beer to match
The official beer at the 2010 Whitianga Scallop Festival is Monteith’s - and the company is planning a special tent in front of the main stage to offer visitors samples of its award-winning beers matched with scallop dishes.
Monteith’s marketing manager Russell Browne says that by supporting the event, they are hoping to teach people about how to match different beer types with food.
"We will have chefs whipping up culinary delights throughout the day that are created with Monteith’s in mind. Savour the recommended Monteith’s beer and cider whilst enjoying the dish and you’ll see just how well beer and food combine together."
Monteith’s Brewing Company is a Kiwi icon. Starting from humble beginnings on the South Island's rugged West Coast, the original family-owned business called Phoenix Brewery brewed up a legendary strong, full-bodied ale.
The company still retains one of its oldest breweries, located in Greymouth. It is open to the public for tours and carries on its 150-year-old brewing traditions.
Whitianga is located in the heart of Mercury Bay, in the North Island’s Coromandel region - a popular holiday destination with some of New Zealand’s most picturesque beaches and surfing spots.
The complete Māori name for Whitianga is 'Te Whitianga a Kupe' which means Kupe’s crossing place. Whitianga has been continuously occupied for more than 1000 years, since the Māori explorer Kupe settled his tribe there after a visit in 950AD.
European pioneers settled at Whitianga in the early 1800s, and the township grew into a leading timber port for vessels from all the major European ports. Today the Coromandel's main industries are fishing, farming and tourism.
For visitors, Whitianga offers a relaxed seaside pace, within easy access of sheltered beaches and coves, or the town’s own hot thermal spring. Tourist activities include guided fishing trips, gathering shellfish, water sports, bush walks, horse trekking and checking out the creations of talented local artists.
Kiwi artists open studios
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