As spring turns to summer and the days heat up, an abundance of fresh summer produce begins to appear around North Canterbury. Huge, beefy tomatoes, juicy cherries and berries, lettuce, asparagus, radishes, new potatoes and peas all ripen in time for the summer holidays. ‘Tis also the season for barbecues and parties, Christmas and New Year gatherings, drinks and nibbles galore. So whether you’re planning your Christmas menu, filling the fridge for the holidays or whipping up a grazing board for guests, all the ingredients you need can be found right here in North Canterbury.

North Canterbury Nibbles

Taking a plate? Hosting a crowd? Or just too hot to cook? A grazing platter of nibbly things ticks all the boxes. Every North Canterbury platter needs to start with Make It Raw crackers. Made locally by raw food extraordinaire, Julia, these crackers are light yet satisfying and the perfect size for dipping or topping. Kalamata Olive is our favourite flavour, but the Rosemary or Sundried Tomato crackers are equally delicious. Pair them with a sweet Maasdam or aromatic Leyden cheese from Karikaas Dairy, based in Loburn, and you’ve got the perfect cheese and cracker combo! Fill your platter out with Make It Raw’s ‘nibblies’, some Loburn Grove feijoa chutney and some fresh, local strawberries and you have yourself a winner.


The Best BBQ

Bring the ‘good old Kiwi BBQ’ up a notch this summer with Wash Creek organic beef and lamb. Wash Creek’s protein is raised on the hills of North Canterbury’s Mt Cass Station. All their meat is 100% certified organic so you know it contains no antibiotics, chemicals or growth hormones. The quality of Wash Creek beef and lamb is evident in the taste. But don’t just take our word for it: shop their range of sausages, mince, chops and steaks at selected New World and Fresh Choice supermarkets, whip up some fresh, crunchy salads, add some delicious new potatoes from Grown in Sefton and then sit back and enjoy the praise from your sated guests.

Cheers to Summer

All these celebrations require a suitably celebratory tipple. Luckily, North Canterbury is a hot bed of beverage production. For that special occasion, you need to get your hands on a bottle or two of Greystone’s sensational Pétillant Natural (or Pét Nat, if you will). A naturally sparkling, crisp, dry wine made from Reisling and Pinot Noir grapes, a glass of chilled Pét Nat is made for clinking with others. If cocktails are more your style, a bottle of Mt Fyffe Distillery’s bold and botanical Woolshed Gin will see you right. Go for the classic G&T or get fancy and whip up some Pink Grapefruit Gimlets for your guests. Here’s the recipe.

Ripe, juicy berries and cherries elevate any summer dessert. And they’re even better when they’re super fresh and local. Whether you’re topping the Christmas pav, making a berry coulis, preparing a lovely light sorbet or adding zingy raspberries to your rich chocolate brownies, grab local berries and cherries while you can! The season is short and very weather-dependent here in North Canterbury, but while it’s in full swing we suggest you head to the local farmers’ markets and check out the many roadside stalls where you can score sun-ripened punnets of strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, currants and cherries, often just hours after they were picked!

Find more about the MADE NORTH CANTERBURY members mentioned above on our website and be sure to visit your local farmers market to discover other delicious seasonal goodies available in North Canterbury this summer.