Hard frosts, plenty of rain, the occasional snow dump – it doesn’t sound like the most productive growing season, but there’s plenty happening in the orchards, fields, breweries and kitchens of North Canterbury during winter. Here’s a snippet of what’s going on during our coldest season:
Winter is the time of year to treat yourself, and there’s no more delectable a treat than freshly harvested North Canterbury truffles! Kings Truffles, located in Waipara, are New Zealand leaders in supplying fresh, organically grown truffles to top chefs and foodies. These delicious delicacies are only available between June and August. Buy them fresh to add to your favourite dishes, or purchase some of Kings amazing Truffled Butter for the perfect finish to your steak, risotto, pasta or vegetables. Or better yet, join one of Kings Truffles famous Truffle Group Hunts where you’ll get to chat all things truffle with the Kings growers, watch the dogs sniff out the goods, enjoy some tastings and get first pick of the black gold that gets harvested on the day. A perfect winter’s day out in North Canterbury.
Eating seasonally makes sense for a lot of reasons: peak supply, best price but also, optimal nutrients for the season. Each week, an array of vegetable growers set up shop at the Amberley Farmers’ Market, Ohoka Farmers’ Market and Oxford Farmers’ Market, selling fresh, locally grown seasonal vegetables. Whether you throw them into a stew, roast them, add them to soup or create a delicious winter salad, stock up on pumpkin, garlic, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage to keep your immune system and your tastebuds happy this winter.
Speaking of packing a nutritional punch, here at MADE NORTH CANTERBURY we are big fans of Fernside Microgreens. For those yet to discover these little sprouts of goodness, microgreens are mini vegetable and herb seedlings harvested right at the beginning of their growth cycle. Their early harvest and the fact they’re usually eaten raw gives them a powerful nutrition profile, delivering up to 40 times the vitamins and minerals of their fully grown counterparts! And better still, they’re available all year round thanks to owners Hayley and Michael’s innovative climate-controlled growing facility. Add them to sandwiches, soups, salads, or just nibble them on their own to pack in your vitamins during the dark winter days.
Winter and North Canterbury lamb are the perfect pairing. Just imagine filling your home with the drool-worthy aroma of slow-cooked lamb shanks, a simmering lamb curry or a juicy roast lamb. Mmmmmm! We have some exceptional lamb producers here in North Canterbury: Washcreek are purveyors of organic Wiltshire lamb (as well as beef), grown at Mt Cass. Buy it by the boxful online or purchase a huge range of cuts from selected supermarkets up and down the country. Middlehurst Delivered also offer online order and delivery of their award-winning merino lamb, from shanks to mince to roasts and just about every cut in between. They’ve also just opened a beautiful new shop in Kaikōura so you can purchase direct.
Don’t know about you, but when winter evenings close in, we’re craving something hearty, robust and earthy to warm our cockles. A rich, dark beer absolutely hits the spot, and we’re super lucky to have several clever brewers here in North Canterbury creating superb variations thereof. They all sell online, so you can even get your beer delivered direct to your door (perfect hibernation strategy). Derelict Brewing in Fernside has an incredible, ever-rotating range of boundary-pushing brews including some top-notch milk stouts that we recommend for the winter season. Pop up to Amberley to discover the delights of Brew Moon Brewing Company. You can’t go past their classic (multi-medal-winning) Darkside of the Moon Stout. Or, if you fancy mixing it up a little, head into their Amberley tap room and check out their seasonal tap beers. Further north in Kaikōura, Emporium Brewing are busy busting out their own range of hearty brews. Our pick for the season is the deliciously dark and spicy Imperial Apfelstrudel Pastry Stout.
Free Winter Recipe
Jen Pomeroy at The Modern Mess specialises in crafting delicious seasonal recipes with the best local produce. This autumn, Jen’s eating Leek, Pumpkin & Ricotta Soup with Leek Topping made with fresh, seasonal produce from the garden.
Download Jen’s recipe here.