There is a lot more on offer than food at the Pacific Showcase which is on in Auckland's Cloud for the next few weekends: like art, fashion, cosmetics and dance. I enjoyed these as much as the food, but as this is a food blog I'll focus on the food you can eat or buy there in this post.
As I walked into the Cloud I was handed a packet of Banana Ripple Cut Chips with a True Pacific Sticker on the front. This label is the one to look for; It shows that a business has been awarded the True Pacific quality mark (a stylised flower symbolising cooperation and unity) for producing ‘quality Pacific products’ of ‘genuine Pacific origin’.”
The Pacific is right on our doorstep and to be good neighbours I'd like to think kiwis will support these businesses (often village based) and help them to grow. The range of food and drink products is still quite small but it's expanding and already includes coffee, coco, noni juice, wraps, naan, coconut oil, chutneys,pickles and honey. Heilala Vanilla is the culinary star with an international reputation. Others like Hot Samoan Boy's Chili Sauce are growing in popularity not just in New Zealand but Australia.
After checking out what is being produced, and buying some to try at home, I headed for some of the food stalls to sample fresh pineapple, mozarella "sushi", a gourmet icecream, and a muffin and coffee from the cafe.
I thought I might steal their idea of using my banana chips to decorate some muffins, so easy, they just poked a couple into the icing. Unfortunately I had munched my way through the whole packet before I left the show, I'll have to go back for more before I start baking.
Heilala vanilla has created a baking club which features some great recipes
http://www.heilalavanilla.co.nz/baking_club. And in previous posts I've used Hot Samoan Boys Chilli Sauce as an ingredient. A really useful sauce to have on hand especially if you can't lay your hands on fresh chillies and want to add some heat.
I took home a packet of Savante cumin and coriander wraps. We enjoyed them just brushed lightly with avocado olivani and crisped in the oven for a few minutes till they were toasty and lightly browned. Good with a cucumber and mint dip. Next I'm going to use them to make the Tandoori Chicken kebab recipe which is in their leaflet.
The Pacific Showcase runs for a few more weekends . I enjoyed seeing what was on offer and talking to the producers who are full of enthusiasm. Here are a few of my pics. To find out more go to: