I was lucky enough to grow up in rural Hawke’s Bay and saw first hand where food comes from. My parents have been in the orchard biz for around 25 years and I couldn’t be prouder to come from a family of producers. It’s a reality check to go home and eat an apple fresh from the tree when you spend your days living in the city and buying all food from the same supermarket whether it’s in season or not. This is why I love the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ market – not only are you getting to eat delicious, fresh food but you can feel good about supporting honest, homegrown businesses. Aaaand let’s face it, once you’ve eaten your monthly calorie intake in one sitting you’re gonna need to feel good about something.

 

We weren’t overly thrilled with the selection at the last market that we visited so it was a relief to find that the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ market thrives even in the cooler months. Previously we’d only been in the height of summer where you can stroll around the outdoor setup in the glorious sunshine. Fair to say that the weather was anything but glorious when we went but thankfully the majority of stallholders shelter inside during winter.

 

It’s hard to go past Hohepa Cheese¬†and I mean literally. There’s no way you can walk by their stall and not try a taste of their huge range of samples on display. I’m usually one of those shameless people that will take sample after sample and then slowly back away rather than actually purchasing. Not here though, it’s impossible not to take home at least one block of cheesey goodness. Our fave is the Cumin but we also really enjoyed the Chilli and Herb & Garlic.

 

Origin Earth is another brand of cheese also worth checking out at the market. As well as a bangin chipotle halloumi, they also offer a range of unhomogenised milk. Side note: these guys do tastings at their cheese shop in Havelock North which is always a good time. We took some out of towners midway through a tour of the local vineyards and it went down a treat.

 

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Don’t worry all you sweet tooth fiends, you’ll be well catered for here too. We tried this delightful peanut butter macaron from Monsieur Macaron….

 

…and couldn’t help ourselves when we saw the hot chocolate from La Petite Chocolat. I went for the tame option of a shot (you can get a shot for $3 or a cup for $5) as I’d just eaten a bunch of cheese samples and I’m pretty glad I did. This was some strong stuff. Think thick rich dark chocolate with a hint of cinnamon and salt. These are divine and in my top 5 hot chocs of all time and I have been drinking a LOT of those lately.

 

If you’re like us then you’re all about the carbs. Thankfully the market caters for our type with German bakery Harald’s bread world. Get in early as it was slim pickings when we got there at 11. Luckily we didn’t go hungry and managed to nab a fantastic Turkish loaf and baguette.

 

There are loads more stalls including infused olive oils, beautiful looking preserves, hot sauce that will put hairs on your chest, and a sausage stall (The Deli) that will change your opinion of black pudding (theirs is DELICIOUS).

 

If you can’t wait to get your hoard home then there are plenty of food trucks to choose from. On the morning we were there they had hot fresh paella, hash, bacon sarnies, woodfire pizza, waffles, coffee and more.

Make sure you go on an empty stomach k?

The Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Market

WHEN: Every Sunday 8.30am – 12.30pm

WHERE: Hawke’s Bay A&P Showgrounds, Hastings