Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Bit Old World in a New Place

It may seem that I have taken a hiatus from food blogging but it is quite the contrary. Lena and I usually blog all things American and the food movement there but are now also reporting from a whole new locale. It has been a little over a month since my family of 5 & I relocated to the other end of the earth. Middle Earth, that is. It is here that I have been delving into a culture that is as unique as all of its inhabitants. New Zealand is comprised of two islands with ex pats and locals fusing together a culture that is both beach laden and very European.  There are so many differences from the States especially in regards to the food. I have quite obviously been savoring quite too much as I have gained 5lbs (about 11 kilos.) since I arrived.

Most all of the produce and meat is local as shipping fees to this exclusive island our outrageously expensive. This is why smart shoppers try to keep it close & local while adhering to very high standards when it comes to their food choices. The best example of the food quality here is my new favorite butcher & delicatessen, Peter Timbs. With several locations throughout the country Peter Timbs is the most sought after butcher by a majority of the residents in the area. I used to shop with my father in delicatessens like these on trips to New York as a child. Very old world feel with just tons of meat choices. The first Peter Timbs opened its doors in 1837 in Oxford, England. Now it is a very easy & modernized approach to offering up fresh meats and finer foods for the sophisticated palate. I find the windows of my local deli packed everyday with hungry shoppers after work looking for that night's vittles at Peter Timbs. Yes, there are local grocery stores but why go there for the good stuff when you have access to an experience like this? When you first walk in, the first two things that meet you are friendly faces and an aromatic fragrance that is both rich and delicious. The neat display cases revealing the freshest cuts and the days market deals that are usually the perfect item to plan the evening's meal around. There are pastries & fresh baked breads for which I now shop for about twice a week. Okay maybe three times but I have a large family so they eat it too. Peter Timbs also has a choice selection of wines that will accompany any meal or as I like to enjoy it, during prep with my husband in kitchen. It creates a balance and the food seriously tastes better. 

Now this may be biased but the staff behind the counter hardly ever allow my children to leave without a fresh Cheerio which is a an adorable little sausage link and I do believe that these happen to be gluten-free. They gobble them up and because of this gesture, Peter Timbs has a whole other generation of devotees in my kids as this memory, they will probably (hopefully) never forget.

Other delightful food items to shop for are fresh cheeses, take-away fettucinis, Thai dishes, pizzas, marinades, and my absolute choice pick, their Award Winning Streaky Bacon. I only wish you could taste what I taste on the busy school mornings when the bacon is hot and crinkly. It is the perfect thickness which allows it to cook evenly and beautifully with little attention needed. So delicious so we do try to enjoy it in moderation, but it is not easy. 
I am motivated by the food standards here and am so thrilled to have Peter Timbs in my backyard. It should motivate you to choose wisely when it comes to food. If you don't have access to a good deli like I did in Seattle with Bob the Butcher or now with Peter Timbs, try to stay local, especially when it comes to meats and other deli items and I'll bet you will find some very delicious fare. If it is local, it has taken less time to get to your plate so that fresh flavor is still there ready for you to enjoy.