Well, in spring, we get sunshine and rain. And, on this springtime visit, there was rain, spring showers (or, in fact, exceedingly heavy rain). But happily we found a market, undercover, filled to the brim with excellent local food. Happy days in the Waikato.
A market breakfast
A perfect almond croissant and the obligatory hot coffee in hand, time for a pause to think about Hamilton, or Kirikiriroa.
What's in a name
The name Hamilton references Captain John Hamilton, the Scottish commander of HMS Esk, who was killed in the battle of Gate Pā, Tauranga. And the name Kirikiriroa references that the area that the city is located was originally the site of a handful of Māori villages, including Pukete, Miropiko and Kirikiriroa ("long stretch of gravel”).
And, with the recent views on our travels to the market of the swollen and mighty Waikato river, it was fitting to find that Waikato references to the pull of the river current (kato) in the water (wai) going out to sea.
Spoiled for choice
Working through that saw breakfast sorted, and then plenty of time to check out what was on offer from the stallholders for the day. And what a choice there was. We were spoiled for choice with fruit and veges, bakery goods, eggs, fish and meat, preserves, and coffee caravans and fresh juices.
We left from our visit with full bags, lunch and dinner sorted. And mighty impressed with the quality and variety of stallholders (for such a rainy day!), not to mention the great conversations we had about the produce.
Now at the Barn
There are tremendous plans for this market in its very new and fitting location at “The Barn” in Claudelands - its home now for only a few weeks. There were lots of people, buying and selling, very happy to be undercover from the spring showers.
Roll on summer, when we are sure it will be an even more amazing location with an outstanding array of summer product. We were told of the berries to come. We later learnt, in what is often an interesting course of history, many of the original European settlers who attempted farming in this area, walked off their land, troubled by its poor quality. Oh, how times can change.
A full bag of bounty
The Waikato now is one of our most bountiful regions, definitely in evidence at this market.…. We will be back!
We mentioned a full bag for lunch. Click here to see our warm mushroom salad, thanks to Prinz Mushrooms and Basecamp Salami.