Friday, April 30, 2010

Pics Really Good Peanut Butter (Nelson)

Ok so who makes the world's best peanut butter (no not Jimmy Carter) - is Pic's. I am not sure exactly what the brand is - it might be Pics or it might be Pics Really Good Peanut Butter as a whole.

Regardless - this stuff is so dam tasty.

I asked the lady selling Pics at the Nelson Market - what the secret was.

Well - there is no secret.

She imports Australian peanuts - and roasts them and grinds them in Nelson. She adds a little salt.

Um actually that is it - sounds to easy.

As food scientists have not been involved there is a note on the bottle - to store it upside down in the fridge.

The peanut butter has a rich wholesome dark colour - and the taste is just incredible.

Go to the website for more.

NZ Wine Industry - Sauvignon Blanc

I have a theory that there are two types of entrepreneurs.

The "Innovative Entrepreneur" and the "Late Phase Entrepreneur".

The "Innovative Entrepreneur" is the first to try and realize an idea. They go in early - there are no benchmarks - or infrastructure to help - it is dam hard work. They are a passionate breed.

The "Late Phase Entrepreneur" goes in ... well late, when the market is at it peak. They have little background in the particular industry - but have both money and connections. To them the product is neither here nor there - it is a spreadsheet exercise.

I think we are now seeing the effects of the "Late Phase Entrepreneur" now in Blenheim.

The New Zealand savignon blanc was the best - dry, fruity with an amazing bouquet.

However the quality is not there now - no one is  sure why. I think it is because the Innovative Entrepreneur's have moved on.

At worst a "Late Phase Entrepreneur" just connects the .dots.

E.g. I know someone who has surplus low grade wine, I am mates with several international distributors - I'll take this cheap wine - wack a label of some mountain scene on the bottle - and trade heavily on the "from 'Malborough' brand "- and knock the stuff off in bulk.

At best ... hmmm I'm not sure - the industry is looking a little ill.

Pete's Possum Pies - Possum made good

In New Zealand Possums are a plague - killing off hectares of native vegetation.

They also necessitate endless drops of 1080 poison - on our most beautiful natural areas.

Occasionally various rural area's have shoot offs.

However not all is bad - have you tried Pete's Possum Pies for instance?

Clevedon buffalo mozzarella

This is a crazy product.

Where does someone get the idea to import buffalo's into New Zealand?

Customs is so dam tough here for a start - so I bet it was not an easy task.

However it is done - and we have.... the "Clevedon Valley Buffalo' company as a result.

They also make ricotta and yoghurt.

What a fantastic effort!

Mapua Smokehouse (Nelson) - delcious smoked fish

The Mapua Smokehouse situated in Mapua Nelson - is an institution (for well me!).

The take fish such as:
  • Warehou,
  • Makeral,
  • Southern Kingfish,
  • Mussels,
  • Tarakihi and
  • Salmon
and hot smoke them - in manuka sawdust

Interestingly the proprietor recommends that you heat the fish prior to serving - to ensure all the oils are soluble (as opposed to cold and congealed) - that way you get all the flavour.

The fish is delicious - my favourite the Warahou.

It makes such a good day trip - as the restaurant next to the smokehouse is also excellent.

In fact the whole area has blossomed.

It's a beautiful and idyllic spot.

My favourite thing to do is by the amazing fish and chips - and get some choice pieces of smoked fish to go with it. The smoked mussels are particularly delicious - and a pottle will provide a fine smokey dip for your chips as well.

Their biggest custom is Moore Wilsons in Wellington.

MyPie - Gourmet Pies from Nelson

I tried a pie from MyPie at the Nelson Market the other day.

Talk about amazing.

The flavours are:

  • Founder Beef,
  • Minted Lamb and Pea,
  • Wild Venison and Red Wine,
  • Windsor Blue and Kumera,
  • Wild Pork and Cider.

The Wild Venison is delicious - incredible - an award winner.

However my favourite is the Minted Lamb and Pea. The mint is so spicy and moreish. Apparently they use the herb and also add the peas right and the end of the cooking process.

Utterly delicious.

Go to the website - for more info.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Proper Crisps - Made in Nelson, New Zealand

Proper Crisps are the crispiest potato chips you will ever try. They are full of flavour - and massively crunchy - and are sprinkled with delicious Marlborough sea salt.

They remind me of a USA deli crisp - smaller - curly - and crispy.

As is the trend these days with gourmet foods, the batch number, the type of potato used, the date - and the name of the person who - stirred the chips is imprinted on each bag.

I tried them at the Nelson market - and they were very moreish.

It is funny what drives people to make something - that is way better than the average product - in this case the owners drove around the USA looking for the perfect "kettle".

The sell locally in Nelson - from various outlets - but can also be ordered online here: 

I would really recommend them as an upmarket bar snack - as they are dry to touch - as opposed to being oily.

A glass of beer and some propercrisps would be bliss.