Hobsonville Point Farmers Market
Suzanne Dale finds a farmers’ market right on the water’s edge, a leisurely 20-minute drive from the city.
West Auckland’s Hobsonville Point Farmers Market is located on the Landing at Hudson Bay. It’s a picturesque spot as we find it, with the tide high and the sun shining. A restful place to sip coffee and eat one of your just-bought churros (with perhaps one of K9-Doggy- Deli’s kumara-frosted, wheat-free pupcakes for your pooch). There are plenty of other treats, such is the range of baked, bottled and fresh foods on sale at this vibrant market, open all weekend.
It’s closer than we thought: 20 minutes of comfortable, luxurious cruising in the Audi S5 Sportback from Auckland’s city centre, and there is plenty of car parking. Apart from Clevedon Herbs and the mobile pizza oven at Napoli Central, the stalls are all housed in a giant shed. As we step inside, we realise all too quickly that we want to buy, well... nearly everything!
Here’s what else to look out for:
Crisp, thin and delicious margherita pizzas in hand from the aforementioned Napoli Central, we are set to shop. From The Cheese Man we buy bocconcini and scamorza, the smoked cow’s milk cheese similar to mozzarella that melts beautifully in the toasted sandwiches we make later in the day.
Naaz Indian curry pastes and chutneys are preservative, dairy, gluten and additive-free and they have loyal fans here; 700 jars are now produced a month for market customers.
Every Thursday Payam makes pesto (basil, parsley, cashew, parmesan, ricotta and feta) and dips for the weekend markets, but is best known for his dukkah and pomegranate paste and molasses.
We buy thin, fennel, rye and poppyseed Danish crackers from Line’s Knaekbrod and eat them (a few days later) with some soft blue cheese. Directly opposite is newcomer Zoe Bone. Perfectly turned out in her 1950s best. Zoe has made fruit pastes and her flavours really tempt us: tamarillo, feijoa and guava from her garden. The guava will be gone by the time you read this so hold that thought for next year. We forgo partnering ours with (more) cheese and eat it instead, savouring its perfumed tang, on our toast for breakfast over the next few days.
Like chilli? Try the sauces and jellies from Some Like It Hot. We are drawn to the chilli peanut brittle but for sweets without the heat, there’s divine marshmallow and fudge from Magnolia Kitchen. The marshmallow is intensely flavoured with Fresh As freeze-dried fruits and the variety changes weekly. We try the peach, made with honey from nearby stall, Earthbound Honey, and sample wonderful vegan coconut ice made from coconut oil and organic coconut essence.
At Angel’s Kitchen we buy a South African milk tart. If you like custard tarts you will definitely like these.
We visit Mulleez Smoked Fish for smoked blue marlin. The fish is caught in the islands and smoked in Auckland. From Wednesday to Friday every week Mulleez smokes mussels, eel, salmon and roe at their Clevedon smokehouse for a variety of markets. They will also smoke your catch for you.
Next door is Farm Gate Produce which sells aged angus beef and free range devon and black berkshire pork. Amanda and Wayne Hellier farm north of Kaitaia and sell at Auckland markets and online. They have also teamed up with Otello’s which turns their pork into Italian cured meats.
Lastly, there’s pie . . . a whole variety, hot or cold to take away, from Heaven Scent which launched at the market and which has recently also opened its own cafe in St Patrick’s Square in Auckland city. Try to resist if you can.
Hobsonville Point Farmers Market
On the Landing at Hudson Bay
Every Saturday and Sunday 9am – 1pm