Friday, August 13, 2010

To Market, To Market

The Rotorua Farmers' Market at Kuirau Park in Rotorua is somehow 'quintessential Rotorua.' Get down there early on a Saturday morning (in winter in this case) and the geothermal mist is rising, the smell of sulphur hangs in the air and an early guitar is strumming a few warm-up chords.

It's not a Maori market per se, but you'll find a wide range of traditional Maori kai favourites - puha, Rewena bread, steamed puddings, fresh kina, whitebait fritters, mussel patties and watercress bundled into big leafy bunches.

There are stalls selling Maori handcrafts (and a few imitations) and on the morning I went, back in June, there was a woman making korowai (cloaks), her fingers seemingly impervious to the cold as she wove feathers into her garment. The market has a wide range of fresh vegetables and a great atmosphere - definitely a must-visit if you're in town on a Saturday morning.

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