On a recent trip to my parents home in Taupo, New Zealand, my mother took me to the most wonderful market. The Taupo Riverside Market is a weekly market held every Saturday morning. With a focus on bread, arts and crafts, free-range eggs, baking, second hand goods, Murray’s second hand books, clothing, carvings, Hugh’s hand made furniture, honey, flowers, coffee beans, photographs, natural beauty products… and so much more! A fabulous local market on the bank of the mighty Waikato River near Lake Taupo…idyllic!
I do love a market! I strongly believe in buying local, particularly local food. Buying local supports regional communities, farmers, small producers, decreases ‘food miles’ ie: how far food has travelled to get to your plate, improves nutritional value and gives you a sense of community. Fresh produce just tastes better. What I also love about a local market is the people and stall holders you meet, not only are they passionate and committed to their products or produce, they are almost always happy to chat and help you learn more about what they are selling.
As I pootled along in the sunshine on this glorious Saturday morning, taking in the sights and smells, I was drawn to a string of bunting in vintage fabric hanging above a market stall and a hand-stitched sign saying ‘Cakes’… that word alone is enough to stop me in my tracks…and a vintage blackboard with a baking menu…guess where I’m heading!
Here I found a pretty stall laden with luscious cakes, cookies, slices and cupcakes beautifully arranged on vintage cake stands and china. ‘Cake’ stall owner Siobain Higgins is a lovely young woman and hard working baker. Her repertoire includes nostalgic kiwi baking, using the kind of recipes our grandmothers used to follow, then giving them a modern twist making them most relevant for today’s tastes. I want a nibble of every one…
There were Melting Moments sandwiched together with Passionfruit Buttercream, Louise Cake, Banana & Walnut Bread, Carrot Cake, Blueberry Muffins, Afghans, Ginger Crunch, Shortbread, Crumbles, Savory Muffins, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Lemon & Sour Cream Cake…
You can taste Siobains passion for baking in every bite. She uses the finest quality ingredients, bakes in small batches and bakes everything by hand… and it shows. The quality of her baking is excellent. I know this because myself and my family tasted every cake… all in the name of research of course! The attention to detail in her presentation is quite simply directed at pure temptation. Her portions are extremely generous and her infectious enthusiasm makes you want to come back for more. This is melt in your mouth baking!
It’s these qualities that sets hand-made baking miles apart from mass produced factory baking. With Mum and Dad firmly at her side for support this young baker is sure to have a bright foodie career ahead. She certainly deserves it.
It is so important to support and celebrate local small producers, we at Lindy’s Cakes particularly love to celebrate hand-made. If you are ever in Taupo, New Zealand, on a Saturday, do pop along to the Riverside Market…get yourself a piece a cake, a cup of coffee and a patch of grass by the river… for a few moments you will be in cake heaven!
Check out Siobain’s website www.mistressofcakes.co.nz
Taupo Riverside Market www.riversidemarket.co.nz