Much has happened in our life since my last post but that is another story for another time. This is just a quick post to leap back into the world of sevengreenapples. While I was away (from blogging and from home) I took the opportunity to check out some wonderful places in New Zealand. One of those places was a little town named Woodville – a town we often wave to as we pass by on our way to somewhere else. This time I made time to stop and browse a few shops. They have some good second-hand shops but it was food that I was really interested in.
Culinary Vista is a little shop (just before the turn-off to Wellington) full of mostly NZ-made food related products. I have a habit of browsing food shops as I get inspired by all the artisan products available and I usually end up leaving with a bag of goodies to add to my already overloaded pantry.
If you have been to the food shows in New Zealand, then West Coast Cocoa will be familiar to you already. Stuck away in Gisborne, I don’t get to the big cities often and when I do, it is coincides with school holidays, not the food shows (unfortunately). I purchased the Spiced Chai which is packaged in a funky cardboard tube and I assumed, by the name of the company, that it was the complete package – cocoa & spices all mixed in together. However, this is just the sweetened spice mixture – you can add your own favourite cocoa or hot chocolate powder as you wish (and West Coast Cocoa also has an interesting product list of those).
I like drinking chai mostly often opting for a Dirty Chai or a Choco Chai (as a side note Taste Cornucopia Organic Cafe in Hastings makes a supremely good Choco Chai) but occasionally the spice mixture lingers in my mouth for a few hours too many (which is a polite way of saying I have chai-spiced burps). Not so with the West Coast Cocoa Spiced Chai mixture – it is a gently spiced with ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, clove and something called chai spice flavour. It also has vanilla and a little vanilla never hurts a spice mixture.
So, as with most things, the “I can make that” thought happens so my current adventure is to re-create this taste explosion into my own Chai spice mixture. It is also a little bit extreme to drive five hours from home just to pick up a stash although Culinary Vista do have on-line shopping (as a rule though I try not to make a habit of buying food ingredients on-line due to the fact that I buy too much to try to justify the shipping cost and therefore end up with more stuff in our stuffed-pantry).
Now I am in a world of exciting whirlwind of all-things-chai – chai-infused honey, sugar and olive oil, chai flavoured biscuits, cake and muffins……. not to mention trying all the different chai-spiced drinks available in our great café culture here in Gisborne.