Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Mediterranean Food Warehouse

Today was supposed to be a chore day. We went to the gym in the morning, and had just had lunch when my friend Sylvia (the same who made the amazing "Cupcakes Squared" for the Cupcake Bake-off) called to say she and Mark were heading for the Mediterranean Food Warehouse and would we like to come? Well, that definitely beats ironing!

I had been planning to head to the Mediterranean Food Warehouse soon, anyway - but as it's in Newtown it would have been a longer-than-usual shopping trip for us (we don't have a car), so being offered a ride there was definitely a bonus.

It definitely lived up to expectations - one of the first things you see when you walk in is this amazing cabinet full of cured meats - don't they look good?

Then there was the dazzling array of cheeses - mostly hard Italian cheeses, but some others as well - including massive tubs of haloumi and marscapone. Mmm, marscapone. Mmm, haloumi.

The next thing we encountered was this rather bemused (by me asking to take his photo) Italian man, who was ladling out minestrone to anyone who wanted some. It was tasty - and perfect medicine for the drizzly miserable day. He also offered us samples of breads spread with aioli and other delicious things. Apparently he's there every weekend, just giving away food. Well, great - we'll be back next weekend, then. ;-)

Behind Mr Italy was a wall of imported liqueurs. Pricey, but I bet I could invent some cool desserts with these. There was another wall of Italian wine - also tempting.

This looks less exciting, but these shelves hold pretty much every imaginable grain. Even things I've never seen before, like chickpea flour. I've seen it in recipes but never seen it in a supermarket.

As one would expect (or at least hope), there is a dazzling array of olives. And olive oil. And olive oil shampoo. And body lotion. And various other olive-derived products.

Mmm, spices. There were some things here not so common in the supermarket (pink peppercorns!), but the thing that impressed me most was the reasonable pricing. I got a huge (172g) bag of poppy seeds for $2.49. And a bag of 10 cinnamon quills for $3.25. We also got a bag of bay leaves to share with Mark and Sylvia (42g, but that's a lot of bay leaves!) for $2.42. At the supermarket that would get you three leaves! I'm definitely revisiting this shelf.

Then there were the sweet treats. And some of them had these fantastic labels on them. 50% off Turkish delight just because it's close to it's use-by? I think we can cope with that!

We spent a while trawling the shelves, exclaiming over things. I thought I'd get a few olives to enjoy this evening (Mr Cake is out having a flash dinner with his workmates so I figured a little luxury would be nice), but, uh, I ended up with a pretty full basket by the time we were done... 

This is my haul. Some discounted hazelnut biscuits (delicious!), savioardi (look out for tiramisu sometime), Dutch process cocoa, Piako yoghurt (Mr Cake's selection), olives and pepperdews stuffed with feta, sun-dried pears, poppy seeds, almond meal (again, much cheaper than the supermarket), bay leaves, cinnamon quills, wild rice, shredded coconut, and three blocks of chocolate (milk with hazelnut, white, dark with orange). This lot should keep me going for a while!

The whole trip was made even more of a bargain by our use of the 25% off voucher from the Wellington Entertainment Book (the 2010/11 one) - so well worth visiting! Guess I'll get to the ironing tomorrow. ;-)

From my new stash of ingredients what would you make first?

The Mediterranean Food Warehouse is located at 42 Constable Street, Newtown, Wellington, Ph 04 939 8100.


  1. Since when has 'Dutch' been mediterranean?!

    Good work, looks like a tasty haul :)

  2. Heh, good point - there were definitely other items that weren't very Mediterranean too - but I had been meaning to replenish my supply for a while, and they had it at a good price. If I use it on my tiramisu will you let me away with it? ;-)

  3. Hmm... maybe! If you make a honking great chocolate cake - one thats as good as the cupcake recipe, then I'll let you away with it ;)


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