Frosty air, blue-sky sun warms as I head to Riccarton Bush Market. With its promise of steamy sausage rolls, crusty bread and cheesey morsels, this is a Saturday morning ritual seldom missed when I’m in Christchurch.
I’ve said it before, if there’s anything that could entice me to live in Christchurch it’s this market. Set amongst old oaks, next to a virgin stand of bush, Canterbury’s rich natural bounty is laid out by a surprisingly vibrant multicultural community.
Today Mt Grey Cheese lured me in, their cream cheese a silky companion to Akaroa’s Kingfisher smoked salmon, and their award-winning Mrs French, a perfect accompaniment to the myriad of organic market apples on offer.
Moist and crumbly, yet somehow dense and pliable, Mrs French has a fruity tang of lactic acid. The rich creamy mouthfeel offsets its pleasing sourness. Think lambic beer, lemon drops and sherbet.
Mt Grey Cheese is owned by cheesemaker Elizabeth French who, with the help of her daughters, has been producing a range of soft cow’s milk cheeses since 2012. Based in Rangiora in Canterbury and using locally-sourced milk, they sell their cheeses at their store and at local Canterbury farmers markets. www.mtgreycheese.co.nz