Local Heart, Global Soul

May 6, 2018

Cherry Lovers Find A New Delight…

Filed under: FOOD,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,Region: Wainuiomata — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Spending our 2017 Christmas Day in Wainuiomata, just outside of Wellington, we came of course bearing gifts.

But in addition to the ones destined to go under the Christmas tree there were also some gifts for the dinner table.

Our journey from Christchurch to Picton means passing through Blenheim, a region world famous for it’s award winning wines.

Less known is that both Blenheim and Central Otago in the south of the South Island both enjoy being the primary growing regions of cherries.

They both also grow apricots and Otago, many more stone fruit. We have been fortunate on our last two travels to find roadside stalls in Blenheim where we can get boxes of freshly  (that morning!)picked cherries.

I bought two boxes, one the “typical” dark red variety but the other, one new to me. It’s lighter in colour, a bright reddy-orange-yellow in parts with a white inside.

At first, I was more than a little suspicious that these cherries were not ripe, but no… this variety is supposed to look like this. I got to taste-test a few at the road side stall… hmmm, these are seriously good. In Wainuiomata our hosts and other friends also delighted in my find and agreed that the taste was fabulous. Both boxes started emptying at a steady rate. Our friends also were amazed at the prices, I paid NZD 20,– for each large box, far, far less than what they would have paid at supermarkets in the neighbourhood, or even in Lower Hutt or Wellington. The Cook Straight ferry crossing adds unavoidable transport costs to produce travelling in either direction. If we see these again in Blenheim, we will be snapping them up as quickly as we can.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)


  1. The only thing about cherries is that they are so expensive to buy.

    Comment by Amy Franks — May 7, 2018 @ 1:15 am | Reply

  2. Amy,

    I suppose I am lucky because when I lived in New Zealand and now in the Netherlands, I live close to cherry growing regions. This means that cherries are comparatively cheap in season, especially when good years produce bumper crops. Himself also gets our cherries from the Haagse Markt (a massive outdoor fruit and veg market in The Hague) so prices there are often more than half those of supermarkets. (That’s a tip I can not recommend highly enough).

    The one downside to the markt is that you do need to do a quick sort though directly after buying because there are sure to be a few rotten ones in the heap, which could quickly contaminate the rest, but hey, a moment of time saves a heap of cash so why not?
    I realise that I cherries are grown far away from where you are and multiple types of transports are needed e.g. South to North Island New Zealand where both ferry and road/rail, then costs spiral quickly and there is little that can be done to defray transport costs.

    As summer is coming into view I need to remind myself that some of my favourite fruits are indeed very cheap compared to other places and to be grateful for that since many other cherry lovers do not share my luck.

    Case in point, on our return visit from NZ I saw the prices of cherries in Singapore which was a severe reality check!!!

    My only advice if they are expensive is: cut down on another cost, a daily coffee out maybe? and put this money aside for a summer cherry splurge. when you have your cherry treasures, make sure you have an hour of somewhere quiet and peaceful to relax and eat them slowly to savour each one. 🙂

    Comment by kiwidutch — May 10, 2018 @ 5:51 pm | Reply

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