LocalMatters       

Transported by food

I recently “travelled” with my family to Hawaii and Mexico in pursuit of unique and memorable eating and drinking experiences.

I wanted to offer my family some lockdown respite via exploring a little experimental experiential culinary tourism.

It's fun to obsess about the dishes, creating a tribute to the exotic and sourcing their ingredients for our kitchen in Whangaparāoa.

I'm not really one for dressing up, but the occasion demanded it. I decorated the dining table using our various indoor plants to help transport us to indulgent times in our  Whangaparāoa versions of Hawaii and Mexico.

The tastes of Mexican and Hawaiian cuisine grow wild all over Whangaparāoa, with immense quantities of fruit begging to be harvested.

Next, I'm taking the family to visit mates in Texas – yes not exactly exotic, but I love cowboy hats and low and slow pork ribs in a sharp and tangy loquat barbecue sauce.

The Hibiscus Coast could be renamed the Loquat Coast – this exotic evergreen weedy tree, with its delicious fruit, is so prolific here. 

Loquat barbecue sauce
1kg loquats   
1 cup sugar   
3 cups white vinegar   
1 onion, chopped    
2 cloves garlic, crushed   
Pinch of salt and pepper  
Pinch of cayenne pepper  

Wash loquats, cut in half and remove stones. Put loquats and all remaining ingredients into a large pot, bring to a boil then simmer for an hour, stirring every now and then. Allow to cool so you can turn the mixture into sauce in a blender or food processor without burning yourself. Pour into clean jars and seal. Keep in fridge – but I recommend cranking up your barbecue and inviting some mates over.