Ellesmere A&P Show

ellesmereA&Pparade1Today was the Ellesmere A&P Show (that’s Agricultural and Pastoral Show—Farm Show to you Americans). In true Ellesmere Show fashion, it rained, but we headed to the show mid-afternoon when it cleared somewhat.

We have a routine at the A&P show—the same every year. First stop is Karikaas Cheese.

When we first arrived in New Zealand, we could only get Karikaas cheeses at the A&P show. Now, nearly all the supermarkets carry their cheese. Still, we always make sure we buy a few wedges at the show.

Then, of course, we had to pick up a bottle of our favourite olive oil—South Lea, which I’ve blogged about before—if only to say hello to Frances Baylis.

Of course, there are the obligatory mini-donuts. It wouldn’t be an A&P show without them!

The highlight of my trip to the show is usually the sheep shearing competition. Not that it’s exciting—indeed, this year, even the caller seemed bored with the action (though it was a pretty lopsided contest we caught—no exciting race to the finish)—but because it’s just such a Kiwi thing.

We admired the poultry (some particularly handsome roosters this year), the baked goods (our neighbour, Suzie, swept the baking section as usual), the giant swedes, and the radish seed (Suzie’s brother-in-law, also a neighbour, placed second there).

We watched the wood chopping competition (another favourite stop at the show), and the kids considered a carnival ride, but found them uninspiring.

ellesmereA&Pparade2A new find this year was Emilio’s Cheese, a real Italian woman selling serious Italian cheeses, including some that could probably be classified as biohazards. We came home with two—a lovely provolone, and another whose name I can’t remember, but that oozes and smells like dirty socks (that one was double bagged before being put in the fridge!).

We stayed long enough to watch the grand parade, with the Ellesmere Pipe Band marching sedately ahead while a lurching band of livestock and their handlers followed behind.

An exciting day out, for sure.

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