Thursday, June 5, 2008

Baking Italiano-style In Kaiwaka. (Where?)

Kaiwaka in Northland, New Zealand, a village of some 537 souls (according to the 2006 Census), sits astride State Highway 1, 20 clicks north of Wellsford.

It’s not what you’d call the cuisine capital of the country, but it does have one seriously redeeming gastronomical saving grace: La Nonno, an Italian bakery and cafĂ©.

Apart from a superb range of artisan Italian-inspired breads and pastries they bake a pie to die for. (My doctor tells me if I don’t lay off the pies that’s exactly what will happen to me . . . but what would he know? I won’t live longer, it’ll just seem longer).

Try the butter chicken pie, not exactly an Italian classic, I realise, but a wonderful manifestation of the pieman’s craft.

Even if pies aren’t your comestible of choice, the coffee alone is worth the stop. Again, maybe it’s the Italian influence – you gotta admit, the Italians do do wildly good coffee – but this cup is a cut above the rest of the run-of-the-road cafes along the way.

A highly recommended stop.

Read more about Northland on my webpage at

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