Food show deals in delight
Toothpicks, tiny spoons, ice-block sticks and wee plastic cups. The creators of miniature eating tools must count down to this time of year, the weekend of the Auckland Food Show.
The local home of all good expos, ASB Showgrounds has transformed itself once more; this time it's packed to the brim with everything and anything edible.
Around 40,000 people are expected through the doors of the country's biggest food expo this weekend as it tours its way around Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
And those lucky folk are in for a treat.
From hummus to ice cream, sausages to bread, almost no food group is left unrepresented by the almost 300 exhibitors.
In one corner - and it feels like there are many, many more than just four of them - hungry punters can chow down on mozzarella, feta, Gouda and parmesan.
And all the way on the other side of the building, chocolate makers fight with whoopee pie bakers for the sweet-toothed crowds.
Almost every stall forces a bite-sized taster on you, and let's face it; it would be rude not to give everything a go.
Then right in the middle of it all, local celeb chefs are beavering away in front of salivating audiences. MasterChef winner Brett McGregor is gushing about shrimp paste and lemongrass on one side while on the other, globe-trotting telly cook Nici Wikes is sprinkling lime zest on a Moroccan dessert.
The famous palates of Al Brown, Simon Gault, Ray McVinnie and Josh Emett will also be shown off during the three day event, so get your recipe books ready.
But it's not just the end product on display; whiz-band kitchen tools, knives, mops and saucepans are being sized-up and sold - it's about the process at this event.
A couple of tips for the rookies out there though: come with an empty stomach, willingness to try a bit of everything, and cash - you will want to buy at least one thing out of the hundreds on offer. And perhaps force yourself to have a couple of tiny food samples to every alcohol one, if you can.
Auckland Food Show
ASB Showgrounds - August 2-5
Tickets $25 for adults, $15 for kids