Some places have an association with a particular food: Bluff and oysters, Marlborough and sauvignon blanc, Kaikoura and crayfish, the West Coast and whitebait, Auckland and lattes and, surely, Canterbury and lamb.
And if you're in Christchurch and fancy a taste of the classic local dish then it's hard to go past Hay's Restaurant, which in its 15 years of existence has specialised in organic lamb, mainly produced on Hay family farms.
We went there for one of Celia Hay's Canterbury tasting plates, which offers a fantastic combination of local produce:
Canterbury duck liver parfait made from ducks raised in Sefton and accompanied by a Pegasus Bay riesling; Amberley extra virgin olive oil and Feijoa chutney from Pigeon Bay with sour dough bread, accompanied by a Muddy water chardonnay from Waipara; rich braised lamb finished with quince, mint and olives and charfrilled lamb with toasted Duvauchelle walnuts, all from Banks Peninsula, accompanied by a Kaituna Valley pinot noir - and a creme brulee made with West Coast rata honey, accompanied by a Daniel Schuster late harvest riesling from North Canterbury.
It was mouthwateringly good ... and so very Canterbury I almost expected to see red and black stripes.
* Hay's Restaurant is on the web at foodandwine.co.nzBy Jim Eagles Email Jim