If there’s one thing you simply cannot miss out on in New Zealand this year, it’s the fantastic cuisine and wealth of great dishes! Although most of the recipes and cooking styles here have been influenced by tradition and local cooking, there’s also a small international influence on New Zealand food too, which accounts for the seasonal variation.
Most of New Zealand’s produce comes from either the sea or from agricultural sectors, however over the years various dishes have made their way over from the Mediterranean and Pacific Rim, which has helped the country become more cosmopolitan. From the Maori culture to East and South Asian influences, let’s take a look at some of the staple dishes in New Zealand that you simply must try.
Hangi comes from the traditional Maori way of cooking, and is one of the oldest dishes in New Zealand. Firstly, a pit is dug in the ground and then filled with hot rocks. Food is placed on these hot stones, covered and then left to cook, from meats and sweet potato to pots of stew. Rotorua is one of the best places to experience this historic way of cooking, and there are even cultural tours available that will teach you the tricks and techniques of the Maori tribes when it comes to preparing a meal.
Fish and Chips
Just because fish and chips is one of the most popular meals in the UK, that doesn’t mean it couldn’t have originated anywhere else! Locally known as ‘fush n’ chups’, this meal is mainly eaten on Fridays, and fish and chip shops can become very busy in the hours just after work. Not only is it cheap to prepare, but that’s to New Zealand’s glorious and pure shores, you can always count on the fish being fresh.
Agreed, this isn’t exactly a food, but it’s the best accompaniment to any meal you experience in New Zealand, especially when the wine is made locally! The wine industry in New Zealand is well respected all over the world, and in places like Christchurch and Auckland, you won’t have to pay over the odds for a great bottle of domestic red or white. If you’re backpacking across New Zealand, then Hawke’s Bay, Waiheke Island and Marlborough are other wonderful places to get the best wine.
Ensure you get the cheapest airfares online by comparing the market before you book your holiday this summer – you could save yourself a small fortune!
Whitebait and Paua Patties
Whitebait (tiny baby fish) are considered a delicacy in New Zealand, and they’ll probably be on every menu you come across. Outside New Zealand, restaurants and foodies go to great lengths to get their hands on fresh whitebait, and with a nice squeeze of lemon, they make of a wonderful starter (with some New Zealand wine of course). As part of a main meal, whitebait is usually chopped up and served with deep-fried patties, along with salad and some fresh sauce, so be sure to try either one of the other when holidaying in New Zealand this year!