Food of New Zealand That You Should Definitely Try!

Aside from the soothing landscape and the intriguing culture, the food of New Zealand is also absolutely worth a mention. With an economy that heavily relies on agriculture, the island country mostly encourages the use of products that can be obtained locally, both from the land and the sea. The food of New Zealand also includes the traditional cuisine of the Maori people named ‘Kai’ offers some excellent treats and has also impacted on the New Zealand cuisine.

Some of the most famous food of New Zealand that you should definitely try are:

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1. Whitebait Fritters

Usually available on the menus of restaurants during the whitebait season of every year from August to September, Whitebait fritters are a cultural food of New Zealand that anyone who happens to visit the west coast of the South Island must try. All fishes that are yet to attain complete growth are called whitebaits. The west coast has them in such substantial amounts and hence is the whitebait country. They can be like fishy omelettes since their batter consists of flour and eggs. It is recommended to use the egg whites and a small quantity of flour rather than the whole egg and a lot of flour to prepare the perfect whitebait fritter. After frying in oil, salt and pepper are used for seasoning. They can substitute a whole meal or be a snack according to your priority.

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2. New Zealand Fish and Chips

Believed to have been introduced by the British settlers long before, New Zealand’s classic Fish and Chips is a popular take away item that consists of battered and fried fish along with a huge serving of hot chips. The most common type of fish used in this dish are red cod, hoki, tarahaki and elephant shark. In other countries whitefish like haddock, cod and pollock are used. Always prefer to be consumed hot, often with some beer, be careful while relishing fish and chips since one could easily overeat, although it is dense in calories. Almost all the towns in the country have shops that provide fish and chips and is a ubiquitous food of New Zealand.

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3. Savoury Pies

Delicious pastries filled with meat and gravy or mince meat and cheese or egg yolks and bacon is a must-have for people of New Zealand in their small outings, barbecues and picnics. Using certain fats like butter and lard while preparing the crust, lends it the crispiness. Some pies can even consist of fish, onions, beef, steak, lamb and even mushrooms. Since 1997, there has been an annual pie eating competition and also at the Bakels New Zealand Extreme Pie Awards, the manufacturer of the best mince pie is awarded. It is advised to start eating once the pie cools down, with tomato sauce. The rugby and football players of the country are fans of the pie.

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4. Hāngi

Hāngi is a traditional earth oven method of cooking that involves slow-cooking of meat and vegetables and is one of the most famous food of New Zealand. Chicken, beef, pork and many vegetables are wrapped in leaves and placed in a basket. Then they are laid on heated stones inside a hole. Revered for the smoky taste and tender meat, it is a long and tough task that can take up to seven hours. Hāngi used to be a common method of cooking for many years and is definitely one of the important Maori cultural experiences. Currently, Hāngi meals are an important factor during celebrations inside the country. Mitai Maori Village in Rotorua offers Hāngi Meals as one of the features in Maori cultural experiences. 

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5. Jaffas

Each year, in the Annual Chocolate Cadbury Carnival, a “Jaffa Race” happens when thousands of Jaffas are rolled down the world’s steepest residential street, Baldwin Street, Dunedin. Hard-coated with orange flavored sugar, Jaffa is ball shaped and has a chocolate centre. Jaffa is a popular sweet in both New Zealand and Australia. First produced during 1931, it is now available in all the supermarkets and the confectionary stores in New Zealand.

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6. Pavlova

Made with meringue, whipped cream and fruit, Pavlova has a permanent place at the Christmas dinner table. It has a crispy outer layer and is soft at the center. The debate regarding the true inventor of Pavlova is still going on between New Zealand and Australia. Other than special occasions like Christmas, Pavlova is seen in some of the restaurants in New Zealand. Mikano in Auckland is one among them.

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7. Kumara

Preferably cooked in a Hāngi or earth oven, Kumara is a type of sweet potato that the Maori people brought to New Zealand. It still remains to be a loved vegetable in New Zealand. With very low fat content and high fiber content, it also aids towards maintaining a healthy diet. Kumara is also available in the form of fries.

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8. Hokey Pokey Ice Cream

Auckland City’s Giapo has earned the reputation for serving the best Hokey Pokey Ice Cream in New Zealand. Hokey pokey ice Cream is vanilla ice cream mixed with caramelized sugar and it is the most recommended flavor among ice creams. Nothing beats having one of them during summertime with flakes of chocolate or small bits of honeycomb sprinkled over as topping.

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9. Pāua

One of the most prized ocean delicacies in the world, Pāua is the local name for a large sea snail in New Zealand.  Their shells become material for jewellery and ash trays, but when cooked properly into fritters or ravioli, Pāua tastes as if it is the steak of the sea. Logan Brown in Wellington has some delish Pāua ravioli, if you are looking to taste one.

Did we miss any of your favourite food of New Zealand? Tell us below.

This post was published by Vishnu Kesavan

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