Kiwis food of New Zealand: Traditional cuisine (series)

Kiwis food of New Zealand
Jaffas and Chocolate fish. Image credit: Newzealand.com

Centered mainly around the ocean and land, Kiwis food include much seafood, lamb, and sweet treats. Kiwis (native New Zealanders), in addition to being environmentally conscious and keen about preserving their country’s natural beauty, cherish their food culture.

Pavalova
Pavalova

New Zealand, with its more than 14,000 kilometers of coastline, is noted for its extensive array of seafood cuisine, which make up a great degree of the Kiwis food. The first inhabitants of New Zealand were the Maori who were natural hunters and fishermen. Maori, in earlier times, would get just enough meat and fish to sustain their family, and later additional about for bartering with their neighbors, others.

For fishing, the Maori uses harakeke flax woven nets and twigs with fishhooks made from stone and bone. Using traps and snares, the hunters caught wildlife for food such as birds and small land mammals. Being cultivators, as well, the Maori planted shrubs and ate lots of vegetables, spices, and herbs. They also ate things that grew wild such as berries. Ingredients and cooking methods used by the Maori strongly influenced Kiwis food today.

Kiwis food is alive and well in New Zealand and mussels, oysters, scallops, and kinds of fish such as the whitebait, the snapper, the terakihi, and the hoki are prominent ocean ingredients used. Roast lamb is a big favorite of the Kiwis. In fact, New Zealand’s lamb is highly coveted throughout the world, so much so that lamb is among the country’s chief product export. Lamb traditionally is roasted and cooked with copious amount of rosemary used as spice and complemented with seasonal vegetables.

Damper bread
Damper bread

Maori hangi is an ancient and popular cooking method used in preparing Kiwis food. This type of cooking is mainly reserved for special occasions, today. Traditional Maori hangi cooking involves digging a large pit and cooking (for about 4-7 hours) on heated rocks and covered by sacks in the ground (earth oven). A combination of foods creates the Maori hangi including potatoes, kumara (sweet potato), carrots, onions, herbs and vegetables. It is common to have hangi-steamed pudding for dessert.

Ice cream complements other Kiwis food. The peoples eat hokey pokey (creamy vanilla ice cream with pieces of honeycomb), and Pavlova a meringue-type and cake-shaped dessert topped with cream and fresh fruit.

Chocolate fish is a popular item in the Kiwis food culture and is prized. This item is often used as a reward for good deeds “Give that kid a chocolate fish”). The candy coated Pineapple Lump and the orange coated flavored Jaffa (chocolate in the middle) are also special treats.

The age old technique of cheese and wine-making are cherished in New Zealand. The country is noted for its awarding-winning wine and cheese, including its blue cheese, its vintages and creamy soft cheeses. Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and Merlot are among the country fine wines. So when in New Zealand and trying out the Kiwis food, remember to pair it with a special local wine.

 

 

Article by: Tiffany Huggins



| January 15, 2016