Inspired by Asian, European, and
Polynesian in cuisine, the best way to describe the
food in New Zealand is “Pacific Rim”.
amalgamation of all these influences has produced a
delectable array of food and flavors in restaurants
and cafes in the entire country.
For distinctly New Zealnd-style dishes, there's
pork, lamb, and venison (cervena), lobster
(crayfish), salmon, , Bluff oysters, abalone (paua),
scallops, mussels, two types of New Zealand
shellfish called tuatua and pipis, sweet potato
(kumara), pavlova and tamarillo (New Zealand’s
national dessert), and of course, kiwifruit.
The manner in which New Zealanders partake of their food
gives the cuisine its distinct quality. In true Kiwi
fashion, which is generally laidback, they prefer to eat in
an unaffected and relaxed manner.
During summer, many New Zealander’s prefer to eat al
fresco at cafes or barbecues.
play a large part in the culture of the Kiwi culture.
It typifies the nature of most New Zealanders which
is generally laidback. Served generously are venison
or cervena, lamb, lobster or crayfish, shellfish,
and fresh fish.
New Zealanders are notoriously spoilt for their
abundance of fresh produce. Just choose a world
class chardonnay or sauvignon blanc from any one of
the nation's over three hundred wineries and you’re
all set for an enjoyable feast.
For authentic Maori cuisine, the traditional smoky-flavored
“hangi” is a must-taste delicacy. The hangi is
cooked in a makeshift oven under the ground.
First, they dig a deep
hole, line it with really hot stones and then cover it with
vegetation. The ingredients, pork, chicken, potatoes, lamb,
kumara or sweet potato, and other vegetables are then
positioned on top. The entire oven is then sprinkled with
water and more vegetation is added to seal it. Finally, the
hole is filled with earth and is then allowed to steam for
Usually cooked during special occasions, the hangi
is traditionally prepared with the men digging and
readying the hole while the women prepare the
ingredients that will be put into it. All members of
the whanau (family) help in preparing the feast. The
atmosphere of the occasion is friendly, relaxed and
fun, with the food prepared often eaten under a
tent. Lots of tourist locations, even those in the
North Island’s Rotorua, prepare hangis for visitors
or groups of.
Though not a very healthy delicacy, fish and chips
are still integral to the New Zealand gastronomic
experience and would be incomplete without it. This
traditional take-away meal of New Zealand is still
served wrapped in paper.
For the adventurous and outgoing visitors who are open to
trying anything, the Wildfoods Festival is a must-see.
Anything extreme and unusual (by western standards anyway)
is on the catalog of things to experience.
The Wildfoods Festival is held annually in Hokitika. This
festival is geared towards celebrating New Zealand’s native
wild foods. Locals and visitors from and to New Zealand
arrive at Hokitika each year to join in this celebration of
gastronomic adventure. The Wildfoods Festival has won
several accolades and awards due to its popularity.