What do you know about the food of New Zealand? Find out more below:
New Zealand food is very varied, with different dishes showing the influence of traditional British cuisine, Maori cuisine, and more. Some of the most common dishes are:
A traditional New Zealand Sunday dinner is the Sunday Roast. This is usually made with roast meat and vegetables. The vegetables might include any combination of peas, carrots, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, or sweet potato (in New Zealand, sweet potato is known as "kumara"). Often, the meat is lamb.
Sheep were first brought to New Zealand by European settlers, and New Zealand quickly became a major exporter of wool. Because of this industry there were a huge amount of sheep, and lamb became a staple food in the country.
Roast lamb is usually eaten with gravy or mint sauce and the best lamb in New Zealand comes from the plains of the Canterbury region.
Hāngi cooking is a traditional Maori style of cooking. In Hāngi cooking, food is cooked in a pit in the ground. This food is usually meat and vegetables, such as chicken, pork, lamb, pumpkin, and potato. Traditionally, the food is wrapped in baskets made from large leaves, though today cloth or foil can be used instead of leaves.
To cook in the Hāngi style, rocks are placed in the pit. Wood is then placed on top of these rocks, and set on fire. The fire is left until it has burned down, and the rocks are very hot. Next, the ashes are removed and the baskets of food put on top of the hot rocks. Earth is then put on top of the wrapped food, burying it with the hot rocks.
Finally, after several hours the food is uncovered. The meat is tender and the vegetables well-cooked, ready for eating!
There is perhaps no food more “New Zealand” than the humble meat pie. Traditionally, meat pies are made of mince inside a pastry pie crust. Today, however, you can find pies filled with many different ingredients: salmon, potato, cheese, lamb, venison, and more. There are many popular combinations of pie ingredients, such as mince and cheese, steak and mushroom, and steak and cheese.
Pies are eaten all year round, but are especially popular in winter. The classic pie is bought at a bakery, dairy or from the “servo” (service station, or gasoline stand). A New Zealand “dairy” is similar to a convenience store. In the last 20 years or so, service stations are often built with a convenience store attached and many are open 24 hours a day. In both a dairy or service station, you should be able to find a pie warmer near the register.
These pies are often extremely hot at first, so please remember to always blow on the pie before eating it!
Moro chocolate bars are made of a whipped nougat and caramel center, covered in chocolate. They are the most popular chocolate bar in New Zealand. The standard size Moro bar costs about $1.60 and in addition to the classic Moro, there are two other flavours.
You can even find deep-fried Moro, available from many fish and chip shops. Copied from the Scottish practice of a deep-fried Mars bar, a Moro bar is dipped in a deep fryer and then cooled-off, leaving it covered in batter.
L&P, which stands for Lemon and Paeroa, is New Zealand’s most famous non-alcoholic drink. Paeroa is a town on the North Island and L&P was originally made with lemon juice mixed with mineral water from the Paeroa area.
The mineral water and natural lemon juice is said to be very healthy, though nowadays L&P is made by the Coca Cola company. The slogan for L&P is “World famous in New Zealand”, which is also a popular saying in the country for many other things.
If you visit New Zealand, you should try a bottle of L&P. It tastes best with fish and chips eaten at the beach.