New Zealand’s cuisine is all about versatility and variety because of the several dishes it has to offer. Being an agricultural country its edibles has a whole lot of fruits and vegetables as well as an adequate amount of seafood. A typical Kiwi breakfast would comprise of cereals, toast, and beverages, much like the Continental platter. Their dinner is a more wholesome one where all the members of the family would sit together and have it collectively. Just like their neighbor Australia, countries like Britain as well as a host of Mediterranean nations has had a marked influence on their cuisine. Let us check out the list of famous dishes New Zealand has to offer.
What is it: It is not a dish in the real sense but a traditional method of cooking implemented by the Maori tribe, consuming a lot of time. Traditionally, the meat and vegetables were put in a basket and then placed on rocks that were heated in a pit. Though this method is not too common at present, a hangi is still set during festivals or auspicious occasions. People, however, use a slow cooker instead of the rocks.
What does it taste like: The food prepared in hangi would have a juicy, burnt, smoky and moist taste. Besides fish and chicken, root vegetables like sweet potato were used in the hangi method though of late meats like mutton, pork and lamb and vegetables such as cabbage, potato and pumpkin have been incorporated.
What is it: A famous dessert of New Zealand, hokey pokey is a vanilla-flavored ice-cream, garnished with pieces of honeycomb toffee. The term hokey-pokey is a slang used to denote ice cream and the vendors selling them were called hokey pokey men.
What does it taste like: A sweet indulgence indeed, where the aromatic taste of vanilla and the spongy flavor of honeycomb toffee, makes it even more irresistible.
What is it: One of the most sought-after confectionaries of the country found in most bakeries, groceries, dairies and even petrol stations, it is a cake in the shape of the log. The common ingredients that go in its preparation include fruit puffs, crushed Malt, milk, and coconut.
What does it taste like: Soft, chewy and amazingly delicious… a perfect treat anyone with a sweet tooth could ask for. The addition of Malt biscuits gives it an even more distinctive taste, balancing its exceedingly sweet flavor.
What is it: A meringue kind dessert, it has egg whites, caster sugar, vinegar, vanilla essence and cornflour as its main ingredients. Its USP lies in the toppings which comprise of whipped cream and a host of fruits like strawberries, kiwi fruit, and passion fruit. Named after Anna Pavlova, the famous ballerina, it is a favorite summer dish in Australia and New Zealand, mostly eaten during Christmas.
What does it taste like: The taste is unique and versatile, with the outer part being crunchy and crispy while the inner layer having a soft and moist flavor.
What is it: An oats biscuit with a sweet flavor, which has its association to the First World War, when women sent these biscuits to their men out on the field in distant lands. The best part of it was its shelf life as it stayed fresh for an extended period, the main reason being that eggs were not used to make it since they were scarce during the wartime.
What does it taste like: Soft, chewy and crunchy, making for a delightful evening snack with a cup of tea.
What is it: This typical dish of Britain comprising of battered and fried fish (common varieties used are terakihi, hoki and snapper, with squid rings and scallops, included too) teamed with crispy, potato chips is widely popular in New Zealand also. Sold in every shop in the towns or suburbs as takeaway food, the first fish and chips outlets were known to be initiated by the Brit settlers post World War I.
What does it taste like: Fluffy and crispy, this mouthwatering savory is often teamed with chilled beer or other accompaniments like cheese dips or a sauce.
What is it: A jumbo-sized burger, the USP of which lie in the stuffing within the toasted buns, comprising of beef patty, beetroot, lettuce, fried eggs, cheese, and spicy sauces. Added to Kiwi’s national menu in the year 1991, Bryan Old, a franchise was the brainchild of this burger before the introduction of Mc Donald in the country.
What does it taste like: Cheesy and juicy, with every bite being a fusion of the different ingredients which go in its making.
What is it: A delightful combination of a batter of whitebait (fish variety) and eggs fried deep and seasoned with a whole lot of salt as well as pepper. A desired finger food, it is often teamed with lemon wedges or a dip.
What does it taste like: That of eggs mostly dominates the flavor since white baits have not much of taste.
What is it: A traditional choco biscuit, prepared using butter, cornflakes, flour, sugar and cocoa powder. Toppings of half a walnut and an icing of chocolate sit on it as garnishes. Though there are several speculations regarding the evolution, name, and story behind its origination, one tale goes that a Kiwi lady may have invented these biscuits to send to her better half who was in Afghanistan for a war. There are many such stories though lacking authenticity.
What does it taste like: Every bite of it would melt in your mouth instantly all because of the sufficient amount of butter that goes in its making. The chocolate icing is significant in balancing the bitter taste of cocoa, enhancing its sweetness to the fullest.
What is it: A roasted preparation of mutton or lamb, often eaten in June during Christmas. Stuffings of onion, parsley, breadcrumbs, honey, and dried apricots, gives it a rich taste altogether.
What does it taste like: The rich, soft and juicy flavor of the meat along with the aromatic herbs as well as the crispiness and sweetness brought about by the breadcrumbs and honey, is enough to tickle your taste buds wholly.
The list given above is just a handful of the various Kiwi dishes that could leave you enamored. So the next time you plan a visit to this island of ecstatic beauty make sure you keep these foods in your to-eat bucket list. Apart from the main course dishes other exciting platters that you may find here include L&P or Lemon & Paeroa, a sweet, lemony soft drink, paua (sea snail) fritters, a whole lot of pies and the list goes on.
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