Unique food experience await expats in New Zealand

New Zealand mussel
Described as the Pacific Rim, New Zealand's cultural diversity, and culinary innovation have helped in enhancing the country's reputation as a super-food destination for discerning foodies. For a long time, beverage production and quality food have been at the forefront of the country's popularity. As a leading export earner, New Zealand's fusion of quality, unique produce, and ethnic influence have allowed the identity of the country's cuisine to evolve.

New Zealand cuisine has drawn a lot of inspiration from Asia, Europe, and Polynesia. This blend has led to a mouthwatering range of food and flavors in restaurants nationwide. Before the arrival of the Europeans, Maori food was always based on the produce of the land. In the late 18th century, European settlers introduced pumpkins, potatoes, sugar, and wheat. For the original New Zealand style, there are pork, lamb, Cervena, crayfish, salmon, whitebait, oysters, Paua, scallops, mussels, Tate, and pipes. There is also sweet potato (Kumara), Amarillo, kiwi fruit, and the national dessert Pavlova.

During summer, you will notice a lot of people attending BBQs, and others eating outdoors in cafes. Barbecues are a huge part of the Kiwi culture, and also the laid-back nature of the New Zealand people. It is during these events that Cervena, lamb, fresh fish, crayfish, and shellfish are in abundance.

For a true taste of New Zealand, every expat must get the essential culinary experience of the traditional Maori Hangi. Hangi is often prepared for special occasions. The traditional way is that men prepare the hole, and women get the food that will go into it. The occasion is usually friendly, relaxed and fun with people engaging the meal under a marquee. As much as chips and fish are not a healthy combination, in New Zealand, your dish is not complete without them wrapped in paper. Fish and seafood is a significant element in the Maori diet.

A typical breakfast in New Zealand comprise of toast often accompanied by a cup of coffee, tea or a glass of milk or juice and cereal. During weekends especially, you are likely to be served with cooked breakfast. The cooked breakfast may consist of bacon, scrambled egg, mushrooms, cooked tomatoes, baked beans and harsh browns. After such a heavy meal, it is easy to skip lunch.

Lunch is simple and light since in New Zealand dinner is the main meal. It is common to be served with sandwiches or just hot pies. There are people who will choose to enjoy healthier diets like fruits and salads. There are times the New Zealanders can choose to have a Sunday Lunch that consists of roast potatoes, roast beef, and pumpkins.

Dinner is the main meal in New Zealand. It is eaten around 6 pm and contains cooked vegetables, meat, and potatoes. Fish and chips are a typical meal during this time. They are cheap and a great alternative, usually bought at fish and chips shops. 

Maori Hangi
This consists of vegetables and meat cooked slowly under the ground. The food is usually ready after six hours.

In New Zealand, Pavlova is very popular. It is a crisp crust meringue cake usually topped
New Zealand Pavlova
with fresh fruit like kiwifruit or strawberries and may be topped with whipped cream. Another common dessert is the traditional Afghan, which is a chocolate biscuit made with flour, butter, sugar, cocoa powder and cornflakes and coated with chocolate icing and garnished with half a walnut on top.

Popular wines

Saint Clair Wairau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2006
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Chardonnay 2005
Astrolabe Pinot Gris, 2006

Delta Vineyard Marlborough Pinot Noir 2005
Villa Maria Reserve Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2004
Wooing Tree Central Otago Pinot Noir 2005

Must try foods in New Zealand
A growing awareness of organics and healthy food choices has contributed to the production of more quality and originality. In fact, the New Zealand gastronomy is considered among the best in the world. The most popular foods are Tamarillo, Paua, New Zealand mussel, and the Orange roughy fish. National and regional food and drinks festivals are held every year in the country.

The capital city, Wellington has a large number of food establishments. In fact, there are over 300 restaurants and cafes in the inner city area which spans a 2km square. The most popular drinks here are coffee and wine. If you are new to New Zealand, try out the hot pies. Hot pies are small pastries that are served with fillings of meat. They are eaten as snacks or during lunch. Also, try out the lollies. Lollies are sweets. Some of the flavors include pineapple lumps, Minties, or Jaffas.

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Let us know what is your favorite dish from New Zealand.