New Zealand food has a global reputation for being fresh, seasonal and delicious. While you're here, we encourage you to indulge a little. And although New Zealand doesn't have a set ‘cuisine’ as such, there are several local foods you should know about. Here are some of our nation's firm favorites:
You've probably heard the lamb from here is amazing. We can confidently say: it really is! Found on restaurant menus nationwide, it’s best enjoyed with a glass of award-winning Kiwi red.
Fish and Chips
We get a lot of grief about the way we say "fish and chips" — people hear it as "fush and chups". Traditionally packaged in yesterday's newspaper this is an unassuming meal. But that doesn't take away from how awesome battered cod and crinkle cut potatoes taste eaten on the beach.
Think small squares of sponge cake coated in raspberry and covered in chocolate and shaved coconut. Hot tip: get them from a bakery, not the supermarket, and smother them with cream before eating.
Green lipped mussels are native to New Zealand and you won't believe their size, if you are a regular mussel eater. They are commonly served in a white wine sauce with crusty bread for the mopping of juices.
Steak and Cheese Pie
In kiwi land we love our pies. Head into any reputable bakery and you're sure to find every flavor imaginable including some rather questionable ones (such as butter chicken). The best, and most loved, is without a doubt steak and cheese — once you try it, you’ll understand why!
A delicacy in New Zealand, these tiny fish command the highest price of any fish in the country and are traditionally served as a fritter. The whitebait season is very short (from the beginning of August to the end of December). So there’s a limited window of time to eat them fresh! If you're in the country during these months we recommend a trip to the South Island’s West Coast — an area famous for their Whitebait Fritters.
This is one spread you do have to try while you are visiting. Manuka Honey is unique to New Zealand as it’s the only country in the world where the Manuka Tree grows. It is highly sought after due to its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Hokey Pokey ice cream
Found in all the best ice cream shops, hokey pokey is a kiwi favorite, and consists of oozy honeycomb pieces tossed through a creamy vanilla ice cream — the perfect treat on a hot summer's day!
Cheese and Wine
We know wine’s not really a food. But we couldn't put cheese and not have wine! These two are match made in mouth-watering heaven and down here we’ve got several world-class cheeseries such as Kapiti, Whitestone and Puhoi Valley. Paired with a glass (or bottle) of our globally-renowned Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc you’ll get what we’re on about.
- The Best of New Zealand