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New Zealand

New Zealand

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Hawkes Bay

Located on the east coast of New Zealand's North Island, Hawkes Bay is the country's oldest wine-growing region and its second largest. Though some chardonnay is produced, it is known above all for its red wines, in particular its rich, ripe, well-crafted merlots, syrahs, and cabernet sauvignons.


At the southern tip of New Zealand's North Island, Martinborough has a cool, dry climate particularly suited to pinot noir, though sauvignon blanc, riesling, chardonnay, and pinot gris do well, too. Some connoisseurs believe that Martinborough pinot noir, typically dark in color, rich, and fruity, but with an elegant finish, will become known as some of the best in the New World.


A key vineyard region located on the northeastern tip of New Zealand's South Island, Marlborough was the first of that country's wine areas to win worldwide fame. It is known most of all for sauvignon blanc, which often has a pronounced grassy or herbaceous character, but also produces credible chardonnay and quite good pinot noir.

Central Otago

The world's most southerly wine region, with a latitude of 45 degrees south, in the southern portion of New Zealand's South Island — and also the highest of the country's vineyard areas in altitude — Central Otago produces first-class pinot noirs, elegant, intensely flavored, and long-lived. Most of the other grapes grown here are white, including chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and riesling.

Other New Zealand

There are more than 700 wineries in New Zealand, reaching from the far northwest to the southern portions of the country. Sauvignon blanc put New Zealand on the wine map, but pinot noir, the Bordeaux varietals, and chardonnay have become increasingly important. Most of the country's producers are small-scale operations, but larger concerns like Nobilo and Cloudy Bay are helping to spread the word about New Zealand wines around the world.

New Zealand Cheese Roll

“My closest cousin moved from the UK to New Zealand, a country I was dying to see, and had also gotten engaged since I’d seen her last, so I had to go visit. I was excited to visit her and to see this breathtaking country.

Upon arrival, while waiting for baggage to arrive, I walked up to a juice and coffee kiosk and ordered a fresh orange juice. I also spotted a thick piece of bread rolled with something that looked like cheese. I asked the lovely man for the “New Zealand Cheese Roll” as noted on the sign next to it and he politely said it would take a few minutes to toast with butter on top.

Butter? Yes, please! He handed me a toasty, golden, glistening rolled bread and warned me that it was hot. I sipped my juice and waited about a minute, then took a bite. Oh, my – the flavored cheese and buttered crispy bread was exactly what I needed at that moment. I finished my juice and cheese roll and was as good as new, ready to take on Queenstown!”

New Zealand Baked Mussels

New Zealand baked mussels are absolutely divine. You will make these again and again. They are perfect to whip up when you have unexpected company or a treat anytime. Mussels are an often overlooked but they are absolutely delicious baked or steamed. Be sure to check out the recipe from Belgium if you love them. It is the their national dish called moules.

These green lipped mussels are typically found in the freezer section of most grocery stores. They come already on the half shell, all you need to do is cook them. These little treasures are abundant off the coast of New Zealand. I make this dish all the time. It is one of our favorite things.

They are healthy and very low calorie, that is until you smother them with mayo, sirachi, lime, sugar and cheese. I like to add some flying fish roe as a garnish but that is optional. I love the texture it adds to the bite. Actually they really are not too bad from a caloric standpoint even after you smother on all that goodness.

If you would like to make these Plant Paradox friendly just use avocado mayo instead of regular and swerve instead of sugar. You will not even notice the difference.

I made this recipe into a video so you can see how easy it is to make them. I hope you do, you will love them!

Please be sure to leave me a comment below and I would love to know if you have ever been to New Zealand and what your favorite food was. Also be sure to check out “Our Journey to New Zealand” if you would like to learn more about this island nation and get more authentic recipes.

Craving more? Be sure to join the culinary and cultural journey around the world so you don’t miss a thing. It’s free and you can also follow me on Instagram, Facebook , Pinterest and youtube to follow along our journey.

Components of Tan Square

Tan Square is a clever recipe in that it only has two components - a shortbread base and a caramel topping, but the shortbread base also serves as a crumb topping.

  • Shortbread base - This is just a standard shortbread base which is made up of butter, sugar, vanilla, flour, and salt. It also has a little baking powder in it just to give some lift.
  • Caramel Topping - The caramel topping for Tan Square is super simple and made of butter, golden syrup, and condensed milk. I also added in a little salt and vanilla to add depth of flavour. You cook it together until smooth and then pour it over the base.

3. Kina

Ok, New Zealanders love their seafood so we’ll just hop straight onto another foodie delight from the ocean. Kina is the local name for a type of sea urchin with a hard spiky outer shell and thin fleshy (and edible) insides. It has been a New Zealand delicacy for centuries!

Where to try: Boating trips in the Bay of Islands, Kai Caff Aye in Rotorua, Seafood Bazaar in Hamilton and other fish & chips/seafood takeaways around the country.



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New Zealand Kumara Salad

Author International Cuisine


  • 2 kumara (Sweet potatoes peeled and diced
  • olive oil to drizzle on kumara for roasting
  • 1 small head romaine lettuce leaves chopped
  • water cress leaves
  • 12 cherry tomatoes halved
  • 8 radishes sliced
  • 8 oz crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste



The hangi

The hangi is a traditional form of cooking that has its origins in the umu (earth ovens) of ancient Polynesia. Its unique taste comes from the combination of smoking (burnt wood), steaming (wet cloths) and the distinctive baked bouquet of the earth oven.

Māori regard the elements of the hangi as descendants and gifts from the gods. The foods come from Haumia (wild vegetables), Rongo (kūmara – sweet potato – and cultivated foods) and Tangaroa (fish). Tāne provides the firewood (forests, birds), the earth is from Pāpa (Earthmother), water to make steam is from Ranginui (Skyfather) and Hineawaawa (streams), and fire comes from the goddess Mahuika.


Hangi can be time consuming to prepare, so do as much as possible the day before. Make the baskets, cut firewood, dig the hole. The size of the hole depends on the size of the food basket/s and the number of people attending. Hangi for 50-100 people usually measure around 2 metres square and 1 metre deep. Place wood and stones by the hole cover the hole and wood if left overnight. Prepare as much of the meat and vegetables as possible. All varieties of meat, poultry, vegetables and even steamed puddings wrapped in cloth can be cooked in a hangi.

These tasty homemade lamb burgers are one of our favourite burger recipes and wipe the proverbial floor with anything a fast food joint can whip up. The sweetness of pineapple perfectly complements the peppery bite of native Kawakawa herb in this tasty lamb burger recipe. The flavourful patty is accompanied with Asian slaw to add freshness and crunch. Now that's honest to goodness deliciousness!

These lamb shanks are slowly cooked in a delicious sauce until they fall apart. Red wine paired with whole grain mustard, fresh mint and honey combine to create a sauce with a wonderful depth of flavour. We also added baby carrots to the slow cooker which caramelised beautifully in the sauce. Serve shanks on a kumara and potato mash and enjoy.

Eat Like A Local: 21 New Zealand Food To Try - Updated 2021

Boasting a thriving agricultural economy, the cuisine of New Zealand largely involves the use of local products from both the land and the sea. It is closely related to their neighboring country Australia, but also influenced by European, American and Southeast Asian cuisine. The Maori cuisine, which refers to the food of the indigenous Polynesian inhabitants of New Zealand, is another factor that has affected the country’s food culture. At present, traditional New Zealand food is still popular in some parts of the country while restaurants and takeaway food has become a major part of the food preferences of modern New Zealanders. Apart from the cuisine, the country also has many Airbnbs and Bookabach rentals, so accommodation will not be one of your worries when you visit.

Visiting New Zealand soon? Here’s a list of must-try New Zealand food that you might just find useful. Happy eating!

1. Afghans

Although it sounds Middle Eastern, the afghans we are talking about here are the original New Zealand crunchy chocolate cookies. These are made of flour, cornflakes, butter and sugar, and these ingredients are mixed with cocoa and coated with chocolate icing. The finishing touch is a topping of chopped walnuts. Traditional afghans do not have any leavening or rising agent, making its texture dense and rich. Surprisingly, these cookies don&rsquot taste too sweet despite their chocolate content. Easily available in New Zealand bakeries, afghans are best paired with a hot cup of coffee or tea.

2. Marmite

Source: Photo by user John Gillespie used under CC BY-SA 2.0

If Australia has Vegemite, New Zealand has Marmite. These food pastes are both made of yeast extract combined with various herbs and spices. The difference is that Marmite is more syrupy, compared to Vegemite, which has a thick texture. Marmite, which was first produced in New Zealand in 1919, is traditionally eaten with bread or crackers. Also known for its very concentrated taste, it is usually spread thinly and then layered with butter or margarine. In 2012, an earthquake hit the city of Christchurch, which damaged the country’s only Marmite factory. It caused a nationwide panic when a Marmite shortage was declared.

3. Tuatua

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Follash used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Since New Zealand is surrounded by waters, seafood is a main food product in the country. This includes indigenous shellfish like the tuatua, which has a milder and softer texture compared to other kinds of shellfish. Eating tuatua is believed to be a Maori tradition, but these tasty shellfish are presently enjoyed by New Zealanders all over the country. In restaurants, these are served as chowders and sometimes, as fritters.

4. Hāngi (from USD 77.0)

Source: Photo by user Sarah M Stewart used under CC BY 2.0

Another New Zealand traditional food, Hāngi is a Maori cooking method that uses steam to cook chicken, beef, pork, potatoes, and other root vegetables. These food items are usually wrapped in leaves and placed in a basket, which is then laid on top of heated stones inside a deep hole. Some call hangi an &ldquoearth oven.&rdquo Whatever you call it, this method of cooking gives the food a unique smoky taste. The whole process can be laborious, taking as long as seven hours. Today, hangi food remains an important part of traditional celebrations in New Zealand. Several specialty restaurants offer hangi food in their menu, like Kiwi Kai in Rotorua and The Hangi Shop in Auckland.


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