New Zealand’s cuisine has developed into a vibrant and innovative culinary scene garnering international attention. Read on to learn about 4 reasons why.
The island-nation has direct access to the freshest seafood from the South Pacific Ocean. The country’s wide seafood selection includes mussels, crayfish, oysters and loads of fresh fish such as snapper, gurnard, and kahawai. Since New Zealand provides more than half of the world’s supply of king salmon, why not try it straight from the source? You can also dine on the New Zealand delicacy known as pāua (abalone), usually served in a creamy chowder. In addition to the sheer selection of seafood, you’ll be impressed by New Zealand’s commitment to sustainable fishing practices. Companies like Gravity Fishing use hook and line methods that are transparent and traceable so we can continue to experience amazing seafood in a sustainable way.
New Zealand is world-renowned for its wines. That’s not surprising given the country has over 500 wineries across 10 wine-growing regions. Millions of people across the globe enjoy New Zealand’s wine, with Australia, the UK, and the US being the biggest importers, closely followed by Canada and Asia. The mild climate and soil structure create the perfect combination for grape growing, producing a wide range of grape varieties and distinctive wines. Enjoy an award-winning sauvignon blanc in the Marlborough region, savor a glass (or several) of pinot gris in Central Otago or try a cabernet in the scenic Hawkes Bay.
Nothing compares to the hāngī, a slow-cooked indigenous Māori dish. With this traditional technique, a hole or pit is dug into the ground and hot stones (up to 600 degrees Celsius/ 1,112 Fahrenheit) are placed at the bottom. The pot of food is placed in the pit and covered with a wet cloth and soil to create an oven in the earth. The hāngī slow cooks in the ground for up to 4 hours, creating the most tender meat and vegetables, enhanced with rich, earthy flavors. Thankfully, this indigenous cooking technique is gaining more mainstream popularity so you can enjoy hāngī in many places around the country including The Māori Kitchen in Auckland.
The beef and lamb
New Zealand beef and lamb are some of the country’s biggest exports for good reason. The grass-fed meat cuts are highly sought-after all around the world. US based dietician Samantha Cassetty says, “I always look for New Zealand grass-fed beef and lamb because it is humanely raised and the animals graze freely on open pastures 365 days a year, ensuring the healthiest and most naturally flavorful meat you can find.” New Zealand’s ideal climate and nutrient-dense pastures make the beef and lamb flavorful, tender, lean, and highly nutritious. Try your hand at home-made recipes like a roast leg of lamb infused with rosemary and garlic or a juicy porterhouse steak. You could also visit the countless eateries around the country that’ll cook the high-quality lamb and beef to perfection.