Besides being famous of having the most beautiful landscapes and magnificent shorelines, New Zealand is also famous for its diverse and flavorful cuisine. But which dishes are the best of the best? Here are just eight you’ll definitely want to try during your visit down under.
1. Whitebait Fritter
There are hundreds of New Zealand dishes made with whitebait, a fish easily caught off the coast. The fritter, however, is one of the only meals that can be eaten any time of day. It’s made with eggs, flour, butter, whitebait and occasionally a dash of spice, so it’s a suitable dish for a quick breakfast, a tasty lunch and an easy dinner.
While technically a method of cooking, you’ll see hangi food advertised in restaurants all across New Zealand. This is because it’s an important and carefully-preserved tradition from the Maori people. It involves digging a pit, filling it with flat stones and then slow-cooking a variety of meats and vegetables over a period of several hours.
3. Veggie Stack
Vegetarians, this one is for you. “Stacks” are New Zealand slang for multiple ingredients piled high on a bread foundation, and veggie stacks are a great way to enjoy New Zealand cuisine without ruining your diet. The typical veggie stack will include things like tomatoes, potatoes, avocados, spinach and broccoli served under a hearty cream.
4. Chicken Laksa
Laksa is one of the many “melting pot” dishes you’ll see in Auckland hotels and restaurants. Usually prepared with both light and dark meat, it combines noodles, chicken chunks, coconut flavors and chile oil for an amazing and entirely one-of-a-kind taste. You won’t find it anywhere north of the equator, either, so enjoy it while you can!
5. Kumara Wedges
A popular appetizer, kumara wedges are made from kumara, a local kind of sweet potato. They can be dipped, soaked and fried in everything from vegetable oil to aioli, and their texture is to die for: Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, they’ll keep you coming back for more every time.
The Kiwis love their bread! This dish was originally an Italian one, and it consists of a thick, hearty bread cooked with a variety of meats and spices. Many people report its texture to be like pizza dough, but it differs from pizza in the sense that the ingredients are internal, not stacked on top, and it can also be cooked with everything from lime to lamb.
7. Beef Rendang
If you like tender, juicy meat, you won’t want to miss this New Zealand spin on an Indonesian classic. The Kiwis prepare it with sauces that include everything from lemongrass to coconut cream, and the result is a dish so savory that it can almost be eaten with a spoon.
Once you’ve eaten your vegetables, it’s time for dessert! Lamingtons are sponge cakes that are coated with chocolate and sprinkled with coconut. Some also have fruit or cream fillings for an extra kick. You can find cheap packaged versions in any grocery store, but the best come freshly and traditionally prepared in restaurants and hotels. Check in somewhere like the Whangaparaoa Lodge Motel to learn more.
These are just eight foods you’ll want to try while you’re in Auckland, New Zealand. Don’t forget to wash them down with a great NZ beer! And while you are there, explore the beautiful mountain scenery in New Zealand.