"Essential New Zealand Food" Top 5 Page for this destination New Zealand Local Custom Tip by fishandchips

New Zealand Local Customs: 139 reviews and 123 photos

There are some food items that are unique to New Zealand though some are now available in different countries.

Marmite - this yeast spread is not to be confused with its Australian imitation Vegemite. They are made with similar ingredients though Marmite is blacker and sweeter. Marmite is also high in vitamin B.

Pavlova - this desert was created by a Kiwi while working in Australia so is claimed on both sides of the 'ditch' (Tasman Sea). Must be eaten with slices of kiwifruit on top of generous portions of cream.

Feijoa - this fruit has a unique taste and makes wonderful Jam (jelly) though is best eaten raw.

Kiwifruit - called kiwis in some parts of the world, this fruit is actually from China (I called it a chinese gooseberry when I was a kid) but has become an NZ icon

Kumara - this sweet potato is a native of South America & hence some speculation of the origins of the Maori and Moriori. The Kumara is an essential item in any Sunday roast or in your monthly Hangi.

Bluff Oyster - This is the King of Oysters & similar to French Belons - very flavoursome.

Whitebait - These are the infants of several fish species and are caught in nets in tidal rivers. The best come from the South Islands West Coast and should be made by mixing the bait with a beaten egg - nothing else.

Paua - The kiwi abalone is great wehn cooked very fast though it doesn't look too appealing.

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  • Updated Jul 20, 2006
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