New Zealand Food refers to dishes and drinks from New Zealand, which are known for their rich use of local ingredients, especially a wide variety of meats and seafood. Wines are also an important part of New Zealand food. The food here shows strong influences of British and Asian Cuisines. Influences in New Zealand food also come from traditional Maori culture, which were brought by the Maori people, who were settlers from Polynesia, and who brought with them a number of foods like taro, kumara (sweet potato), etc.
Ingredients Commonly Used in New Zealand Food
Ingredients used in New Zealand food largely comprise of local produce. New Zealand is a primarily agricultural economy, and various food ingredients from Maori tradition include flaxseed oil, horopito (also called the New Zealand pepper tree), kawakawa leaves, kumara or sweet potato, etc. Meats form a significant part of New Zealand cuisine and include pork, lamb, cervena or deer meat, etc. Seafood is also popular and includes salmon, crayfish, oysters, shellfish, etc.
Popular Dishes from New Zealand Cuisine
Here are some of the dishes popular in New Zealand cuisine-
Pavlova: Pavlova is a dessert from New Zealand, which was named after the ballet dancer Anna Pavlova. Perth and Wellington also claim to be the creators of the dish besides New Zealand. It is easily available commercially, and can be decorated with whipped cream and fruit before serving.
Fish and Chips: This is a deep-fried dish made with cod and potatoes. It is a very popular dish of New Zealand food.
Colonial Goose: It is a dish made with lamb meat which is marinated with red wine based marinade and stuffed with dried apricots and honey. It looks like a goose when cooked.
Lamingtons: This is a square shaped sponge cake coated with chocolate or strawberry jam and coconut.
Wine: Wine is one of the most significant parts of New Zealand cuisine. There are 10 regions specifically devoted to wine production. Examples are Martinborough which is known for its Sauvingnon Blanc, Otago for Pinot Noir and Gisborne for Chardonnay.
New Zealand Food Habits
Dinner is the most important meal in New Zealand's homes. It is the time when the whole family gets together to share the happenings of the day.
Eating out is quite popular in New Zealand, and restaurants and take away joints do brisk business here. People often opt for eating out during summers, particularly in a barbeque setting. Barbeques offer delicious dishes made of lamb, beef and seafood, and are popular among New Zealanders who are known to be relaxed people by nature.
Health Benefits of New Zealand Food
New Zealand food is rich in natural ingredients like fresh fruits and vegetables containing essential minerals and vitamins. The many meat and seafood dishes are known to be a good source of protein and phosphorus. Seafood is a source of low-fat protein and known to be helpful in conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity and cerebral hemorrhage.