European cuisine and Maori cuisine
The British influence is also indispensable when it comes to food. The basis of New Zealand cuisine is a mixture of European cuisine, but also that of the local Maori.
Preparation in the earth oven
A typical preparation in an earth oven comes from the Maori kitchen, which is called “Hangi” (pronounced: hani) and is typical for the entire Polynesian region. To do this, one digs a hole in the ground, puts hot stones in it and wraps the food – mostly meat and vegetables or potatoes – in leaves. The whole thing is covered again with leaves and then with earth. However, you need a little patience until the meal is ready. This cooking method takes a few hours until the meat and the side dishes are edible. This way of preparing dishes is also often a tourist attraction in New Zealand, a country in Oceania defined by anylistintheus.
Local: the sweet potato
“Fish and Chips” come from British cuisine and are very popular, as well as lamb and mutton dishes, which is no wonder given the amount of sheep that are raised in New Zealand. New Zealanders like to serve potatoes or kumura, sweet potatoes, with traditional roast lamb. This sweet potato is a traditional dish and is also often served like french fries.
Meat pies: preferably made from lamb
The tradition of pies, which the New Zealanders like to make from meat – also here lamb – also stems from the British cuisine. There are pies that they fill with beef, fish or vegetables. The kiwis like to eat a lot of pies.
What is whitebait?
New Zealanders love seafood. According to their tradition, the Maori eat seafood such as mussels and sea urchins raw. But New Zealanders prefer to deep-fry or smoke the seafood. A specialty is the so-called whitebait, which are small fish two to four centimeters long, which are usually served fried. A delicacy is the paua, a giant clam that you like to bake in a pancake batter. The so-called bluff oysters are a specialty, some claim that they are the best oysters there are. The fish from lakes, rivers and the sea are just as popular on the menu, because New Zealanders are keen anglers themselves.
Fast food has also found its way into New Zealand and the great American burger, pizza or chicken snacks are everywhere here too. The New Zealanders love the sandwich as well, plus wraps that originally come from Texas and Mexican cuisine.
Asian cuisine also has its share in New Zealand, so Asian spices and ingredients are not uncommon.
What do New Zealanders drink?
The kiwis like to drink coffee. There are also beer and wine, although New Zealand wine is now also exported and should taste very good. In restaurants, by the way, guests sometimes bring their own wine and beer because they need a special permit, which not every restaurant has to present. Otherwise you can also get juices and all kinds of soft drinks like we do.
Maori – they were the first
The Maori are the original people of New Zealand. They were already living there when the European sailors discovered the islands. Maori ancestors probably immigrated to New Zealand in several waves between the 8th and 14th centuries. Whether they discovered New Zealand by accident or purposefully is not entirely clear. The exact time is also not known.
15 out of 100 inhabitants in New Zealand today are Maori. The Maori language Te Reo Maori can still be heard in New Zealand. “Hello” means Kia ora in this language. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?
For a long time, the Maori in New Zealand were treated badly by newly arrived white settlers. They expropriated their land and destroyed it. The Maori had no say in politics.
It wasn’t until the 1960s that attitudes changed and the New Zealand government recognized the importance of the country’s original population. In 1975 there was an important treaty that gave the Maori the opportunity to assert their rights. They did, and were compensated many years later.
But although the Maori are better off in New Zealand than, for example, the indigenous people of America, the Indians, they are still worse off in New Zealand society than the white population. They are less educated, more often unemployed and ill. Their income is on average below that of the rest of society. Society is not quite so alike after all.
The Maori still partly live their old traditions. This includes handicrafts such as carving and weaving. The results can be viewed in New Zealand’s museums today and many Maori also sell their products to tourists. Here you will find some typical Maori culture:
The Maori traditionally greet each other by rubbing their noses together. This form of greeting is called “Hongi”.
Haka is the name of a famous war dance that the Maori held to put their enemies to flight. This dance is still performed today. It looks pretty creepy, because grimaces and especially sticking out your tongue are part of it. This traditional dance is also performed before the games of New Zealand’s national rugby team, the “All Blacks”. Will the opponents be more afraid then? Who knows!
These are common throughout Polynesia. In New Zealand these tattoos are called “Moko”. One tattooed the hip or the face. However, only men of a higher rank were allowed to wear such a face tattoo. But this sometimes covered the whole face. Women are only allowed to wear chin tattoos and are not allowed to tattoo themselves all over their face.