Top 10 Foods to Try in New Zealand

New Zealand has Fresh Seafood, Fruit and Desserts You Must Try


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raveling is always on our minds, what new places to see, things to do and foods to try. New Zealand is a destination worth putting on your list to go and visit. With the entire island focused on agriculture, the cuisine is fresh from both land and sea. The island in the southwestern region of the Pacific Ocean has some of the freshest seafood right off the coast, lamb chops that will make your mouth water, fresh fruits and sweet desserts. When planning your trip to New Zealand, make sure to try these top ten foods that are sure to be the freshest food to get on your journey.

These different meals and items are all over New Zealand and can be difficult to find when looking to try all of them. Contiki is a trip planning website to help plan where you should start and go on from there. The site has been operating since 1962 and continues to make your trips around the world fun, easy and full of deals to give you the most on your journey for the least amount of money. They offer free breakfast and dinner options, so you are sure to try the best of New Zealand’s meals.

1. Green-lipped Mussel

The iridescent green shell of this mussel is not the only enticing part of the native New Zealand food. The sweet and tender meat has a great taste, but the meat to shell ratio is more than any mussel. This fresh seafood isn’t just great tasting; it also has amazing health benefits with the colored seafood being high in nutrients like calcium, vitamin B-12 and Omega-3 fatty acid. The most common way to eat this delicious meal is a chowder with garlic, lemon, bay leaves and fish stock.

2. Lamb

Lamb is one of New Zealand’s most common meat dishes, with there being more lamb than the human population. This abundant meat is grass fed its entire life so the meat may not be as full, but it is very tender and full of flavor. New Zealand has a significant amount of lamb in the country, so this meat is a necessity to try while there. The meat is also an excellent source of protein compared to other meats.

3. Whitebait fritter

Whitebait fritter is a delicacy to indulge in while in New Zealand. The tiny fresh-water translucent juvenile or common galaxias fish that contain egg and flour then fried to create a crispy texture and great flavor. The best time to find this meal in restaurants is during their spring months of August to September when it is fresh out of the water. The best way to consume this fish is bones, head, fins and all to get the most flavor.

4. Hāngi

Hāngi is a Maori cooking technique that has been a tradition for over 2,000 years,  is a fun way to try the fresh fish, meat and roots of New Zealand. The process involves placing all of the food in wire basket wrapped in leaves down into a pit in the ground with heated stones. Cooking the food this way gives it a smoky taste and the meat falls off the bone because of the hours it cooks in the underground oven. This an excellent way to try native foods of Maori, it is an experience that can last all day.

5. Feijoa

Feijoa is a native New Zealand fruit that is also known as pineapple guava or guavasteen. This sweet fruit is best during autumn when the fruit is ripe and about to fall off the tree. Feijoas are high in antioxidants and vitamin C which is a great alternative ingredient for fruit juices or smoothies. Consume this sweet fruit as a dessert by boiling it in a pot of sugar and then pouring it over ice cream.

6. Pavlova

A sweet meringue dessert with fresh fruit is a light, refreshing treat that are a favorite summer celebration must have. Pavlova is uniquely different because of its additional corn flour that gives it a crispy outer shell and a soft center that melts in your mouth. The desserts back-story is that it was created in honor of the Russian ballerina. She had toured New Zealand in the 1920’s and has been a celebratory household dish ever since.

7. Marmite

A New Zealand classic marmite is a spread that is very popular for the natives. Adding the herb and spiced spread to bread or crackers, or with butter on bread to add more flavor. Marmite is ubiquitous for many locals, but it is something new and great to try while visiting.

8. Hokey Pokey Ice Cream

An ice cream with caramelized sugar or honeycomb toffee is sure to crave your sweet tooth while visiting New Zealand. The sweet ice cream doesn’t have any other fancy flavors, but the minimalist treat is still an all-time favorite for the natives of New Zealand. It is so common that stores sell five million liters of this ice cream every year. This ice cream can’t be found in many other places, so it best to get where there is an abundance of it while traveling in New Zealand.

sweet potatoes

9. Kumara

Kumara is New Zealand’s sweet potato, it is most commonly for Hāngi meals, but it is very popular as other snacks. The root is prepared as a wedges, croquettes and chips which are some typical snacks for the natives to enjoy. It is very high in fiber and antioxidants, while still being very low in calories. This is a great vegetable to try while traveling throughout New Zealand.

10. Fergburger

The burger joint in Queenstown New Zealand is the place to go to while there. It is open 21 hours a day, there is no doubt you will get to try one of these burgers. They cook all of the burgers with all-natural ingredients and fresh meat all from lamb to deer. The best burgers to try while visiting Fergburger in New Zealand are the Little Lamby and Sweet Bambi.

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