23 May 2019
Posted in Culture, Food & Beverage, Tidbits & trivia

Chow down like a Kiwi.

Ask a dozen folks in New Zealand what their national dish is, and you’ll likely get 12 different answers. Perhaps that’s because this little country has an overflowing larder of local ingredient— lamb, cervena (venison), crayfish (lobster), fish, and shellfish, just for a start.  A great variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.  And, of course, brilliant domestic wine produced by some of the country’s 376 estates.

Perhaps the truest taste of New Zealand is found in the smoky-flavored, traditional Maori hangi (pronounced hung-ee), an essential Kiwi culinary experience.

If you’re off to New Zealand, we suggest you give this Maori treat a try. Allow us to arrange to participate in the best hangi around.

For a hangi, a group of people get together and create an underground oven (essentially a deep hole in the ground). Next, they line the pit with red-hot stones and cover those with vegetation. Then the ingredients are placed—chicken, pork, lamb, potatoes, kumara (sweet potato), and other vegetables—and the whole thing is sprinkled with water and sealed with more vegetation. The hole is then filled with earth and left to steam for hours.

A common cooking method for thousands of years in New Zealand, today the hangi is created for more special occasions. Come with an appetite, and prepare to be overfed. The occasion is relaxed, friendly, and fun, with people often eating the feast gathered outdoors.

For information about a visit to New Zealand, contact Jane Franklin at jfranklin@rcrusoe.com or call 888-490-8019.

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