New Zealand through the eyes of a Brit – Part 4: Eating in New Zealand

You’re speaking like a local and dressed for Kiwi success – now what’s for dinner? Our guest blogger Sam from the UK is back to tell you all about New Zealand food.

Food in NZ is same-same but different to what we have back in the UK.

Let me make this clear. Wattie’s and Heinz are the same company but they are NOT the same in any other way. Stay away from Wattie’s beans, spaghetti, tomato ketchup etc. – you won’t like it. They may look the same as Heinz but don’t be deceived, they’re not the same. However, Kiwis love it. Wattie’s Tomato Sauce is even considered part of Kiwiana.

Pies are also very popular. New Zealand has roughly 70,000 different fillings available for pies, all with the option of cheese. My personal favourites are steak, steak and cheese, butter chicken, butter chicken and cheese, lamb and mint, lamb mint and cheese, bacon and egg, bacon, egg and cheese. These are all on the absolute must list for things to do in New Zealand, so forget the bungie jump that you planned on doing and spend the money on pies instead. On my Stray trip, I took pride in visiting a different bakery in a different little town each day and sampling the local pies. My “pants” no longer fit the same.

New Zealand pies
Who ate all the pies?!

New Zealand also has sweets for every occasion, although like Aussies they like to call them “lollies.” I know what you’re thinking. What do you call a lolly if sweets are called “lollies” and the answer is probably a lolly – I’m not sure, but if in doubt point and nod your head. This has got me by on numerous occasions.

The king of NZ lollies is the Pineapple Lump which sound pretty rubbish, but honestly they are a lot better than you’d expect. So much so that I’m eating a pack as I write this. Unfortunately, the name is deceiving and they do not contain any fruit and as such are not considered 1 of your 5-a-day no matter how many you eat. They are however one of New Zealand’s best kept secrets, a delicious chocolate covered chewy lolly and a must try for all visitors to NZ. Now if only someone could make a Pineapple Lump pie hmm…

Pineapple Lumps AirNZ75
That classic combo of chocolate and, er, pineapple…

Thinking about this next one is really making me hungry. I tried this on the Stray tour around the North Island at Lake Aniwhenua, Kohutapu Lodge, and I was not disappointed!

A traditional Hangi feast
A Hangi feast is like a Maori roast dinner

The Hāngi is a traditional Maori way of cooking food in the ground and the result is an amazing roast-style dinner with fried bread replacing your Yorkshire pudding and kumara (New Zealand sweet potato) for the potatoes. This is a meal that can’t be missed while you’re here!  There are lots of other “Kiwi classics” that you have to try. The pavlova is a desert that NZ has fought long and hard for (as the Aussies try to claim it) and it’s worth a try for that reason alone. Hokey Pokey ice cream has honeycomb in it, need I say more? Domino’s and Pizza Hut offer $5 pizzas, that’s £2.50 for a whole pizza. Even the poorest of travellers can afford that.

Lastly, I feel I need to mention L&P which is New Zealand’s favourite drink, just edging out ginger beer. It’s like lemonade but different. Now I’m an R Whites drinker and that’s not going to change. But if you’ve not pledged allegiance to a lemonade yet then give L&P a go – 4,000,000 Kiwis and 1,000,000 Chinese can’t be wrong.

Group at L&P bottle
Visiting New Zealand’s favourite drink: L&P

So pack up your picnic and head to the beach, although they may not appear as we Brits know them…find out more in my next post!

Guest blogger Sam Berwick recently arrived in New Zealand from London. As a Brit in the ‘land of the long white cloud’ for the first time, he now describes Kiwi culture as “funny, strange and down right crazy” and that’s after only a few months! In this blog series, Sam’s shares his unedited thoughts, observations and advice as a Kiwi culture survival guide for all visitors.

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Travel Mate (guest blogger)

Have you travelled on a Stray tour in New Zealand, Australia or Asia? How about creating a blog post about your experience? Or are you a frequent traveller and want to add your travel knowledge to our travel blog? Get in touch. We welcome relevant guest posts.

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New Zealand is a tiny country that packs a scenic punch! Explore New Zealand the 'Stray' way - getting further off the beaten track, seeking out one-of-a-kind experiences and meeting a bunch of epic fellow adventurers.
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  • As a New Zealander reading this post, I must say I find it hilarious that:
    A) You think Watties is awful
    B) You didn’t include Marmite in this list and
    C) You consider our Pizza as really cheap? Idk I guess I’m just very used to it.

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