New Zealand food paradise

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New Zealand really is a food lovers paradise. It’s not that well known as a foodie destination, but that is only a matter of time. There is so much good to choose from. Different regions have their own specialties, as climate and soil changes quite a bit across the country.

Nz dairy is well known in the world and the largest % comes from the central north island. If you can get your hands on some raw milk, you have to try it, it tastes like heaven.

Venison, which is what the prized NZ deer meat is called, mainly comes from Canterbury on the South Island, whilst Kiwifruit is mostly grown in Hawkes Bay. And don’t forget the seafood. Lobster and whitebait from the south island, snapper and kingfish from the north.

And lucky for everybody living or visiting NZ there are many world-class restaurants using this local produce where you can taste it in the best way possible. The french cafe for example (http://www.thefrenchcafe.co.nz/) in Auckland, was voted as one of world’s top restaurants behind one in Spain, UK and France. Wellington has more cafes and restaurants per Square meter then New York and there are many celebrity chefs that have restaurants here in nz that are still very accessible, like Al Brown and Peter Gordon.

New Zealand really is an undiscovered foodie paradise!

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Kaipara Kumara’s are unforgetable

golden and red kumara's

golden and red kumara’s

Kaipara is known as the Kumara region in New Zealand, with Dargaville as its capital. We are lucky enough to go to the Kaipara a lot and so we’re never short of great local Kumara’s.The Kumara, or sweet potato got to New Zealnd with the first Polynesian explorers. It’s not certain how they got hold of it, but there is strong evidence they had sailed to South America, where the Kumara is native, before they got here. Thats a pretty amazing story.

I got introduced to Kumara in the early 90’s when i first backpacked around NZ. I got them served as part of a roast lamb dinner, and was blown away by that melting sweet taste. I did not understand that I had not had them before, that nobody had had the wits to introduce them in our potato eating country. I should have acted on that idea, as they are available everywhere now!

But I never forgot thattaste and was so happy seeing them again when I moved here.  I still love cooking with them and roasting is still a favorite with some good olive oil and fresh rosemary. Then eaten like that or cool them down and put in a salad with some feta and walnuts.Or make an amazing mash with some coconut milk.

Incredible imported almost natives

incredible Feijoas

incredible Feijoas

It wouldn’t surprise me that a lot of  New Zealanders see the feijoa as almost as Kiwi as the kiwifruit. Most gardens have a feijoa tree or hedge and in this time of year you see feijoas for sale everywhere.

The feijoa is not a native fruit, but then neither is the kiwifruit really. They have been introduced at some point by early settlers and thrive in New Zealand’s mild climate. I had not seen them or heard of them until I got to New Zealand. I remember coming into the office in April/May and seeing a bag of fairly bright green egg like fruits on the kitchen bench.They had to teach me that to eat them you cut them in half and then scoop out the flesh with a teaspoon. They have a very distinctive taste, soft sweet, sometimes slightly tangy. It doesn’t compare to anything else. I have grown very fond of them over the years, and it’s one of the things to look forward to in autumn. I eat them raw, or use them in salads, roast them with some chicken, or as i did this weekend, make a supercharged smoothie with banana, coconut milk, an orange and some linseed.

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