A New Zealand speciality: Māori Hāngī

A Māori hāngī can be decidedly hard work! First, you need to “lay a hāngī” meaning dig a pit to cook food in. Into this pit will go stones that will be heated to slow cook or smoke the food. River stones (kohatu) are supposedly the best, giving the food a unique flavour. The stones are heated before use by a large fire, then baskets with the food are placed on the hot stones. All of this is covered, traditionally with earth, leaves and bark. The food or ‘Kai’ slowly braises for a couple of hours or even a day depending on the type and amount of food. Currently, the fashion is to use cloths to cover the food and not the leaves or bark, although some continue to use traditional methods. Food for a Māori hāngī can include fish, meat and vegetables, especially tasty is the Kumara (sweet potatoes) cooked this way. Food once wrapped in leaves to smoke in the pit are now in metal wire baskets or tin foil. Despite the labour, intensive work required a hāngī remains a delicious way to cook a family meal. If that is all a little too much trouble do not despair, you can order hāngī meat online from legitimate businesses; yes legitimate, after the debacle with fines for selling hāngī on Facebook in Auckland a few years back all businesses advertising on social media have to have licenses. Or if you still want to partake of your own hāngī, without the digging up your lawn, then look to buy one of the specialist steel ovens that are for sale, especially recommended are the ones you can purchase from Te Kohatu Hangi Cookers. Kia mākona.

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Best recipe for seafood marinara soup

seafood-marinara-soup-can-be-made-with-or-without-tomato

Seafood marinara soup, or chowder as it is also known, is usually made in different ways throughout the globe, according to local ingredients and how easily available seafood is to that location. Peter Gordon, one of New Zealand’s most executive chefs, says a good seafood marinara soup recipe is full of preferences. He recommends frying in butter, instead of oil and adding bacon lardons, as well as using creme fraise with a little coconut milk for an exotic but creamy spin on the dish. Techniques every home cook should know about, when it comes to cooking that perfect seafood chowder, he or she should use good quality and well-washed shellfish and not use vegetables that would discolour a cream soup, such as carrots. It can be made with chopped tomatoes or cream. Adding a nice blend of herbs such as parsley and dill at the end will never fail to give your soup that extra sensual flavour that it deserves. Using extra cream to thicken is also advisable, as rice flour or any thickening flour could go lumpy and ruin a good attempt at making that perfect, delicious marinara.

Hokey Pokey Ice Cream – The Flavour of New Zealand

Hokey pokey ice cream

As a vegetarian, I normally eat a healthy diet filled with fruits and vegetables. However, sometimes everyone needs a little indulgence. Hokey pokey ice cream is a sweet treat that is virtually unknown outside of NZ but is the second most popular flavor for Kiwis. In fact, Hokey Pokey ice cream can be considered genuine Kiwiana. This unique ice cream flavor consists of vanilla ice cream filled with bits of crispy, chewy honeycomb toffee. The taste is similar to caramel, but with a unique, crunchy texture. The origin of the Hokey Pokey flavor is unknown, but the phrase “Hokey Pokey” is actually an old term for ice cream, dating back to the early days of ice cream street vendors. At the New Zealand Ice Cream Awards, Hocky Pokey ice cream wins award often. The past two years, popular brand Tip Top’s version has taken home the top prize. There are also many recipes available to make your own version of this delicious specialty.

New Zealand Cheeses? Go for Whitestone Cheese

New Zealand Cheeses

I love cheese. There are a lot of amazing New Zealand cheeses you can enjoy. If you are looking for some seriously good New Zealand cheeses people, then that’s Whitestone Cheese Company’s slogan. Started in Oamaru, it’s been around since the year 1987 and is run by the fourth generation of the Otago family. The amazing flavours that are brought out in the cheese are a testament to the purity of the water and the grass of the land. The factory creates semi-soft cheese, feta cheese, soft cheeses, and vintage cheese among other delicious artisan cheeses that make it worth a trip to the farm. The factory workers use traditional methods to make cheese using only all natural ingredients (and this is one of the reasons why they are my favourite). There are over twenty cheeses from Whitestone that have won awards and the family takes the quality of the cheese they make very seriously. This is one of many amazing cheese factories located in New Zealand that you can enjoy.

Cameron Blockhouse – The old and Haunted in New Zealand

The Haunted house in New Zealand

One of the most haunted places in New Zealand is the Cameron Blockhouse in Wanganui. It is made of timber and was made during the New Zealand wars. It was originally built by a farmer named John Cameron for his family to take refuge.

War never reached the house and it remained there undisturbed. The house making is witness to many such structures which were quickly built during the war. It was made bullet proof by packing clay between two wooden walls. There were occasional slits for counter fire option. It is one of the surviving structures from the era of New Zealand wars and known as the most haunted house in the area.

In spite of being untouched by war, John Cameron never could meet his family again after the war. When he came after the war he experienced some supernatural being in the house. His wife and kids were nowhere to be seen. There is a popular story that this house is visited by aliens and ghosts. This is double trouble isn’t it? Locals say that they see a candle being lit every night and when one of the brave ones investigated there was no one. It is not advisable to stay at this eerie location after light fades and night falls.

The look of the house is such that it changes color with times. It looks brick-red during the day but as evening arrives it takes a distinctive gray color. One episode of Supernatural was supposed to be filmed here, but something happened and they canceled it. My experience at this site was scary. Let me know your experience !

So Many Good Reasons to love the Kumara

 

I’ve said I’m a vegetarian so the kumara, a root vegetable known as a sweet potato, and and a staple with New Zealand’s indigenous Maori people, has become a firm favourite with me. The sem-tropical regions in the North Island are perfect for growing the kumara, and what I love, is that it is a cheap way to eat, while still knowing it comes with loads of health benefits. There are 3 types of kumara – the orange one which is the sweetest, the gold one and also the red kumara which is the one New Zealanders are most familiar with. Kumara wedges in a pot-luck dish are always going to be a firm favourite if you’re entertaining, but do some research on the Internet, and you’ll see how many awesome recipes there are where you can add these marvellous potatoes.

As a matter of fact, I ate them at a friend’s house and she had air fried them. I just fell in love with the taste, and needless to say, wanted to immediately buy an air fryer, but man! it was expensive. But I just could not stop myself, and applied for the money via Pay day loans, and now I am a proud owner of a airfryer. I am enjoying air fried dishes everyday now.

Kumara - densely packed with nutrients

Not only do I absolutely love the taste of sweet potatoes, have you seen how healthy they are? They are a superb source of vitamin A, vitamin C, copper, manganese, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6, all the things that are so important for wellbeing. It doesn’t surprise me that the kumara has become a sought after ingredient in contemporary Kiwi cuisine. For all its goodness, you’ll find that many health conscious Kiwi’s have replaced their regular roast potatoes with the kumara.

Manuka – Nectar from New Zealand

New Zealand is an extraordinary country best known for its extraordinary landscape, flora and fauna. Thanks to its special unique ecosystem in the world, exclusive plants grow in this area, and Manuka Leptospermum scoparium is one of those unique species growing in this environment.

Since centuries Manuka tree has been used by our ancestors for its healing properties and some of the remedies and tonics originally used are being used as natural remedies till date, even after generations.

The honey produced from Manuka trees is one of its greatest treasures and here are some more details about this special honey from New Zealand.

manuka honey benefits

Manuka and Manuka honey?

Manuka honey is produced by honey bees foraging on Manuka flowers. The Manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) is a shrub of New Zealand and Southeast Australia. It has white flowers, prickly leaves and tough stems.  Its wood is very resistant and is used for making tools. Once crushed, it has a very pleasant aroma; so you can use it as a spice to flavor your curry.

Products derived from this shrub have also been commonly used by Maori natives as natural medicine because of its antibiotic properties, especially in healing of skin wounds and as a powerful remedy for treatment of respiratory diseases.

New Zealand seems to know the properties of this shrub because it is very common to see people eat the leaves and bark of this shrub.

Properties of manuka honey

Numerous studies lately seem to confirm the usefulness of manuka honey as a natural antibiotic and powerful fungicide. In fact all types of honey have antibiotic properties, but manuka honey seems to outweigh all others.

Many laboratory studies have proven that manuka honey is capable of neutralizing many bacteria or fungi that in many cases do not respond to antibiotic treatment or conventional fungicides, such as Staphylococcus aureus and Helicobacter pylori.

All in all, this super special honey from New Zealand deserves a special place in your kitchen and medicine box. I have been using it for over 5 years and I just cant glorify it enough.