New Zealand cuisine: surprise yourself with this guide!

New Zealand cuisine is strongly influenced by typical features of European gastronomy. Also noticeable in its extensive traditional recipe book are many elaborations and gastronomic techniques that have been inherited from the indigenous Maori ethnicity. Among the products that make up the diet of this population, it should be noted that plays a fundamental role the meat of lamb, pork and venison, as well as fish and seafood, being the hoki the most consumed fish and the most exported internationally. On this occasion, we have prepared an article that will take you to know the most distinctive features of New Zealand cuisine.

Hangi maorí cooking method

The word ¨hangui¨ refers to a method of cooking food that has more than 2000 years of tradition within Maori culture. This consists of lighting a fire in a hole previously dug in the ground, with this heat volcanic stones to high temperature and place baskets on them with food that will be cooked slowly.

The foods used in this type of elaboration generally are meats, seafood and vegetables.

As the years have passed, this technique has evolved, although the bases of the technique are always maintained and the instruments used are passed from generation to generation within the families. Currently, to make a ¨hangui maorí¨ is widely used a steel machine that works with gas, whose cooking method is the same as the traditional. 100% typical New Zealand cuisine!

Lamb meat

Lamb is one of the most consumed meats by New Zealanders. It is usually baked or stewed, marinated in red wine with fine herbs and served with vegetables. As a matter of fact it is a widespread habit that this type of recipes are prepared on winter Sundays. This tradition was inherited from the English who settled in New Zealand. Nowadays, the lamb is an essential part of the representative gastronomy of the country.

Fish & Chips: British Herritage

Another of the recipes inherited from the Europeans and now part of the typical cuisine of New Zealand is ¨Fish and Chips¨. It is a very economical dish and can be found in any food stall. In its preparation is used the meat of fish such as snapper, tarakihi or hoki, cut into strips, battered and fried. It is served in a cone accompanied by french fries. It is a recipe very easy to prepare and has very good acceptance among New Zealanders.

Whitebait Fritter

Whitebait is the term used to describe young fish of the Galaxiidae family, which is very popular in New Zealand. One of the most used forms of preparation is the one that gives name to this recipe. In this case it is about making a kind of cake with eggs where some people only use the white, flour, salt and as much fish as you can. After mixing the ingredients, it is fried portions in oil or butter. When it is served, it is usually served with bread and butter.

Pavlova cake

Pavlova cake is one of the favorite desserts of New Zealanders. It is made from a type of meringue topped with whipped cream and decorated with fruits such as kiwis and strawberries. The meringue used in this elaboration is a little harder than the traditional meringue and corn flour or cornstarch is added to it. It is a sweet that is always present in the festivities and as it is known it has such name in honor of the Russian dancer Ana Pavlova.


Lamingtons are another typical New Zealand dessert. It is a very spongy cake traditionally prepared with butter, covered with chocolate or raspberry and covered with dried coconut. Sometimes whipped cream can be added to the preparation. This delicious dish does not require a complicated preparation and can be easily found in shops or bakeries.

New Zealand cuisine and… wines!

Wineyards with snow capped mountains at the background

Fairhall Valley – Picture from

Finally, it must be noted that one of the most significant features of New Zealand cuisine is its outstanding incursion into viticulture. There are several centres in the country dedicated to the production of excellent quality wines. Among the most outstanding are Marlborough with its sauvignon blanc, Gisborne with its chardonnay and Waiheke Island in Auckland where the most prestigious cabernets in the world are made.


New Zealand, besides being a country of extraordinary natural beauty, also has an excellent typical cuisine. As you can see, its traditional recipe book is made up of dishes that give a good account of the multicultural character of country’s society. New Zealand cuisine do not leave behind the traditions inherited from its first inhabitants. The use of fresh products and good culinary practices is what prevails in each preparation and what makes the difference between its cuisine and that of the rest of the world.