Google.com featured image
“Dinner in the Sky – Australia and Auckland New Zealand are hosted dining tables, suspended at a height of 50 metres by a team of professionals”.
How comfortable would you be, having an exquisite, delicious meal midair New Zealand?
New Zealand’s cuisine is largely driven by local ingredients and seasonal variations. An island nation with a primarily agricultural economy, New Zealand yields produce from land and sea. Similar to the cuisine of Australia, the cuisine of New Zealand is a diverse British-based cuisine, with Mediterranean and Pacific Rim influences as the country becomes more cosmopolitan.
Historical influences came from Māori culture. New American cuisine, Southeast Asian, East Asian, and South Asian culinary traditions have become popular since the 1970s.
In New Zealand households, dinner is the main meal of the day, when families gather and share their evening together. Restaurants and takeaways provide an increasing proportion of the diet.
A hāngi dinner as served to tourists.
When the indigenous Māori arrived in New Zealand from tropical Polynesia they had a number of food plants, including kūmara (sweet potato), taro and tī. The plants grew well only in the north of the North Island. Native New Zealand plants such as fernroot became a more important part of the diet, along with insects such as the huhu grub. Problems with horticulture were made up for by an abundance of bird and marine life. The large flightless moa were soon hunted to extinction.
Rāhui (resource restrictions) included forbidding the hunting of certain species in particular places or at certain times of year, so that the numbers could regenerate.
Preparation of a modern hāngi for tourists at Mitai Maori Village, Rotorua.
Like other Polynesian people, Māori cooked food in earth ovens, known in New Zealand as hāngi, although the word umu is also used as in other Pacific languages. Stones are heated by fire and food packed in leaves are placed on top. The packs are further covered with foliage and cloth, or, wet sacks, then earth. Other cooking methods included roasting and, in geothermal areas, boiling or steaming using natural hot springs and pools. Occasionally food would be boiled in non-geothermal areas by putting hot stones into a bowl with water and the food; and some food was also cooked over the open fire. Some foods were preserved using smoke, air-drying, or layers of fat—particularly muttonbirds. Māori were one of the few people to have no form of alcoholic beverage.