If there is one thing that you need to try in New Zealand it’s our Seafood. The fish that swim around our islands are some of the tastiest in the world. These recommendations are based on the Best Fish Guide, a sustainably caught seafood guide created by Forest and Bird. Sadly, some of the best are in the ‘worst choice’ section so we’ve left them out.
1. Blue Cod – there best chums are chips. Don’t order fish and chips without blue cod, the chips will be upset and you may regret the decision for the rest of your life.
2. Red Gurnard – don’t look for an image of this fish before you eat it, they’re not pretty. It’s the naked mole rat of the sea but it sure tastes nice!
3. Green Lipped Mussels – Endemic to NZ this super food can be found everywhere
4. Ice Cream – There’s not many people in the world that don’t like Ice cream. For many of us it takes us back to our childhood, and no summer is complete without one. For others, no season is complete without a few. New Zealand is home to some of the finest looking cows in the world, consequently our ice-cream tastes pretty good too. Try the Hokey Pokey – a kiwi favourite.
Inside the Rob Roy Dairy
We recommend Rob Roy Dairy Designer Desserts. This place is pretty easy to find because the queue generally spills out onto the street.
5. Hangi – This traditional NZ Maori style of cooking is really difficult to beat. Putting a hangi down involves digging a large pit, heating stones in a fire in the pit until there white hot, placing wire baskets with all the food wrapped inside on top of the stones and then covering everything with earth so the food can cook in the underground oven. From start to finish this can take several hours but the end result is fantastic. Chicken, pork, beef and root vegetables are common ingredients.
The Back to Nature Team puts down a hangi every Christmas at the Sinclair Wetlands to celebrate the festive period. Join us on the 16th December 2016.
6. Whittaker’s Chocolate – Now don’t get me wrong, Whittaker’s is by no means the best chocolate in the world, but its definitely not the worst. It’s not a Scharffen Berger or Teuscher type of chocolate. There are no gold badges or awards on the wrapper. But, for the price, Whittaker’s Chocolate is a true champion. If it was a whisky it would come from the Laphroaig distillery on the Isle of Islay, Scotland. Actually, we highly recommend this combination.
Whittaker’s is a well-known brand here and can be purchased in most convenience stores, dairies and supermarkets
7. A Flat White – A what? A flat white please….
This used to be a pretty common response outside of Australia and NZ until Starbucks decided to add the ‘Flat White’ to their coffee menu in 2015. We’re told it originated in Sydney, Australia, however there is evidence that suggests it’s actually a kiwi invention. Like the pavlova (tasty desert), Russel Crowe (Gladiator) and Anzac biscuits the debate about who invented the Flat White is likely to continue forever. The Flat White (one-third espresso, two-thirds steamed milk and bit of froth) is kind of like a failed cappuccino with real espresso flavour.
Being a large student town, there is a huge demand for coffee houses in Dunedin. Yes, the coffee culture here is alive and well, if you get a chance, check our Mazagram on Moray Place. Sometimes you have to wait a while to get you fix, but it’s worth it!
Prionoplus reticularis Larva of the Huhu Beetle, this is their actual size!
8. Huhu Beetle – This New Zealand native can be easily found inside a rotting pine tree. During the larval stage, they live inside the tree for a couple of years growing up to 70mm before they emerge as adult flying beetles for 25 days. They look like a miniature leather accordion with eyes.
Once you’ve plucked up the courage to eat a raw insect, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how good they taste. They taste like a peanut butter. If you have time, collect a few and fry them up when you get home……deee-lish!
It’s not unusual for our guides to have one on tour, if you’re keen, just ask, we don’t mind sharing!