When travelling to a different country, trying out their local cuisine is a huge part of the experience. In fact for me, the culinary landscape of a place defines my experience, and thankfully New Zealand was amazing when it came to it's culinary delights.
Being an island country, New Zealand's cuisine is largely based on local ingredients sourced from land and sea. During my visit to New Zealand I tried out a number of different dishes popular across the country and was definitely surprised by the vast array of flavours they had to offer.
While there were many dishes that I fell in love with at the first bite, here are the top 6 dishes I wish I could have brought back with me to India
1. Cray Fish
Being an island country with around 14,000 km of coastline, it is no surprise that sea food is a favourite amongst the Kiwis. Of the vast variety of sea food available to the residents, Cray Fish is their favourite. Cray Fish, more commonly known as Cray resembles small lobsters. It has a delicate, slightly sweet flavour while having a meaty and succulent texture. While the dish was a little heavy on the pockets ( 150$ i.e. Rs 7500) but I found it worth every penny as the perfectly cooked meat just melted in my mouth with a burst of flavours.
2. Fish And Chips
Fish and Chips is a part of every New Zealander's staple diet. While the dish did not originate in New Zealan, it has become an important part of the Kiwi's local food culture. Some of the most common fishes used for the preparation are snappers, hoki and tarakihi. The deep fried snack is available all across New Zealand and is an easy go-to for sudden pangs.
You cannot visit New Zealand without visiting FergBurger atleast once. This Hamburger restaurant is located in Queenstown served the best gourmet burgers and now I cannot stop thinking about them. Despite having a single outlet in Queenstown, FergBurger is known all across the globe for their fresh, locally sourced ingredients, and succulent meat patties. You can try out different kinds of burgers like lamb, cod, falafel, a combination of swine and chicken, and venison.
4. Hokey Pokey Ice Cream
No meal is complete without dessert. And when in New Zealand, dessert only means Hokey Pokey Ice Cream. This is a flavour of ice cream available only in New Zealand and trust me when I say it was all sorts of magical. With plain vanilla ice cream with small, solid lumps of honeycomb toffee, the Hokey Pokey flavour brought together my two childhood loves sending me spiraling down the memory lane.
While we are on the topic of dessert, when in New Zealand don't miss out on Pavalova which is a home made dessert. You might need to befriend a New Zealander as the dish is not easily available in restaurants. This cute little dessert is made using egg whites and castor sugar, and served along with kiwis, strawberries, and whipped cream. Each bite of the Pavalova was creamy, fruity, and light. The dessert is really popular during Christmas but is available all year round.
6. Lemon and Paeroa Drink
Named after the North Island town where it was originated, the L&P Drink is easily available anywhere in New Zealand. It has a lemony flavour and is sweet making it the perfect drink to carry with you in case you feel parched on your shopping trips. It also goes along well with almost all the food I had tried. It is as common as any other soft drink in New Zealand and when I had my first sip, I knew why!
These are the six dishes that left me in a food induced coma, do let us know what is your favourite dish from New Zealand's vast menu.
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