7 Most Popular Foods You Have To Try In New Zealand [Updated 2024]

Posted by Emily Amor on

New Zealand is world-renowned for its awe-inspiring landscapes, making it a prime destination for outdoor enthusiasts. In recent years, however, it has also gained recognition for its abundance of amazing food. Home to some of the most pristine environments on both land and water, New Zealand's local cuisine, rich with local ingredients, is full of flavor and offers a plethora of tastes and experiences for even the most cultured and well-traveled foodies.

Here are seven of most famous New Zealand food experiences that are a must-try for everyone who comes to New Zealand.

1. Māori Hanggai Meal

Māori is the native culture of New Zealand. While its most famous cultural custom is the Māori war dance, it's the Māori Hanggai that really steals the limelight when it comes to food. The hanggai is best way to truly experience the Māori culture with your stomach.

Māori Hanggi is made of chicken, pork, lamb, pumpkin, sweet potato and potato. The main feature of the meal is the preparation process, where the Maori dig a pit in the ground, wrap the ingredients in fireproof material and place them in the pit, which is heated by fire with rocks and then covered with earth.

The best place to taste Māori Hanggi meal is in Rotorua on the North Island of New Zealand.

2. Kaikoura Lobster

New Zealand is an island nation that is rich in lobster, especially in Kaikoura, the South Island of New Zealand. The lobsters produced here are big and fat. In order to protect the lobster resources, the New Zealand government has specifically stipulated that the annual commercial catch cannot exceed 3000 tons, and male lobsters with tail width less than 54mm and female lobsters with tail width less than 60mm must be released.

In the streets of Kaikoura, there are many seafood food carts serving Kaikoura lobster made delicacies such as sashimi, white-bread, grilled, etc. The taste is superb.

3. Lowrey's Butter Cookies

Butter Cookies

New Zealand's dairy products are some of the best in the world. The butter cookies made by Lowrey Foods which use the best New Zealand organic butter, are one of the best New Zealand delicacies to taste and very appealing to those who enjoy the finer things in life.

The Lowrey family's butter cookie recipe has been passed down through generations, and are made with just four ingredients in six flavors: original, coffee, matcha, black sesame, raspberry, and chocolate.

In addition to butter cookies, Lowrey's crunchy cheese, shortbreads, and nougat are also delicious foods that are well worth tasting.

4. Fish and Chips

Fish and chips are a staple in New Zealand, and can be bought at almost anywhere you go. It's an easy, afforable and the most authentic way to refuel as you eat your way around New Zealand.

The fish and chips are made from New Zealand's abundant sea life. The tender fish is coated with starch and fried just right. For the perfect fish and chips, the skin should be crispy and the flesh is tender.

5. Roasted Sheep

Other than the kiwi bird, New Zealand's other famous animal is the sheep. For a small country, it sure packs a lot of sheep into its landscape! Thanks to the high quality grazing pastures, the quality of sheep meat is world class. With New Zealand chef's unique roasting method and secret seasoning, New Zealand's roast sheep is extremely tasty and loved by consumers, and is the number one meat export in New Zealand. Walter's Peak in Queenstown is the most famous place to eat this roasted lamb delicacy.

6. Mount Cook Salmon

Although New Zealand is surrounded by sea, Mount Cook Salmon is the most famous farmed salmon. The salmon are farmed in the cold water lake of Mount Cook, the highest mountain in New Zealand. It is the highest salmon farm in the world, and the king salmon, which is rare in its natural environment, is farmed here. The food made with Mt Cook salmon has been awarded the Top Taste Award by Gourmet Magazine.

7. New Zealand Pie

The 'meat pies' in New Zealand are done a little different to other places in the world. New Zealanders love to stuff anything and everything into the cripsy and buttery pie crust. Some popular flavours include butter chicken curry, potato stuffed, bacon and egg, steak and cheese, mint andlamb, venison, creamy abalone and bacon and salmon pie. If you're looking for an award-winning pie experience, you can't go past the Fairlie Bakehouse in Fairlie.

Image Credit: Fairlie Bakehouse

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