New Zealand's cuisine is Pacific Rim, influenced by European colonists, Asian and Polynesian traders and immigrants, and its indigenous people, the Maori. Typical New Zealand foods include lamb, pork, venison, seafood, sweet potato, kiwi fruit, tamarillo, feijoa, and pavlova, the national dessert.
For those used to American English, the language of New Zealanders—be they of Maori or British descent—can be perplexing.
If you like ketchup with your fries, ask for "tomato sauce" (ketchup also exists, but it's completely different from American style). Beetroot (red beets) is slapped in almost everything, including all hamburgers, so if you don't like it be sure to specify "no beetroot." French fries are called "hot chips," potato chips are just called "chips." Tea can mean a cup of hot tea or a complete dinner—confirm the exact meaning before you accept an invitation! Napkins are called "serviettes."
Here's a few other examples:
Aussie—Australia, or an Australian
biscuits—cookies (scones are similar to American biscuits)
cheesed off—mad at someone or something
choppers—teeth (e.g., "Sink your choppers into this, mate!")
bathroom—literally the room with bath and basin (the toilet is usually separate—see cloakroom)
cordial—a bottle of concentrated fruit-flavored juice, which is reconstituted into a drink by adding water
crook—ill, not feeling well
cuppa—usually refers to a cup of hot tea
dairy—small shop selling dairy products, snack foods, a small selection of canned foods, newspapers, often open when everything else is closed in the area but more expensive
deli—delicatessen, a more expensive version of a dairy
entree—a small appetizer before the main course of the meal
gallon—the New Zealand imperial gallon is larger than the American
greengrocer—fruit and vegetable shop
hotel—a public bar; accomodation is a secondary income source
kiwis—what New Zealanders call themselves; after the kiwi, a flightless bird and the national symbol
milk bar—a shop selling dairy products, hot snacks, canned food, sweets and candy bars; open longer hours than most shops and on weekends.
peckish—a bit hungry
takeaway—food to go, to take home
haka—war dance and chants performed by the men
hangi—Maori feast where the food is cooked/steamed in an earth oven
Hawaiiki—legendary homeland of the Maori
pakeha—foreigner, white person, European
puna—spring of water
Find additional recipes and information on the Australia page
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This page modified January 2007
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