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.
New Zealand's mix of people will tell you much about what they like in food: about 3 million are of British descent, while about 280,000 or native Maori and 250,000 are Pacific Islanders. Consequently, the majority of the dishes are of British derivation but the other communities contribute their own flare and influences. Once near cultural extinction, the Maori have mostly adapted to urban life and the government has established school programs that teach the Maori traditions, language, arts and culture, fostering nationalism and pride in Maoritanga, the Maori way of life. It is course, the land of the kiwi, their flightless national bird, and the kiwifruit, the oval, fuzzy, tart green fruit so popular today.
Research for the New Zealand section provided by Moon Publications. Content from Jane King's New Zealand Handbook used with permission.
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This page modified January 2007
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