Eat Like A Local: 5 New Zealand Food To Try

New Zealand

1. Afghans


Although it sounds Middle Eastern, the afghans we are talking about here are the original New Zealand crunchy chocolate cookies. These are made of flour, cornflakes, butter and sugar, and these ingredients are mixed with cocoa and coated with chocolate icing. The finishing touch is a topping of chopped walnuts. Traditional afghans do not have any leavening or rising agent, making its texture dense and rich. Surprisingly, these cookies don’t taste too sweet despite their chocolate content. Easily available in New Zealand bakeries, afghans are best paired with a hot cup of coffee or tea.

2. Green-lipped mussels

eat like a local: 21 new zealand food to try | green-lipped mussels

Can’t get enough of New Zealand seafood? Have some green-lipped mussels, a kind of shellfish with coral-colored meat full of nutrients like calcium and vitamin B-12. These days, it is easily found in other parts of the world, but there’s no better place to taste it than its native country—freshly-caught and cooked right away. Low in fat and calories, green-lipped mussels are popular in restaurants where it is served as a chowder. Although the medicinal benefits of green-lipped mussels are not yet proven, some New Zealanders believe that it has beneficial effects for those suffering from asthma and arthritis.

3. Sausage sizzle

Sausage sizzle

A sausage sizzle in New Zealand may refer to two things: a snack, and a local fundraising event. The snack is basically made of sausage on a white bread, drizzled with tomato sauce or mustard and topped with fried onions. Meanwhile, the fundraising event is where these snacks are usually sold, often held in a covered area or a collapsible gazebo. Locals use sausage sizzles as a means to raise money for different causes, like in schools and sports clubs, and even at some political events. If ever you find yourself craving sausages in New Zealand, head over to the Bunnings Warehouse where they sell sausage sizzles every weekend.

4. Mince pie

Lamb and rosemary meat pie

One of the most popular takeaway foods in New Zealand is the mince pie, a pastry filled with meat and gravy. Depending on the variety, it can also contain onion, cheese and mushrooms. In The Great New Zealand Pie Guide, it was said that approximately 15 mince pies are consumed by every person in the country per year. Kiwis celebrate their love for mince pie during an annual pie competition held every year since 1997. Meanwhile, The Bakels New Zealand Supreme Pie Awards give recognition to the best manufacturers of mince pie in the country.

5. Hokey Pokey

Hokey Pokey

Another Kiwi kid classic is the Hokey Pokey, a vanilla ice cream mixed with caramelized sugar. You can make your own version of this popular New Zealand dessert using ingredients such as caster sugar, golden syrup, baking soda, egg, and cream. No need for an ice cream machine, your electric beaters and your freezer at home will most likely do the trick. Meanwhile, if you want a quick Hokey Pokey fix, just head to the nearest supermarket or ice cream parlor. Approximately five million liters of Hokey Pokey are consumed in the country each year, proof of its popularity among New Zealanders.


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