One of the pleasures of visiting New Zealand was trying new foods. Here are some of our favorites.
Favorite dinners: fish & chips and meat pies
When we didn't feel like cooking, we liked to order fish & chips at a takeaway store. We would place an order for two pieces of battered fish and share a scoop of chips (french fries). The takeaway stores offered a few varieties of fish, and since we had no idea what they were, we would just order the catch of the day.
We tried meat pies for quick and easy meals. We found them ready made in the deli section of the grocery store. Varieties included bacon and egg, steak and cheese, and mince and cheese.
Favorite beverage: L&P soda
We were introduced to L&P when we were offered a drink on the shuttle bus ride back from our Tongario Alpine Crossing hike. L&P is an abbreviation for “Lemon & Paeroa.” It tastes like Sprite, but has a more lemony and sweet flavor. We had wanted to buy bottled ice tea, which we found on the first day in Thames, but we never found it after that first day.
Favorite snacks: Mother Earth Baked Oaty Slices and Whittaker's Chocolate
Mother Earth Baked Oaty Slices are snack bars that come in a variety of flavors. We liked the following (descriptions are copied from the website):
- Afghan Baked Oaty Slice: A soft, baked bar with the goodness of oats combined with yummy dark chocolate, cornflakes and walnuts
- Chocolate Orange Baked Oaty Slice: A soft, baked bar with the goodness of oats combined with real dark chocolate pieces and delicious orange pieces
- Chocolate Chip Baked Oaty Slice: A soft, baked bar with the goodness of oats combined chunks of real dark chocolate
Whittaker's Chocolate comes in 250 gram slabs and a chunk or two was a great treat to snack on in the evening or in the car after coming back from a hike. Heinrich liked the Dark Chocolate and I liked the Rum and Raisin flavor.
Favorite desserts: steamy puds and ice cream
We found Aunt Betty's Steamy Puds in the grocery store on our first day in New Zealand and continued to buy them throughout the trip. They are ready to eat after just 30 seconds in the microwave. They are soft sponge cakes topped with a sweet sauce. We tried the following flavors (descriptions copied from the website):
- Chocolate: a light sponge made from premium cocoa and smothered in a thick chocolate flavored sauce
- Golden Syrup: a light sponge smothered in a rich golden syrup sauce
- Strawberry Vanilla: a light vanilla sponge topped with real strawberry sauce
We tried the Tip Top orange chocolate chip ice cream at a food booth in Hahei, after we had visited Cathedral Cove on the hike back to our car. We bought it at the grocery store on a few occasions afterwards.
Worst food: Marmite
We got the pleasure of trying Marmite at one of the B & B places where it was served for breakfast. The taste is very strong and reminded us of dehydrated soy sauce. It is a food paste made of yeast extract combined with herbs and spices. It is usually eaten with bread or crackers and is supposed to be spread thinly and then layered with butter. It must be an acquired taste because we both found it to be inedible.