Food Culture and Tradition

Food, People and Culture Resources

Foods Commonly Used in New Zealand


Because many of the plants brought by the first Polynesians who arrived in New Zealand more than a thousand years ago (such as coconut) would not grow, sub-tropical New Zealand differs from the rest of the South Pacific. It was the Maoris who, with diligence and patience, coaxed varieties of corn, kumara, taro, and species of weeds and bracken to become part of their daily staples together with the plentiful of fish, seafood, and varieties of birds and other flesh.

The basic food preferences and meal patterns of New Zealand are British. A great variety of home-baked scones, biscuits, quick breads, and cakes are visible at most meals and whenever tea is served – which means often.

Lamb is the favored meat and careful distinctions are made in regard to the age of the lamb, mutton being enjoyed only by the staunchest Brit. Abundance of local fish and seafood and a plentiful supply of a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables all make the New Zealand diet a good one.

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