Some of the items on this list may seem a bit strange to those first-timers, but sometimes you just have to try it to see how good they really are. So, here’s a list of foods to help you embrace Kiwiana.
1. Whitebait Fritters
Whitebait are highly prized little fishes collected en masse from New Zealand rivers and eaten whole in buttery fritters. Many tourists consider whitebait fritters to be similar to an omelette. When cooked right, they are hard to beat!
Image credit: Boulcott Bistro & Winebar
2. Fish & Chips
No matter where you're holidaying in New Zealand, there’s a bloody good chance 'the local' takeaway shop won't be too far away. Fish and chips is a must have dish when in New Zealand.
Enjoying fish and chips on the beach with Watties tomato sauce and a bottle of L&P is peak Kiwiana!
Check out our top rated chipies in New Zealand here.
Image credit: NZ Herald
3. "Kiwi Burger"
Strangely enough, there is no kiwi in a kiwi burger. So what is in a kiwi burger? in no particular order: a juicy beef patty, a fried egg, beetroot, tomato, lettuce, cheese, onions, mustard, and tomato sauce in a toasted bun.
If you’re from New Zealand, that sounds amazing, if you’re not, you may be questioning the sanity of the entire country.
Image credit: NZ Story
4. Bakery Meat Pie
Although many may associate pie with a sweet dessert, down in New Zealand we fill ours with meat. Be sure to grab one at your local bakery, otherwise found at the supermarket, gas station or dairy (corner shop). Our recommendation is a good old 'Steak n Cheese'. Remember to always blow on the pie!
If you find yourself in Tauranga, be sure to head along to Gold Star Bakery - Patrick’s Pies and grab a pie from the winner of the New Zealand Supreme Pie awards.
Image credit: Northern Foods
5. Potato Chips (Crisps) and Onion Dip
A true Kiwi tradition, mix Nestle reduced cream with Maggie onion soup and a squeeze of lemon, and pop it into the fridge for an hour. A bag of Bluebird chips, especially Salt & Vinegar, to go along with the dip and you’ve found a piece of heaven.
Image credit: 10Best
6. Pineapple Lumps
One of the most recognizable Kiwiana items, Pineapple Lumps are a chocolate-covered sweet with a soft, chewy pineapple-flavoured middle. Look for the official Pascals Pineapple lumps!
Image credit: Mighty Ape
7. Mānuka Honey
Arguably the greatest honey money can buy, New Zealand Mānuka honey is of the utmost quality and has numerous health benefits. It is made throughout the whole of New Zealand and is available from your local supermarket.
Image credit: TVNZ
8. Sausage Sizzle
Sometimes it's the simple things that are the best! It doesn't get much better than a barbequed sausage wrapped in a buttered piece of white bread, covered in onions and Watties tomato sauce.
You can often catch a sausage sizzle live in action at a local supermarket or hardware store. Grab yourself a snag in exchange for a gold coin!
Image credit: Shutterstock
9. Vogel's Bread
Vogel's has been making bread since 1967. They offer an iconic "very thin" sliced loaf. Their bread tastes mouth-watering, coming from the very best ingredients nature can provides.
Image credit: FoodMe
10. Sanitarium Marmite
New Zealand Marmite is similar to its British counterpart, but not the same. They are made from yeast extract but they are made by separate companies. The New Zealand product is definitely worth a try.
Image credit: Amazon
Feijoas are grown in a small list of countries throughout the world, luckily one of those is New Zealand. The fruit is cut in half and the pulp is eaten by scooping the inside out with a spoon. The fruit has an incredibly distinctive smell and taste, which is often served with ice cream! They are in season from mid-March until June.
Image credit: Getty Images
12. Kiwifruit (Kiwi)
New Zealand has one of the largest Kiwifruit industries in the world. Grown in various places throughout the country, they're definitely worth getting your hands on.
Image credit: Liebherr
13. Whittaker's Chocolate
Whittaker's are known for their innovative and creative flavours, even making chocolate based off ice cream and soft drink flavours. They collaborate with a range of other New Zealand brands and operate under the Fair Trade Act, something there purple competitors don’t do! Whittaker's offer an extensive range of chocolate so be sure to get yourself some!
Image credit: Lollies NZ
14. Hokey Pokey
Hokey pokey is a flavour of ice cream in New Zealand, consisting of plain vanilla ice cream with small, solid pieces of honeycomb toffee. Hokey pokey is the Kiwi term for honeycomb toffee.
Image credit: EK Ices
15. Goody Goody Gum Drops
Another iconic kiwi ice cream is Goody Goody Gum Drops. This is a magical mix of bubblegum flavoured ice cream packed full of chewy gum drop lollies.
Image credit: PNGkey
16. Jelly Tip
A Jelly Tip is an ice cream made from a combination of 2 of New Zealand’s favourite flavours. Tip Top's famous vanilla ice cream and raspberry flavoured jelly. New Zealanders love the things so much so much they've even made Jelly Tip flavoured biscuits, chocolate, milk and other confectionary items.
Image credit: Cloudy Kitchen
17. Chocolate Fish
Chocolate fish are another popular confectionery item, made from pink or white marshmallow covered in a thin layer of milk chocolate. Often a prize in Kiwi culture for a job done well, and if you're lucky, some cafes will give you one with your coffee!
Image credit: The Garden Party
Being a small country surrounded by water allows New Zealand to offer an incredible variety of seafood, so why not tempt yourself with some of the world’s best as you travel around the country! Keep an eye out for; Crayfish, Pāua (Abalone), Scallops, Bluff Oysters, Green Lipped Mussels, Snapper, and Salmon.
Image credit: Quaculture New Zealand
19. Roast Lamb
A staple meat among Kiwis, New Zealand lamb is one of the most flavourful and tender in the world, due to being grass-fed throughout their life rather than grain fed.
Image credit: Sabato New Zealand
Last, but certainly not least, Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert topped with whipped cream and fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, and kiwifruit. Pavlova is a melt in your mouth dish, and is a summer classic in New Zealand.
Image credit: The Kiwi has Landed
Need something to wash these food down with? Check out our 10 Must Try Kiwi Drinks!