What is Kiwiana food?
Kiwiana Food is another phrase for "uniquely New Zealand food". It is food that is special to New Zealand, and part of our identity.
Kiwiana food includes:
Candy - We call candy "lollies". Not to be confused with lollypops. Our favourite candies are Chocolate Fish, Pineapple Lumps, Jaffas, Milk Bottles, Milk Shakes, Moro Bars, and many more. All available in our Food section.
Desserts and Biscuits (cookies) - Pavlova would arguably be our most famous dessert. It's a meringue type dessert made famous in the early 1900s. Australia has tried to claim the dessert, but New Zealand has proof it was made here first. You can find my mother's pavlova recipe here.
We call cookies "Biscuits", and our favourite Kiwiana biscuits are Afghans, ANZAC biscuits and gingernuts.
Soft drinks - you might call it "soda"; we call carbonated drinks "soft drinks" or "fizzy". Our Kiwiana soft drink is L&P, short for Lemon and Paeroa.
Spreads - our very own spread, a yeast extract, is called Marmite. Australia has a similar product, made famous in a song, called Vegemite.
Chips - you might call them potato crisps, we call them potato chips. Not to be confused with the type of chips we buy from the takeaway store, which you might call "fries". Confused yet?! One of New Zealand's favourite chip flavours is Chicken Chips.
Fish 'n Chips and Tomato Sauce - once a staple food in New Zealand homes, Fish and Chips is still a hugely popular takeaway (take-out) food. When I was a kid, we were sent to the takeaway shop to buy fish and chips, which usually consisted of pieces of shark or some other cheap fish, coated in batter, and deep fried in lard, along with generous helpings of deep fried potato chips. Nowadays, the chips and fish are fried in oil ( which may then be re-cycled to power some guy's diesel vehicle), and new potato varieties mean the chips are longer and more golden, but little else has changed.
The feed of fish n chips would be wrapped in a piece of butchers paper ( plain newsprint paper) and then in several layers of newspaper. And still is, where I live. You would walk home, slowly, whilst making a hole in one end of the parcel so you could pull out a few chips. Back home, the fish and chips would be smothered in Watties Tomato Sauce ( and again, still is in most households). Your parents might also ask you to pick up a loaf of bread, which would be a freshly baked unsliced loaf of bread. It was extremely difficult to resist pulling the bread apart into two pieces, and eating the soft insides first!
Kiwiana Party Food
So you're throwing a party for a Kiwi abroad, and you want to provide him/her with the food they loved to eat. Well here are some suggestions:
- Sausage rolls
- Mince savouries
- Chips, Burger Rings, Rashuns, Twisties
- Barbecued sausages in bread with Watties Tomato Sauce
- Onion soup dip
- Chocolate log
- Crunchie bars
- Beer, wine and soft drinks
Kiwiana Party Food for kids:
- Sausage rolls
- Fairy bread
- Chocolate Crackles
- Rocky Road
- Traffic Lights
Kiwiana Food Recipes
We have several New Zealand recipes on the website, and are happy to help you source any more that you might require. Also check out our Recipe Books, especially the Edmonds Cookbook, which is the essential cookbook we have all grown up with.