You are coming to New Zealand for the adventure, but you may just stay for the food. New Zealand has a number of interesting and tasty staples, drawing influences from both their European heritage and he Maori indigenous culture, and the mixture of both of these cuisines is unforgettable.


Starting with the basics, Marmite is a staple in any New Zealand household. Similar to the Vegemite of Australia, it is a bit tangier and packs a lot more punch—foreigners are advised to take it in small doses at first due to the acquired nature of the taste. This yeast extract spread is most commonly spread on toast and sandwiches, and it is definitely a necessary taste to encounter while studying abroad in New Zealand.


You may be used to slow-cooker meals at home, but this takes it to an entirely new level. Hangi is a meal cooked traditionally by the Maori people. Most often consisting of chicken, pork, potatoes, pumpkin, and other vegetables, it offers a hearty meal. The most fascinating part? It is cooked underground! In the morning, the food is lowered several feet into a hole in the ground, and then layered with hot rocks and reburied. It cooks for several hours underground before being ready to eat. It doesn’t get more authentic than this!

Kiwi Dip

With only two simple ingredients, this other New Zealand staple is loved throughout the country—and you can make it at home in your apartment! Calling for only a Maggi Onion Soup packet and a can of reduced cream, it can be whipped up in minutes and eaten with the famous New Zealand Bluebird Chips, and you can even add a little something extra by topping the dip with cilantro or chives. The perfect snack food companion, you will definitely give this one a try.

Chocolate Fish

Luckily, this classic New Zealand food is not made of real fish. It is a famous kid’s candy, essentially a chocolate-covered strawberry marshmallow, naturally made in the shape of a fish, and can be found at any convenience store or market. Loved by children across the country, it is an iconic part of any Kiwi’s childhood and a great snack to bring home for younger siblings and friends.


As an island country, it comes as so surprise that New Zealand has some pretty killer seafood options. Not only is their fish incredible, but they have several unique varieties of oysters, mussels, and other shellfish. The have New Zealand Muscles, Bluff Oysters, and TuaTua, a shellfish native to New Zealand, and so much more—while any of these dishes may be outside of your student budget, it is worth splurging on them for one special meal during your time in New Zealand.


Another Maori favorite, this hearty soup is a combination of a number of tasty items all boiled together in a large steaming pot. They are typically made in a pork base, and include things such as pumpkins, potatoes, watercress, pork or chicken, and sometimes even the Maori dumplings called “doughboys.” Perfect for a rainy day, this warm pick-me-up is sure to satisfy your desire for a home-cooked meal.


Also found in Australia, this tasty dessert tops the list of local favorites. Lamingtons are a raspberry or chocolate coated sponge cake, topped with shaved coconut and often filled with cream or jam. They go perfectly with tea or as a light snack, and are a great treat for winding down after class.

While there are many more delicious foods to be found in New Zealand, these are a few of our favorites that can’t be missed. Be sure to try all of these as well as some of the incredible fruit, other seafood dishes, or any other interesting candies and cakes that strike your fancy! Food is one of the most important aspects of culture, and you will never tire of immersing yourself in these classic New Zealand traditions.

Have you tried any of these tasty treats? Let us know on Twitter which one was your favorite!


Posted by World Endeavors on    November 4, 2016

Put yourself out there! TM

World Endeavors believes that international travel has the power to change lives, broaden horizons, and deepen intercultural understanding. The world is undergoing rapid changes, with societies becoming more interconnected and environmentally aware; at the same time a more challenging global economy inspires in many a need to reach out and make a positive difference while seeking personal growth opportunities. There has never been a better time than now to travel abroad.