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Unique NZ Food Experience - the main actor

Article submitted by hartmindfood
May 5th, 2011

Ask most New Zealanders to describe New Zealand cuisine and we struggle for an answer or that we don’t have one - that New Zealand is too young, too multi-cultural, or too British ... Yet when asked to describe a New Zealand food experience we easily share common stories that all celebrate our own history and fabric of life. The tastes and smells directly linking us to memories that connect with our own land and culture. For me, this is the basis of Gastro-tourism – making a direct link - a cultural shortcut - to the land through its food.

On reading through current New Zealand Tourism and food data, it concerns me that unique New Zealand food experiences are not being given full value. New Zealand food experiences do not appear connected, with any depth, to our marketed food image off-shore, or, in strengthening our own sense of cultural identity thruough developing regional cuisine here in New Zealand.

Surely, there is untapped potential, monetarily and culturally, for the New Zealand tourism infrastructure to promote the food experiences of New Zealand as something more than simply playing the ‘support’ role to the ‘main event’ (i.e to.the great outdoors or sports).

We have Qualmark, our official quality agency, which ensures venues and services deliver a world class visitor experience, yet emphasis appears to be placed solely on the guarantee of safe and hygienic food practice. Why not include the provision of a unique New Zealand food experience with a scale of integrity (?). Finding a balance could be a first step.

Night floundering on the Kaipara, tracking for wild pork deep in Taranaki scrub, bush foraging, white-baiting or investigating the burgeoning saffron, truffle, or vanilla crop production, are just a few examples of food activities which can become unique New Zealand food experiences, when personalised, through meeting the face, the attitude and humour behind the activity. The challenge, for New Zealand food tourism, is to put in place accessible initiatives that support and foster the “100% Pure New Zealand” food experience. It is my hope that these initiatives would serve to recognise and validate how much of New Zealand’s evolving identity is reflected through its connections to food, and importantly, will greatly contribute to New Zealand being an ultimate culinary destination.

Linz Hart (MA Gastronomy)
Passionate New Zealander.....

Average Rating:   (2 votes)

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  • posted on 1304811812 0
    Overall Rating: 9.0 / 10

    The quality of our fresh produce makes New Zealand food top quality. I hope the Americans try pumpkin soup while in New Zealand, and our mince and cheese pies...perfect while watching rugby in the cold weather. For a fancy dinner maybe sample our crayfish.

  • posted on 1304571487 1
    Overall Rating: 9.0 / 10

    Really interesting read! I hope visitors to New Zealand do get to experience our delicious food. I'd recommend when in season raw Bluff Oysters (with a squeeze of lemon), and White Bait Fritters. Paua is delicious sliced finely and cooked very quicky in hot hot pan with garlic butter...sadly paua can easily ruined when over cooked and most paua patties aren't that flash! Anyone else with their Kiwi food recommendations for all our overseas visitors with the Rugby World Cup??