Walking around in the CBD and find yourself in need of some quick energy? Head into a dairy or supermarket and check out a few of these local snacks. Not all of them are healthy and some of them are downright calorific. But the way to get into a culture is through the food, right? I’m mean, you’re on holiday, right?
Exhibit A: Jaffas
Little chocolate balls coated in a hard orange flavoured shell. Loved by all Kiwis, these little morsels will help you make friends whenever you offer them around. Just don’t get caught having races by rolling them down the cinema floor to the bottom.
Exhibit B: Pineapple Lumps
Pineapple flavoured marshmallow covered in chocolate. Like chocolate fish, and toasties, they are another variation of this squishy theme. Check out the story of how we ended up with Pineapple Lumps, and a bit of New Zealand’s self-depreciating humour here.
Exhibit C: Burger Rings
North Americans might liken these to hamburger (complete with tomato ketchup) flavoured Funyuns. Crispy, crunchy and oh so (not) good (for you).
Exhibit D: ANZAC Biscuits
These biscuits were sent to the ANZACs (Australia New Zealand Army Corps) who fought at Gallipoli, Turkey in World War I. ANZAC Day is celebrated in Australia, New Zealand and also some of the Pacific Islands. The bag shown here was manufactured in Australia and was the only one in the shop. I guess we tend to prefer our ANZAC biscuits homemade over here in NZ.
Exhibit E: New Zealand Licorice
Looking for something a little more healthy? Natural licorice is soft and delicious in New Zealand. It’s usually sold in these pouches in various flavours but you can also find longer pieces stuffed with chocolate at the supermarket checkout area.
Exhibit F: Muesli Bars
I’m convinced that New Zealand is the Land of the Long Muesli Bar Isle because that’s exactly what you get in every supermarket. These grainy, nutty, fruity little bars are extremely popular here. Perhaps it’s the association with the outdoors, I’m not sure. But do check the contents if you are looking for something healthy because some are and some aren’t.
Exhibit G: Milo
Playing rugby all day and running low? Milo is one of the most popular hot drinks. When companies provide those big tins of instant beverages in the staff room in New Zealand, there is always Milo sitting next to the tea and coffee. It is chocolatey and malty (read as supercalorifico) and a good thing to have in your backpack while you are travelling around New Zealand.
Exhibit H: New Zealand Wine
Don’t tell me you haven’t heard about our wine industry! But, while you’re here try to look beyond the Marlborough region wines (which are, of course, excellent) that are more heavily marketed overseas and try something new. We have vineyards all over the place here and chances are you could get to one for a tasting within a matter of a short drive. Or, just check the supermarket where there are usually one or two entire isles devoted to the stuff. You’ll be surprised at what good quality can be had for a low price.
All photos by Marie Szamborski