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Down the Kiwi Memory lane – World Famous in New Zealand (Part 2 of 2)

Hi, good to see you again. As I mentioned in first Part, New Zealand is culturally diverse and so is the food. Like the unique cultural fabric and food, New Zealand also has some interesting phrases that only the Kiwis can understand such as ‘World famous in New Zealand’. Originally, it was a slogan of a drink called L & P. It is sometimes used in other contexts, but the meaning is still the same. They are happy to be famous within New Zealand and are proud of that. I can connect to this phrase because where I come from, we have something similar. In Pune, when we are proud of anything, especially food, we say “So and so’s misal is jagat bhari’ meaning it’s the ‘best in the whole world’.  (Misal is another very tempting dish. I will share its recipe sometime soon.) Puneites claim that, we do have international food joints serving best pasta, best Chinese, best pizza in the world and they swear by it. Anyway, it is a separate topic of discussion. I will write about it some other time.

Lemon And Paeroa
L & P Drink (© Coca-Cola Amatil NZ Ltd.)
Jagat Bhari t-shrt designed by Bhartiya Digital Party
Jagat Bhari (design by Bhartiya Digital Party)

If you search the internet for information about the food in New Zealand, there are a list of things you will be suggested. It is a long list, but, to name a few items - Kiwi burger, Hangi, Whitebait fritters, Crayfish, Mussels, L&P drink, New Zealand lamb, Kumara chips with Aioli dip, Pavlova and New Zealand wine and cheese collection.

Kumara is commonly known as sweet potato in rest of the world. Originally from Pacific Islands, it was introduced in New Zealand by early Maori settlers. It is considered as superfood in Maori culture due to its huge health benefits. It’s a part of the staple diet. You can just boil and eat it or add to soups and stews. It goes well with many dishes. You must try Kumara chips with Aioli dip.

Another thing not be missed are the green and golden Kiwifruit, and Feijoa fruit. Do you know that kiwifruit is originally from China, but, in my opinion the best kiwifruit is grown in New Zealand.

Golden Kiwifruit
Kiwifruit Orchard, Tauranga, New Zealnd
Kiwifruit Orchard, Tauranga

New Zealand gave me the life turning opportunity to share my knowledge of Indian food and culture through Community Education. I had students from all age groups and various professions. Some came alone and made new friends, some came with friends and some came as a family. Community Education is a big part of New Zealand culture. During this time, I realised that people want to know more about Indian culture along with the food. The seeds of Culinary Experience were planted then but took almost a decade to sprout. Better late than never.

Community Cooking Class, Selwyn College, Auckland, NewZealand
Community Cooking Class, Selwyn College, Auckland, NewZealand
Community Cooking Class, Selwyn College, Auckland, NewZealand
Community Cooking Class, Selwyn College, Auckland, NewZealand
Some fond memories from my cooking class

I always say that our stay in New Zealand was really an enrichment programme for six years. We learnt many things not only about Pacific and Kiwi culture but learnt a lot about other Indian communities as well. I was blessed to have neighbours from different parts of India. This gave me the opportunity to learn about their rituals, their food habits and most importantly access to various authentic Indian recipes with essential tips. We became an extended family. These neighbours and our friends supported us during the time of my second child’s birth. They did everything possible to support us right from cooking the food to looking after my daughter. We are very grateful for their love and support. Even after a decade we are still in touch with each other.

Kiwis love their sweets and desserts - Hokey-pokey ice-cream, Gudi Gudi gum drops ice-cream, fairy bread, Anzac biscuits, lamingtons, pineapple lumps, Whittakars chocolates, and last but not the list Tim Tam biscuits (I know they are Australian but I associate them with New Zealand as I was introduced to them in New Zealand). Eating TimTams dipped in warm milk is a heaven. I miss these things. We try to look for replacement here in UK but they are not the same.


When we talk about New Zealand desserts we talk about Pavlova. It generally has summer fruits and hence it is the Christmas dessert. There are many stories about the origin of this dessert, but it is said to be named after the famous Russian Ballerina Ana Pavlova. It’s a popular summer dessert but is very versatile and can be prepared throughout the year using seasonal fruits.


New Zealand encourages you to follow healthy lifestyle. In general Kiwis are very health concisions. It’s a unique but very common picture of Kiwi mums running with mountain buggies and occasionally with a dog as well on leash. These buggies have shock absorbers and were initially designed for the parents who want to explore mountain trails with the babies. They are designed to provide comfort to the baby during the run or uphill journey. Do not be surprised if you see people running even during the rain. New Zealand’s beautiful nature is so compelling that you just cannot stay indoors.


As mentioned earlier, there are lot of similarities between India and New Zealand that is why I feel at home. Yet, another connection – same as India, New Zealand also lost a lot of soldiers during World War I. 25th April is marked as a national Remembrance Day in Australia and New Zealand to commemorate these soldiers. Lest we forget. Anzac Biscuits which were originally made by the wives of these soldiers and were sent it to them. These biscuits are still made around Anzac day and sold for fund raising purposes.

I hope you have enjoyed the journey down the Kiwi memory lane. There is lot to see and explore. New Zealand is on everybody’s bucket list. It was on mine as well. I am grateful that I not only got the opportunity to visit this country but also got to experience the Kiwi culture to some extent. As mentioned in the national anthem


God of nations at thy feet
In the bonds of love we meet.
Hear our voices, we entreat,
God defend our free land.
Guard Pacific's triple star
From the shafts of strife and war,
Make her praises heard afar,
God defend New Zealand


This article will be incomplete without sharing a recipe of a Kiwi Burger (that contains no Kiwi). I am sharing my version of this recipe. So, next time when you are watching the mighty All Blacks performing a Haka before a rugby game, make this delicious Kiwi Burger. You will be teleported straight to the Kiwi land, So, enjoy. Till then, haere rā and Ka kite ano (good bye and see you soon).

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