Friday, June 22, 2012

Food from New Zealand Year Three and a Bit About Pavlova

For three summers in a row I've taught a study abroad program in New Zealand for undergraduate students from the U.S. I try to avoid romanticizing the country--it has extreme health disparities and environmental problems despite its squeaky clean image--but one thing I do love through and through is the food. Being a part of the Pacific Rim means that there is a lot of amazing Asian food available, and they also cater to food allergies so it's a delightful place to be gluten-free.

Poached eggs with potato cakes, spinach, and tomatoes
It is not that I've even had any extraordinary meals there. It's just that I love the day to day food. Lots of roasted veggies, amazing cheese and yogurt, asian flavors and spices, lentils and beans in every salad, kumara and squash aplenty, and fantastic chocolate. Yum. 

Unfortunately I spent a large portion of this trip with a very sick student in and out of hospitals, and that zapped my energy for taking photos and doing some of the things I would usually do while traveling. So, I didn't take as many food photos as the first year I went, but here are some shots of a beautiful dessert I had in Auckland, the country's largest city. The professor I taught with convinced me that we should spend our last afternoon grading in the city's space tower, where we had high tea. It was absolutely lovely. The photos are a bit blue, sorry!

Macaroons and other goodies

Kiwi fruit with chocolate and a mini Pavlova with preserved lemon

One new thing I learned this year is that Pavlova is a dessert that originated in New Zealand (or maybe Australia, I think this is contested). I am not a huge fan of meringue, but the owner of a country home that I stayed at may have changed that. She served us a Pavlova--which for those who don't know is basically meringue cake with a crisp outer shell and a soft, marshmallowy inside--that was absolutely delightful with homemade whipped cream and blueberries. In the photo above it was served with preserved lemon. I preferred the berries. 

Maureen, the lovely woman that I stayed with, has promised to send me the recipe. Until then, the best I can do is refer you to Shuna Lydon, who has a nice Pavlova recipe over at one of my favorite websites, Simply Recipes. 
See why I keep going back?

1 comment:

  1. I would like a print of that lovely photo of you with tea and baked goods! XOXOXO MUM