Let’s Hangi

Just a little post about the New Zealand culture. For those of you who don’t know, Maoris are the natives of New Zealand.  I loved learning about their culture. It would take days to write every detail about them, so I’ll write about this wonderful experience I had. During my time there, Monsieur and I were able to attend a Hangi which is a special way they prepared their food usually for a celebration; we were celebrating 3 different birthdays there. We were invited by some people we met in Taheke which is better than having to pay $60 in Rotorua.

To begin this traditional method of cooking, a giant hole is dug into the ground. Next heated stones are placed into the pit, and this is what cooks the food. A basket of different meats and vegetables are wrapped with tin foil and placed inside a wired basket on top of the stones. Next a tarp is laid on top followed with dirt, and this is cooked for several hours about 3 to 4. We were not able to see the beginning process of the Hangi, but we were able to catch the removal of the food.

Waiting for the food to finish.
The men gather around the food
It is a very quick process because of the steam
The food is placed on a trailer to transport it easier
The inside of the pit after the removal of the dirt and tarp
The meat and vegetables inside the wired basket
And now the party begins!!

There’s many variations of the Hangi and this is just one of them. They may use a different basket, or not use a tarp. It depends on the tribe. We were also told the further south you went woman were the ones in charge of the Hangi; again it depends on the tribe. The food was amazing. It created this unique flavor. It’s hard to describe; an earthly smoked flavor if that makes senses. But I highly suggest if you have the opportunity to attend a Hangi then go to one!

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