When I was in New Zealand for a week, I made sure that I experience the Kiwi way. Aside from being welcomed with haka for the very first time, I am grateful for the friends we have in Auckland and for the hospitality of the government, accorded to us. For dining, here are some of the things I did and can also be tried by newcomers to New Zealand.
1. FRESH MILK and other milk products
Food in New Zealand is abundant as its natural resources. Foods are fresh; and there are more sheep and cows than human beings. Expect fresh milk everyday and it is freely provided in workplaces. So when in New Zealand, it is worth trying their fresh milk. Milk in New Zealand comes in gallons and there are no small quantities. New Zealand exports fresh milk and other milk products to the Philippines. Other dairy products can also be tried as their cheese.
In Hobbiton, the place where the Hobbit movies were filmed, there are more sheep than human beings. So when in New Zealand, one can try their lamb in its finest restaurants. Servings are huge and veggies always come in sides. By the way, climate is good for growing vegetables like that in Auckland.
3. CRAB SHACK and seafood in Auckland
When in Auckland and looking for king crab, one can go to Crab Shack. A group can feast on king crab legs, seafood marinara, among others. The location is nice because it is in the wharf so there is a view of the sea, the ferries and towers at the back. My experience there, unforgettable!
When in New Zealand, do not miss to try their sweet apple. Crunchy, it is fresh and no preservatives. They grow their own apples and these apples can be seen in just the yard of one's house. Also, oranges, can be grown, so one can also try the oranges and other endemic fruits that they have.
5. WINE and BEER
New Zealand produces wine and beer. There are vineyards in nearby Auckland and other parts of the country. While we boast our famous San Miguel beer in the Philippines, it is also worth to try New Zealand beer - Steinlager. In Sky Tower, the Sky Cafe serves wine. While watching those doing the bungee jumping from the tower, one can try local New Zealand wine like Babich.
Ooops! Never forget pasalubong. Pasalubong is a present for family and friends, a Filipino trait that whenever one is on travel, he/she has to bring a present from his travel for his/her close friends and family and co-workers.
Bring home New Zealand chocolates. The famous Whitakers chocolates comes in an honest packaging that speaks of the percentage of cocoa in it. Very much reflects of a Kiwi trait of honesty. It comes in some sizes but the bigger one is 250 grams. There is also a pack of bits - all of these come in various flavors.
Thanks to the hospitality of Filipinos (special mention to former office mates, Ellen and Ferdi) and Kiwis in New Zealand while I was there. They made me experience what New Zealand is. They made my stomach so full and enriched my understanding of their respect for culture. No wonder, New Zealand is a place to raise a family. It is also a place where I have learned the absence of mandatory retirement age for uniformed personnel - because there is no discrimination as to age.