Not very often European people get to try traditional Maori foods. There are no Maori restaurants in the cities and the traditional dishes are only made for special celebrations.
Waitangi day (a day to celebrate the signing of the treaty between Maoris and Europeans) was the special day when I got to taste Hangi. Hangi is a traditional Maori method of cooking food that involves digging a pit in the ground, heating the stones in the pit, placing baskets of food wrapped in foil on top of the stones and covering everything with soil. The food is left in the pit for several hours before it is served. A portion of Hangi usually includes some pork, potatoes, cauliflower and other vegetables.
The photo above was taken at the time when Maoris were digging out the baskets of food.
Hangi tasted great! The smoky smell of the Hangi reminded me of home. Back at home we wrap potatoes in the foil and place them in the fire for around half an hour and so get baked potatoes that do have that nice smoky smell.
Tasting traditional Maori foods was a novel and a very interesting experience that allowed me to learn more about the lifestyle of indigenous people of New Zealand.