The Food and Culture of Australia & New Zealand
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In Australia or New Zealand, you could spend a lifetime delving into the deep-rooted culture, experiencing the culinary traditions, and seeking out the iconic wildlife. Each region is distinct from the others, and with every exploration, you will connect to new cultures through food and find more to discover for next time.
Australia Wine Country
Along the idyllic landscape of McLaren Vale’s South Australian wine country, most people expect to find vine-gilded hills, sun-soaked valleys, and maybe an occasional kangaroo or two. However, when you reach the d’Arenberg cellar door, you’ll wonder if what you’ve come upon is a winery or an extraterrestrial spacecraft.
This five-story mirrored, cubic structure looks like it would blend in amongst the ultra-modern cityscapes of Tokyo or London. Instead, this avant-garde winery, known simply as the Cube, is an unexpected sight to see floating atop the vines of McLaren Vale’s verdant wine country.
The brainchild of d’Argenberg’s Cube was dreamed up by fourth-generation winemaker, Chester Osborn, known to many as the “Willy Wonka of Wines.” Osborn modelled the space after a Rubik’s Cube as a nod to the complexities that wine brings. Inside, the cellar door continues to disarm and beguile. From an Alternate Realities museum, to a 360-degree video room and panorama views throughout, the Cube is one of the most whimsical wineries around.
Of course, the main draw is the wine itself, and the d’Arenberg delivers on delicious varietals. The d’Arenberg family have produced wine since 1912, making them one of the first families of wine in South Australia. Today, they’ve perfected their craft to harvest over 30 different grapes to produce reds like Vermentino, Tempranillo, Sangiovese as well whites like Marsanne, Rousanne and Viognier.
New Zealand’s Culinary Range
If you’re ready to embark on a culinary quest, here are 5 must-try meals to try on a New Zealand vacation that the Kiwis swear by:
1. KINA: A type of sea urchin only found in New Zealand, kina is a delicacy to many locals. From August to January, these small spherical and spiky sea urchins are harvested by fishermen and sold to markets. While the outside of this shellfish might not look appetizing, the inside contains a buttery roe that’s served raw or deep fried.
2. LAMB: In New Zealand there are reportedly more sheep than people, making it an easy – and delicious – dish to acquire. New Zealand lamb is one of a kind and is known for its freshness, making it one of the country’s most famous exports.
3. PAUA: This delicious sea snail is another seafood delicacy that you must try while in New Zealand. Paua is served raw, battered and fried into fritters, and incorporated into flavourful curries. In addition to being delicious, the paua shells have beautiful, iridescent colours that artisans often use to make jewelry and souvenirs.
4. HOKEY POKEY: While those in English-speaking countries know the hokey pokey as a childhood dance, in New Zealand it’s a beloved sweet treat consisting of creamy vanilla ice cream with pieces of honeycomb toffee spread throughout. It’s a sweet way to cool down after a day in the sun.
5. PAVLOVA: One final sweet indulgence you must try while on a New Zealand adventure is the creamy Pavlova, a meringue-based dessert topped with cream and garnished with fresh kiwifruit. This fluffy treat is one of New Zealand’s national desserts and is commonly found during the holiday season and various celebrations.
Age-old culinary traditions, food is so much more than a meal; it’s the experience that goes along with it.
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