Critter Fritters

References to whitebait were everywhere. It was clear it was some sort of fish, but exactly what it was, I had no idea. Curious, I looked it up and discovered that it’s one of the most sought-after delicacies on NZ’s West Coast. People flock to their favorite rivers and estuaries to catch these babies and... Continue Reading →


We were browsing through the shops of the Christchurch Arts Centre when we came across one that showcased NZ food items. One of them was a chutney made from fruit we’d never heard of: feijoa. The proprietress claimed that we’d either love it or hate it (kinda like cilantro, I thought). We tried a sample... Continue Reading →

Flush It, Mate: Toilet Bowls in NZ

You finish using the toilet, then you flush. One handle. Simple. At least, that's how it works in the States. But, nowadays, with the increasing need to conserve resources, toilets are using less and less water to flush what used to take an enormous amount of water to ferry down to the sewer system. So,... Continue Reading →

Kea: Kokopelli in Drag

There is a story told by one of our bus drivers that a kea removed the rubber seal around a car’s windshield in a mountain parking lot, causing the glass to fall and shatter. The bird had also stripped the rubber from the windshield wipers. When the owner returned, he was understandably furious and began... Continue Reading →

Honey, I’m Sick

In every tourist shop and supermarket, I noticed a certain honey for sale that I’d never heard of. The more I learned about it, the more it became clear that this was no ordinary honey. It’s a super-honey. Manuka honey. Evidence indicates that it helps to heal wounds, promotes digestive health and is anti-bacterial. One... Continue Reading →

Protecting Your Privates

As most people are aware, the kiwi bird, endemic to New Zealand, is in a struggle against extinction. Having evolved without any natural predators, it now faces a threat from deforestation and from humans, cats, possums, dogs, rats and stoats, among others. The stoat’s modus operandi is slitting the carotid arteries of its victims. (When... Continue Reading →

Where’s the Beef?

In this land where sheep outnumber humans 4 to 1 (there are about 4 million people) and lamb a very important part of the diet, does beef get short-shrift? I sense that it isn’t a prominent part of the Kiwi diet. But, beef is available and it is of high quality. Grass-fed beef is much... Continue Reading →

Long Black and Flat White

I didn’t find a decent cup of brewed coffee the entire time we were in NZ. Considering that there were coffee houses everywhere, surpassing even the density you’d expect in Seattle, you would think that you would find a decent cup of joe somewhere. It turns out that the best way to have good coffee... Continue Reading →

ANZAC Biscuits

ANZAC Day is observed in New Zealand and Australia to commemorate the troops who lost their lives at Gallipoli during World War I. ANZAC stands for Australia New Zealand Army Corps. One story is that the families sent the troops these biscuits (known in the U.S. as cookies) that resisted spoilage because of their lack... Continue Reading →

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