Violette and I were lucky enough to try a traditional Maori dish a few months back, when we were in Wellington, New Zealand.
The “real” Hangi dish, not the one you get served in restaurants, is a ritual dish made by Maori communities the same way they always did.
They firstly dig a huge hole in the ground, they then stick burning hot lava stones in on which they add a layer of banana leaves. It’s then time to fill the diverse meats and vegetables in, layers on top of one other. The dish is eventually covered by another layer of banana leaves and finally by soil, so it returns to Earth.
The unique flavor comes certainly from that for the next 4 hours cooking, Maoris are chanting prayers and incantations to their gods…
When cooking time is over, they simply dig all the food out, mix it up and serve it in individual portions to the community.
So, how the hell did we get some ?!
Well, I happened to make friends with a great Maori guy, Regan, that simply offered to get us portions next time they would cook that incredible dish.
This is a good example why slow travelling is the best way to explore the world, you give yourself a chance to try local food and lifestyle. This experience was far more valuable than anything money could ever buy…
As for the taste, it’s pretty good really. It made me think about stuffed autumnal flavors, like a Christmas stuffed turkey, with a strong smell of soil, of course.
Here’s a video to show you how they cook it :
Have you ever tried uncommon dishes like this one ? Share your experience in the comments below!