The 15 Best Things to Eat in Kiwi Summer, a Guide for International Students

Thursday, December 12, 2019

This is a guide for international students that explains the best things that are available to eat in summer in New Zealand. With Christmas and New Year arriving in the summer months, make sure to be merry and eat well!


1. Cherries

When the cherries are ripe in New Zealand you know that summertime has arrived! Cherry season here runs from late December to early February and cherries are great to share with friends. Cherries are also known to be great for your health, they are high in antioxidants, fibre, potassium, and Vitamin A, C and K.


2. Garden peas
Also known as ‘peas in a pod’, these are different from snow peas and snap peas as you must ‘shell’ the pod to get to the peas inside. The fresh peas inside the pod can be eaten raw or cooked and have a sweet flavour. They are great as a snack or as a cooked accompaniment on the side of your Christmas lunch or as part of the salad.


3. Strawberries
The staple summer fruit here in New Zealand, this is a highly versatile food that can be used in smoothies, ice-creams, salads, chocolate desserts and even paired with some savoury dishes. Their sweetness and versatility make them a favourite to find at ‘pick your own’ (PYO) fruit places across the country. They are also available at all supermarkets and farmers markets throughout the summer months.


4. Pavlova
A Christmas and summer classic, this meringue-based dessert is made with egg whites and caster sugar. Australians and Kiwis often debate which nation invented the pavlova but agree that it should usually topped with whipped cream and chopped summer fruit. The perfect way to finish your Christmas lunch is with a pavlova for dessert. The dessert is light, fluffy and delicious.


5. Turkey
If you are someone that likes a traditional Christmas feast and don’t mind having a warm meal in the summer heat (and are okay with eating meat), then Turkey is the go-to option for you. Put one in the oven and feed a crowd over Christmas and have the leftovers in the lead-up to New Years.


6. Ham
For those that are after a more easily accessible meat, a glazed ham is another Christmas delicacy that many New Zealander’s embrace. Another great option if you want your leftovers to go far – great for picnics and pasta dishes!


7. Fruit mince pie
While New Zealand is well-known for its pies of the meat variety, that doesn’t mean we don’t also indulge in the British fruit mince pie tradition as well. There are gluten free options available and plenty of different flavours too. They can be made with or without alcohol and are often made with spices.


8. Fruit tart
Head to any of the local bakeries in the town or city that you live in or study at in summer and you are sure to find a delicious variation of this tasty treat. A golden pastry forms the base, usually filled with vanilla custard and topped with the fresh fruit, these tarts are another great summer snack.


9. Ice cream/Ice block
An absolutely crucial part of any summer is to make sure to keep cool. Eating a flavoured ice cream or ice block of your choice is a great way to keep your temperature down during the warmer days. We recommend goody goody gumdrops, hokey pokey or a blueberry real fruit ice cream. Eat them in a bowl, tub, stick or cone. Just don’t let it melt too much or you will be left with sticky hands!


10. Barbecue
The summer is the perfect time to get the barbecue (BBQ) cranking. Whether you want to grill sausages, vegetables or other meats, if the weather outside is good and you’ve got one and plenty of gas, this is always a great option. Perfect for feeding a crowd of your friends.


11. Mango salad
You can have any number of different salads in summer as it is the perfect time to indulge in some leafy greens. We couldn’t go past a nice refreshing mango salad, however. Mango is imported all year round but comes into its own in the warmer months, and you can combine it with all sorts of different fruits and vegetables to create your ultimate salad.


12. Fruit smoothie
A great way of using up all the berries that are in season, as well as enjoying the nutritional benefits having fruits can give. In summer, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries are all in season, so these can be added to your smoothie along with your choice of liquid to give you instant refreshment.


13. Roast vegetables
Great with turkey and ham, or by themselves if you aren’t a fan of meat, roast vegetables are a great summer option, especially in the festive season. Kumara, potatoes and courgettes are all in season, and all taste delicious when roasted in the oven. They also go great with tofu or quorn!


14. Watermelon
Another delicious fruit that is crunchy, tasty and perfect for summer, the watermelon is best eaten close to the beach or the pool.


15. Fruit salad
Yet another way to enjoy all the many fruits available to you in NZ summer is with a fruit salad. Why bother with the vegetables when you can just have the sweetness of an all fresh fruit bowl? This is an ideal breakfast, lunch and dessert option and can be made slightly unhealthier or healthier depending on what you prefer. Having dessert? Choose chocolate. Prefer a balanced breakfast? Have some fruit salad on top of a bowl with yoghurt and granola.


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