Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Top 5 helpings of 'Kiwiana Kwisine'

List by Danielle

One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.
~Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright, Pavarotti, My Own Story

Inspired by Natalie's recent catch from amongst our newly received titles, Fish 'n' chips: the great New Zealand feed, here is a list of some of the great titles that celebrate the various culinary traditions of our country. Here in our reference collection alone we have some real gems, including Betty's Old Curiosity recipe book (remember homemade hokey pokey from school fairs?) and Aunt Daisy (not only tips for pickled mutton and milk puddings but also advice on ironing smocking or addressing parcels). I can also recommend the colourful and inspiring Lift the lid of the cumin jar : refugees and immigrants talk about their lives and food for a glimpse of some of the wonderful flavours and food traditions coming to New Zealand in recent years, from places like Bosnia, Cambodia and Afghanistan.

I hope you find something new (or old!) to try in one of these wonderful books!

The origins of New Zealand's cuisine can be traced back to our nineteenth-century immigrant ancestors. They were confronted with not only reversed seasons but plentiful fertile land and a generally warmer climate. This abundance combined with the strong traditions of the immigrants produced a cuisine based on a wide choice of meats, dairy products, fruits and vegetables, and characterised by plenty and hospitality. Drawing on wealth of published and unpublished material, Tony Simpson examines in detail the development of our cuisine and domestic culture over the past two centuries. Illustrated throughout with historical images and accompanied by recipes, A Distant Feast provides a fascinating overview of the place of food in the lives of New Zealanders.

Analyzing more than 150 years of recipes and cookbooks, this study chronicles the culinary history of New Zealand, looking at curious dishes such as boiled calf's head and stewed liver with macaroni, to the more traditional favorites such as homemade jams and chutneys. It explores what makes New Zealand cooking distinctive, and examines how the culture has changed, from the prevalence of whitebait and mussels in the 1920s, to the arrival of Asian influences in the 1950s, and finally to the modern emphasis on fresh ingredients and fusion cooking.

Maori food and cookery / David Fuller.

Pt. 1. Background to Maori food and cookery -- Fernroot -- Ti and nikau -- Other vegetables -- Some unusual foods -- Beverages -- Meats -- Fish -- Light and heat -- Hangi -- Serving food -- Captain Cook in New Zealand -- Pt. 2. Maori recipes, ancient and modern. Breads, cakes and puddings -- Vegetables and seaweed -- Meats -- Shellfish -- Seafish -- Freshwater fish -- Birds -- Miscellaneous.

Kiwis love their food, especially all those goodies that are unique to New Zealand. Chock-full of stories about the food we regard with affection - from Anzac biscuits to whitebait, chocolate fish to the Sunday roast - this book is a quirky celebration of our national cuisine. More than 20 simple recipes are included so that you can create such Kiwi classics such as afghans, pavlova, feijoa jam, or ginger crunch.
When David Burton wrote the award-winning 200 Years of New Zealand Food and Cookery (published in 1982 and regarded by many as the 'bible' of New Zealand's culinary industry), his claims that a unique New Zealand cuisine existed were met with hoots of derision. But David asserts that 'Kwisine Kiwiana', as he calls it, was and still is alive and kicking and evolving. Comprehensive in its coverage, this new book focuses on food and recipes of our nation. An introductory section covers Maori and traditional colonial foods, including a fascinating history of dining out in New Zealand, and traces developments in the food industry and produce through to the present day. Old Kiwi food institutions such as fish and chips, Aunt Daisy, meat pies, tomato sauce, chilly bins, barbies and chocolate fish, and many more are also covered. Over 100 recipes, from shepherd's pie and toheroa fritters to spanikopita and kumara and prune tzimmes, illustrate the dramatic changes in our culinary traditions; not only do they show the influence of thousands of new ingredients which accompanied migrants to New Zealand, but also how we have embraced these cuisines and successfully adapted them to our own indigenous ingredients.

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