New Zealand part 2: Schmoking Delicious

I present to you a guest post by S.V. the passive food lover and my travel buddy for New Zealand:

A guest-authorship for the precious food-blog of my Schmokin’ New Zealand travel-buddy and friend…mmmm hard.

Not because there’s nothing interesting to write about all the good food in New Zealand, but because I’m one of those passive food-lovers. Being able to really enjoy good food, OK cooking skills, but not able to remember the last time serving a mind-blowing dinner for over 6 people.

So this New Zealand episode will not discuss all kinds of difficult smoking techniques or all the different types, textures and flavours of the kiwi fruit. No, this episode will be about the observations you can make when active food-lovers (the ones who make up these mind-blowing dinners in just a sec) are set out in an inspiring environment such as New Zealand…interesting material! 

The last blog-episode was all about our first destination in the North of the Southern Island, the Marlborough Sounds. Still blank in our expectations, this place on earth was just all you can dream of when you think of paradise. After 4 days of Little Paradise we headed for Wanaka in the South of the Southern Island.

Figuring that it couldn’t get better than Paradise 1, we had little expectations of Wanaka. The drive down along the West Coast is supposedly one of the most beautiful in the world with its mountains, glaciers, lakes and ocean. Indeed, stunning views make it hard to stay focused on the roads when driving the car and stay on the left side of the road.

And just for those people, who are enchanted by these stories and decide to head to New Zealand and discover the West Coast….. Don’t get out of the car without a good splash of DEET on the naked parts of your body. Our almost invisible friends the sand-flies are not as insignificant and harmless as they look. Very agressive in their attack, unsatisfiable, and no mercy for their poor victims. Itching (on a level and an extend you have never experienced before) red bumps all over your body can be the result of a small lunch with freshly baked White Bait along the road.

But let’s focus on Wanaka, with it’s mountains, beautiful lake, vineyards and trees in all kinds of colours… wow, our expectations were definitely set too low, another paradise! My job this trip was to take care of the activities, and with the close vibes of ‘Big Brother’ Queenstown, the extreme sports capital of the world, this wasn’t very hard. But what happens when you bring an active food lover?

Example 1:
Imagine a small plastic board and a Star-Wars-proof outfit to sled down a swirling river (FROGZ rocks), where we were taught not to have friends…(survival of the fittest). Passive food lovers will think about ways not to freeze their butt off and more importantly: not to run into the rocks. Active food lovers on the other hand will think about all the tasty fish swimming underneath them, and all the ways you can smoke, bake or cook those.

Example 2:
Mountain biking up and down the hills along the river, under the yellow trees, ending up on a mountain bike track in the woods, would make the heart of any sport-addict beat a little faster, right? So, where passive food lovers will focus on the boarder-cross, thinking of techniques to make as much speed as possible without crashing, active food-lovers will freewheel around, thinking of techniques to smoke the broccolini that night, finding the answer when looking to the right (not always a good idea on a mountain bike-track)…….with pine from the woods, of course, so easy! So after an exciting day on the track for some and along the track for others, we enjoyed a heavenly meal with pine-smoked walnut broccolini,with a honey-lime stir-fry…….mmmm!

Example 3:
Imagine some heavenly slices of sourdough rye bread in your backpack, a growling stomach and a mountain to conquer. Passive food lovers will think of ways to reach that top as quick as possible (and sometimes running is part of the strategy), but active food lovers will smell all kinds of interesting herbs and flowers, which they can use for dinner, along the way and will forget about their (and their buddies’) growling stomach.

So yes, we really loved Wanaka, where we also enjoyed some great lunches at wineries along the hiking routes (maybe a coincidence, maybe not…), but we were also very excited to head up north to some warmer regions…

Waiheke Island…
Only 35 minutes from Auckland by ferry, but an atmosphere as if it where a tropical island in the Pacific Ocean. Some artists, some hippies and some rich people owning villas, a lot of sheep, cows, little bays, hills and wineries.

Still enthusiastic after our biking adventure in Wanaka, we thought it would be a good idea to explore the island by mountain bike. Not considering that Waiheke Island is still New Zealand and rainshowers are the only certainty during the day, we thought it would be nice to take the gravelroads on the far east of the island….

Covered in mud, exhausted from the unexpected hilly landscape, we arrived at a fairy-tale tapas-restaurant: Casita Miro, a must have seen for active and passive food lovers!

With all the inspiration of the paradises visited our active food lover was focused on a fish-dish. So what to do? Planning on renting a fishing boat we went to the beach. Where the passive food lover will just read a book and enjoy the sun, the active food lover will wander around looking for eatable stuff. And on Waiheke Island you might run into a hippie, who just caught 10 fresh Kahawai and is very happy to share them with you! So there you have your fish, and you just have to gather some wild fennel along the road to make sure the main ingredients of tonight’s dinner are secured! And this blog episode wouldn’t be titled Schmokin’ New Zealand, if we didn’t smoke the Kahawai. This time not with pine, but with some sushi rice…. and not with rice but in a pastry with a tomato-salsa with wild fennel… mmmmm …

We love Waiheke, we love New Zealand!

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1 Response

  1. Anonymous says:

    dit verhaal lezen alleen al, doet dromen en
    plannen maken.
    it’s on my wishlist to discover!!

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