Early on in our tiki tour of New Zealand, we went to a Maori cultural evening, which included a hangi feast. Most of the food they cooked was very influenced by a westernised diet (especially all the meat), but the cooking method was a very traditional thing. The meat and sweet potatoes (sweet potatoes being a very traditional Maori food) were cooked in a pit underground for several hours. It was laid in baskets/containers on top of really hot stones and covered with damp cloths and a load of earth to trap the heat from the stones around the food. I must confess this meat was deliciously cooked, very tender. And the desserts were pretty good too!￼￼￼￼￼￼ I’m not sure but I’d guess there were about maybe 150-200 people at this experience! No mean feat to cater for that number. But this Maori family seemed to have got it down to a fine art.
The Maori evening wasn’t just about food. There was a lot of explanation of other important things about Maori culture, and there was a kind of welcoming ceremony and concert of traditional Maori dance and music for us, as well as a walk to the river to see Maori warriors rowing and to visit a traditional Maori village.
I’ll do a separate post about remarkable musical experiences throughout my trip where I’ll post some of the Maori music.