Māori harvesting seasons
The traditional food economy was based around the different seasons, as shown by this chart. Māori needed a complex understanding of the natural world to maximise harvesting.
Pikopiko cooked to perfection exactly how I like it, dripping with "wai kutae", mussel stock. With aroma's similar to asparagus scented with a strong New Zealand native forest flavour, this native vegetable is prized at a high level in the kitchens of the Marae and home. Now marketed as a fiddlehead vegetable in restaurants across New Zealand, it has earnt its rightful place amongst our mainstream vegetables. ka pai tera.
Mara Kai: he kai kei aku ringaringa
Now digging up some Tutaekuri to take to Mapau next week. Not my favourite tasting taewa but a crowd pleaser because of its intense purple colouring, and always funny to give the literal translation: Dog shit (not to be confused with the Tutaekuri River in Hawkes Bay where I spent my teen years, trout fishing and camping, and just hanging out). Another name for these Maori potatoes, from TE Tairawhiti, is Urenika, a transliteration 'Nigger's' ure or penis. [This reminds me of a bizarre…
Foods are covered with native herbs and spices steamed under cover with ferns then covered with sacking to hold everything in place whilst the food cooks. Unlike the hangi that's used traditionaly to cook food, a strong smokey flavour is eminent. Using this method, the difference is noticed straight away. The Maori people knew how the herbs behaved during cooking and adjusted their recipes accordingly. This method of cooking was put aside for almost 200 years until now.