Blog Entries

It's Foodie Friday! An Ethnic Exploration of Maori Food

Friday, July 08, 2011
This weekend is the Blogging While Brown conference in Los Angeles; and it makes sense that I should be there, don't you think?  After all, I blog.  Oh.  And I'm Brown.  Not to mention the fact that LA is my home.  *Clicking my heels three times*  There's no place like home.

On Saturday, food bloggers Bren Herrera and Chrystal Baker will head up a breakout session at BWB called Food Blogging 101: Key Ingredients to Establishing a Solid and Respected Food Blog. And while I am not a food blogger, there is an obvious tie between culture and food, so I'm anxious to attend. In the meantime, I'd like to share with you an Ethnic Exploration of Maori food from The Duo Dishes, a blog by BWB panelist Chrystal Baker and her blog partner Amir. Enjoy!

Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia,
a member of the Kotahitanga movement
in the 1890s, who argued that women
should have equal voting rights
in the Māori Parliament.
Source: Wiki
Blog excerpt from The Duo Dishes:  The Maori people arrived in New Zealand from Polynesia centuries ago–some say around 800 AD. With them, they brought a colorful culture of language, arts, music, religion and food. Europeans first touched down on New Zealand soil around the 17th century, and as the story usually goes, all was OK between both groups until land disputes brought on warfare, death and other unfortunate happenings drastically reduced the Maori population. In the late 1890′s, it is reported that the population dipped down to about 42,000 people. It took many, many years for the group’s numbers to increase again, but now estimates place the numbers around 600,000 in New Zealand. The mesh of Maori and European New Zealand cultures is evident across the country through performance arts, religion, sports and language. Even though a very small percentage of the country speaks the Maori language, there are many Maori words used in every day speech.

Maori boil-up. Photo: The Duo Dishes
In terms of kai (the Maori word for food), the Maori people have an intense and spiritual connection to the land and everything that it produces. The original tribes were hunter-gatherers who also grew root vegetables to create meals that were boiled over a fire or heated in underground ‘ovens’. One very basic dish is known as a boil-up. It is a very traditional root vegetable, greens and meat soup cooked in water until the meat and vegetables are very tender. It is usually served with a dumpling or doughboy that float along in the broth and provide a starchy consistency to liquid. We decided to make both of these along with paua fritters. Paua is the Maori word for abalone.

Read more and get the recipe for The Duo Dishes' Maori boil-up and paua fritters here.


The Duo Dishes on: July 8, 2011 at 2:25 PM said...

Thanks for sharing our post. It's a pleasure for us to do our EE series. As much fun as it is to eat the dishes!


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