Tuesday, 2 May 2017
MAKETU - downhome New Zealand by the sea
Maketu (Bay of Plenty, New Zealand) population 900, or thereabouts. Coastal village, home of the Maketu Marae (communal and sacred meeting grounds).
Maketu is the landing place of the Te Arawa canoe which sailed from Hawaiki over 800 years ago bringing the first Maori people to NZ's shores.
A small coastal settlement with a tasty history. A picturesque little corner of 'the land of milk and honey'.
These girls are champions. Born and bred in Maketu. Karena and Kasey won NZ masterchef in 2014, received an international award for their cookery book, and have now travelled all over the world filming for their TV show.
This weighty tome (over 1 1/2 kilos) ,
was hauled in a suitcase by my whanau (family) from the southern to the northern hemisphere and then toted through most of Europe in hand luggage to end up on my greek island
Tuatua and takakau
Tuatuas are shellfish.
As kids we used to dig for them in the sand at low tide, twisting the toes to make small holes. Tuatua fritters were the best.
Takakau is Maori bread.
Flour and water and a little salt and baked in the oven. This soaks up the juices of the tuatuas.
At high school, in Te Puke, just down the road, I had a friend whose mother made us traditional Maori fried bread. There's a recipe in the book for 'Aunty Ngani's fried bread'. Even better than the Greek maiden aunts' fried cheese bread.
This cookbook has a wide range of NZ recipes from the old English style cooking that I remember, local Maori dishes, to the new Asian styled food that NZ seems to have adapted into its own unique cuisine.
Maketu is home also to -
Maketu Pies, the home of the best pies in the Bay (Bay of Plenty, North Island, New Zealand)
These awesome savoury meat pies are an iconic New Zealand food (yeh, yeh, and Australian), bought from the school tuck shop and gobbled down for lunch, scoffed at rugby matches, sold from petrol stations and gourmet bakeries alike.
Oh that savoury aroma of baked pastry and steamy hot mince. How do I get that out of my mind now? Homemade in Greece is just not the same
Beachside Cafe and Restaurant, eat your fish and chips or enjoy fine dining right on the beach. Gets a big Yuuuuuum on Trip Advisor
Maketu Fish n Chip shop
All fresh and local. Immortalised in an oil painting by landscape painter Robin White.
Mussels, oysters, kiwi burgers, kumara chips and the best fish 'n chips in the Bay, served with NZ classic, Watties tomato sauce.
I presume they also have those old favourites of mine paua (abalone) fritters and battered sausages, just as artery clogging as they sound. Meat pies are supposed to be rather fatty too, a whopping great golf ball of fat in every pie, though I know kiwis have their own healthy versions as well.
Maketu Beach Holiday Park.
One of our cousins stayed in this front cabin, literally on the beach. They are spartan inside but exactly what you need for a simple beach holiday. The sound of the surf breaking right outside their door must have lulled them off to sleep (or kept them awake all night)
My little bro helping to clean up the oil spill from Maketu beach after the wreck of the freighter Rena (unfortunately Greek owned) further down the coast.
Painting by local artist from further up the cliff, almost the same view my brother gets from his front porch. An idyllic view for a lifetime surfer.
Doing the tourist thing in NZ. Not at the Maketu Marae but at the maori village of Whakarewarewa