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What besides Vegemite should I request from Auckland?

My sister is flying to Auckland from Los Angeles, but only for a few days.

I doubt she'll have a change to hit a real supermarket, but I've already asked her to bring back a can of Vegemite if possible. It's not something you get to try growing up in California!

What other New Zealand/Australia-only foods should she keep an eye out for? She'll probably be in the most touristy of places, so ubiquitous foods (that still taste good) would be best. I have no idea what the area's famous for, so please help!

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  1. You might want to try Tim Tam biscuits, if they haven't made it to the US yet.

    BTW you don't get a can of vegemite, you get a jar ;) And until you acquire the taste for it, it's best to spread it *very* thinly over buttered white bread - but the true Aussie experience is lashings of vegemite and butter thickly spread on two Vitaweat crackers which are then pressed down to force "worms" of vegemitebutter to ooze through the holes. These must be licked off before the cracker is eaten. (If you don't have Vitaweats, get your sister to pick these up too. There's no other cracker that works as well with vegemite.)

    Ah memories ;)


    1 Reply
    1. re: mccardey

      last time i checked there is no such thing as vitawheats in USA. but they don't have them at AKL airport

    2. Tell her to try a "Burger with the lot".

      A big burger with fried egg,pickled beets and slice of pineapple,plus all the other usual toppings.

      Very tasty

      PS you can buy Vegemite all over California

      Tastes just like salty yeast.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Mission

        Second the burger! Although 'pickled beets' may confuse - we called it 'beetroot'.

        If I can advise another item to keep and eye out for (and stay WELL away from), that would be a 'classic' of Kiwi cuisine ... the custard square. A square of flaky pastry, topped with a couple of inches of solid custard (made from powder), finished with a layer of sweet icing. Previously famous for harboring the highest bacteria count in random food inspections in the '80s. Avoid. Hope she has a great time!

      2. I asked for bottles of L&P that got taken away by the border guard. It's a great soda pop that I had in New Zealand.

        1. Cherry Ripes and Crumble Bars.....most of this stuff you can get on the web in the States.

          IF your friend is a serious eater....there are some excellent specialty food stores in Auckland....some of which publish excellent books -- Zarbo, Epicurean, anything by Annabelle Langbein....

          1. A bottle of L and P (L&P). It's a type of soda drink that you can only get in New Zealand and some places in Australia.

            1. 42 below vodka (comes in original, kiwi, manuka honey and fejoia flavours). Not sure if you can pick that up in the US!

              1. Ditto on L&P and 42 Below vodka, kiwi flavored is outstanding! I still have my bottle of L&P that I brought back from NZ 9 months ago...waiting for the right moment to 'pop the cork'!

                1. Pineapple lumps and chocolate fish

                  1. Just for the record, I know the OP's post is old, you can now get original flavor Tim Tams at Cost Plus World Market (unless they are sold out).

                    There are some Cadbury Bar flavors that are unique to NZ, I recently brought back the Lemon Cheesecake one which was big hit.

                    I like to bring back Manuka Honey, dried Pumpkin Soup mix, and RJs Licorice, a mixture of types (chocolate covered and Allsorts especially).

                    1. All the Cadbury stuff is better in NZ, I think. It tastes creamier. The stuff in the US is made by Nestle and tastes different (and I think worse). Maybe bring some back for a taste test.

                      1. Funny, over Xmas, we did a taste test of NZ versus English Cadburys!. They do taste different, too. In the Dairy Milk, NZ doesn't use any vegetable oil, and it doesn't have the malty sort of taste that distinguishes English version.

                        1. I get my mother-in-law to send me over food parcels every now and again and get here to put this tasty treats in.

                          Breakfast stuff: No longer get my Vegemite from NZ as it has been available in the UK in some of the better supermarkets for a while now. Sometimes get some Weetbix sent over though.

                          Chocolate: I'd go with Pinky Bars (Chocolate and Marshmallow), Caramello (my ultimate favourite chocolate - Caramel inside a dairy milk chocolate bar) and finally Tim Tams (we have a penchant for the original and caramel ones - not to sure about the recent 'special edition' flavours they have been doing),

                          Crisps/Chips: Both Burger Rings (Barbeque flavour hoops) and Rashuns (Smoked Bacon-ish flavoured mishapen puffs) are sublime and very, very kiwi.

                          Drinks: I'd concur with L&P and 42 Below without a doubt. Also if you can do it, get a few bottles of Saint Clair Sauvignon Blanc (preferably a Wairau Reserve or a Pioneer Block) as they far surpass the now over-rated Cloudy Bay.


                          1. If you're nuts about Gin then you should request a bottle of South Gin. It's one of my favourite brands of Gin and unique as it is made with native New Zealand kawa kawa leaves, believed by the indigenous Māori people to offer medicinal properties.

                            1. Vogel's, L&P, a bag of pineapple lumps, a bag of jaffas, a bottle of 42 Below Feijoa flavour....

                              All good NZ stuff!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: lohsing

                                Geoff Ross began 42 Below 7 years ago with a still in his garage. A few months ago he sold it for NZ$138 million to Bacardi. There is lots to celebrate and lament in that story!!

                              2. Better late than never. Just been to NZ and back.

                                Things that are important. Vogels is vital as it can only be carried by airplane with a passenger. Can't post the stuff, can't get it anywhere except NZ. If I had it my way I'd get it flown over in it's very own plane. Best bread on the planet.

                                Someone mentioned 42 below. You can get that in the duty free and get the plain one in the USA. (Also to add to the story, it may have begun in a NZ garage but soon lept to importing bulk vodka from OZ and then 42 South redistilling it to call it their own. There never was a grain distillery for this product in NZ.)

                                Soft drinks/soda's I concur with the L&P but also try Chi, a NZ sparking mineral water with chinese herbs (plus fruit, sugar etc). Also famous and originating from Henderson, west Auckland is Phoenix Ginger Beer. Lovely stuff.

                                Easi-yo packets if you are into making yogurt. Great things and lots to choose from.

                                Jaffa's and cheezels you can get at OZ/NZ/South pacific stores in Ca at least. Along with weetbix, watties, and the like.

                                OOOHHH Custard powder. I know my spouse will puke but I LOVE packet custard. Not just any packet custard but Edmonds. The English version :"Birds" has a nasty inedible almond aftertaste.

                                Also important in baking is golden syrup. You can't make the Edmond's cook book bran muffins without it. (Add in a cup of grated apple to make them amazingly moist.) Or have fun trying to make Hokey Pokey.

                                And naturally to make these you need the NZ basic recipe book bible. The Edmonds cookbook (Also available at the airport book store.)

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Junipery

                                  I'm addicted to Feijoa sours — chewy candy found in bulk bins in Auckland supermarkets. (Feijoa = pineapple guava).

                                  I'll split the cost of the Vogels plane with you, Junipery.

                                  1. re: Junipery

                                    You can get Vogels bread in Australia, and while we are on the topic tim-tams are Australian!