Making a Meal of Matariki
Friday June 24th 2022 will be the first time Matariki will be recognised as a public holiday in Aotearoa. There's no better time than now to celebrate the Maori New Year and reflect on the year that's been. And there's no better way to celebrate than with kai - get the whole whanau involved with these ideas!
You already know about the classic Maori vegetable Kumara by now. This native sweet potato has become a staple of kiwi food culture, part of roasts, converted into fries and more. It's a no brainer to include some kumara in your meal for Matariki. Why not add a few more to your plate this Matariki? Puha is a leafy vegetable that is cooked like spinach and is ideal with a roast dinner. Yam (uwhi) and taro are also picks for the winter seasons in Aotearoa.
Beef and lamb may be iconic to our culture today, but before European settlers popularised it seafood was a greater staple of the Maori diet. Iwi who lived on the coast frequently had seafood in their diet. Most prominent of them all was shellfish. Muscles and clams were abundant and are still loved today. Pop on down to your local fishmonger to grab your favourite seafood!
We here at the Pie Piper have always stood by sourcing local ingredients to bring our menu to life. With Matariki being a time to reflect and plan for the harvest, there is no better time to get local ingredients than now. You can't get much more local than your own kitchen or backyard! Now is the perfect time to start planting that vege garden you've always wanted to try. Or if you already have one, bear the fruit and vege of your labour and bring it to the dinner table.
Kaihaukai - a tribal potluck
Here's a twist to take on a tradition! Kaihaukai describes a feast in which iwi exchanged foods from their regions, making and trading these foods enhancing the mana for everyone involved. This is the perfect opportunity to bring the whanau together for Matariki! Have everyone create their own food to bring to the table to share together. Stuck on ideas when you're stuck with dessert? Check out our Baker's Blog for inspiration:
However you go about it, let's celebrate Matariki for more than just getting a day off this year. Take the time to spend the day with your whanau and reflect on the year that's been. Spend time together making plans for the rest of the year. Ngā mihi o Matariki, te tau hou Māori.
Pie and Happiness!
Danielle and the Pipers/Donuteers