Fish & Chips!
Last one, my dears. I baked today, so soon. In the meantime, I will get straight to the food.
We had fish and chips twice during the week at the Fresh Fish Market, which is on the water in Tauranga. The first time, we couldn't pinpoint what made the batter so unique, so I knew when we went back, I would have to hunt down a little information. Luckily for me, the owner was there and willing to share a bit of his secrets.
The batter was very light and crispy, without taking on that soggy texture familiar to most Americans. It also wasn't permeated with oil. Besides that, I couldn't tell you anything about it--and neither could my family.
Turns out, the batter is made with an ultra-fine flour that is mixed with mushroom powder. I was floored. Though I wasn't given any exact ratios, I was told that a good chunk of the batter was mushroom powder, so I'd probably start with 15% mushroom powder if you want to test it out. Also, the batter needs to be pretty runny so it goes on thinly--it gives it the crispiness and keeps it from turning soggy.
As for the oil, they actually use beef tallow. As you warm your beef tallow, throw in the discarded parts of the fish--the tail, bones, little chunks--so it takes on the proper taste. Then fry away.
Zeytin deliciousness. Click for larger image.
One of our first meals was at a Turkish restaurant known as Zeytin. On the left is the Lamb Guvech, which is a slow roasted, spicy tomato sauce, mushrooms, and lamb topped in mozzarella. It was a deep, flavorful stew and the all-around favorite.
Then there's meat.
And then there's that pizza there. Prawns, calamari, scallops, mussels, and artichokes drizzled with a garlic olive oil. Please, if you know where I can get something similar in SF or LA, let me know.
Fun food. Click for larger image.
When I was in New Zealand in 2009, my friend and I came across the Babies on the left. We nearly died, taking dozens of pictures of ourselves eating them limb by limb. I was surprised to see the Babies in the middle this time--they burst when you bite into them. Imagine the fun.
The SPAM is for Ben at You fed a baby chili?
Out with the dolphins. Click for larger image.
While in the NZ, we also went out to hunt some dolphins. Or, you know, swim with them. However, all of the pods we came across had babies, so my only dip into the water involved snorkeling. The dolphins and views were beautiful, though.
White Island tour. Click for larger image.
The entire Zespri group--including Sean, our most awesome contact with the local tourism board--took a boat to White Island, an active marine volcano. This activity is tied with kayaking as our favorite during the week. It was spectacular, as you can see. It also smelled of sulfur.
That's all folks. It was a wonderful trip. We ate, we saw, we played, we didn't kill one another. There will be a giveaway soon of some kiwifruit delicacies I picked up for one my faithful readers.
DISCLAIMER: Though Zespri sent my family & I on this trip, I am under no obligation to blog about my adventures.