Culture & Heritage

Are pies the national dish of New Zealand?

Some would say it’s fush and chups. But we beg to differ. The tasty pie is widely regarded as a New Zealand culinary icon and staple. It comes pipin’ hot with crispy pastry and chock full of a glorious savoury filling. What’s not to love?

Well, what is it?
When New Zealanders talk about pies, a tantalising pastry delight, they’re not talking about the sweet ones in America like apple pies, pumpkin pies or pecan pies. They’re also not talking about their distant relatives, the Cornish pasties, which can be found in the UK. They’re talking about the humble meat pie, which has been part of New Zealand’s cuisine since the early British settlers, with the year 1863 being the earliest mention.

The inside scoop
The single-serve portion culinary delight is just the right size to hold in your hand and eat from a paper bag. The pie is essentially eaten like a sandwich and never eaten with a knife and fork (like some of our Aussie friends). This leaves your other hand free to hold a chilled bottle of L&P to wash down the pie. The best bit? This delicious treat is a hearty staple that is perfectly fine to eat at any time of the day. Be it breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, or dinner.

It is the perfect portable meal that can be found literally anywhere. Cafes, restaurants, dairys (corner store), bakeries, petrol stations, supermarkets… wherever you are, there is a pie waiting for you. How convenient!

The pie evolution
From modest beginnings, New Zealand’s classic meat pie has changed… for the better. Today, there isn’t just one flavour, there are many! You could say there is plenty of versatility when it comes to satisfying one’s cravings. The fillings include but are not limited to; steak, lamb, chicken, mince and cheese, seafood, bacon and egg, kumara (sweet potato) and feta and potato top. Even butter chicken.

The options are endless and it’s clear to see why the humble Kiwi pie is consistently voted as New Zealand’s favourite comfort food.

So, if you want to see where a hot, yummy, snack is a national dish… we know a place.