Here are 5 must-try seafood delicacies from the South Island region of New Zealand.
1. Green-lipped mussels
A specialty that is unique to New Zealand, this large and flavoursome mussels are freshest from Marlborough where 80% of New Zealand’s mussel production is based. These mussels stand out with their dark green shell with a bright green lip that they are named for. The best way to enjoy them us overlooking the natural beauty of the Marlborough Sounds on board a mussel cruise with a glass of equally well-known Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
There is no better place to eat crayfish in New Zealand than at the town that literally translates to ‘eating crayfish’ in Maori — Kaikoura. Although New Zealand crayfish is marketed as lobster in some markets, it is actually smaller than a lobster. The best way to enjoy is is to boil it whole, split it, and serve with seafood dressing.
3. King Salmon
The king salmon offers the highest natural oil content of Omega-3 and New Zealand accounts for more than half of the world’s production of this sought after fish. In the Southern Alps of New Zealand sits the highest salmon farm in the world, Mt Cook Alpine Salmon, also recognised as one of the world’s most sustainable salmon farming operations. The New Zealand salmon season runs from early October to late April every year and there’s no better place to purchase fresh salmon than at Mt Cook.
This tiny fish has a big reputation for being one of the most sought after seafood in New Zealand. Catching whitebait is an art and fishermen need the appropriate equipment and a whole lot of patience to score a sufficient bounty during the short fishing season. The most popular way of cooking whitebait in New Zealand is the whitebait pattie, which is definitely a must-try when you see it appear on any menu.
For large, plump and juicy oysters, Bluff is the place to be. Home to New Zealand’s oyster production, Bluff oysters are carefully harvested from the cold sea each season to maintain sustainable stock for the future. Eating Bluff oyster fresh out of the shell, neat, is the perfect way to enjoy the fresh oysters.