Updated: Oct 17, 2019
If you happen to be in New Zealand for the annual Taste of Auckland, you'll experience a great foodie event that features some of New Zealand's best restaurants, chefs, brew masters and other businesses showcasing their signature products.
This Karitane crawfish from Baduzzi was my personal favorite dish at Taste of Auckland. (Photo by Digital Nomad Foodie)
Taste of Auckland
The Taste of Auckland takes place every year in November over the course of four days.
In partnership with Electrolux, the Taste of Auckland featured over 100 New Zealand restaurants that showcased their signature dishes and drinks. In 2017, over 17,000 foodies attended this event.
The Taste of Auckland will be celebrating it's 10th year anniversary in 2018 so if you're in town, you should definitely check it out.
During a recent trip to this awesome country, yes New Zealand is a true gem, my wife and I were driving around and accidentally took a wrong turn and ended up finding this great foodie event.
As you can see, there are a variety of prices of admission. (Photos by Digital Nomad Foodie)
The 2017 entry fee depended on a variety of factors such as:
General admission ($26 to $32 NZD) - the price varies slightly depending on which session you want to participate in.
VIP tickets ($110 NZD) - which gives you a special entry, access to restricted areas, crown credit to use for purchases and a free drink.
Children 5 to 15 (accompanied by an adult) - $15 NZD
Children under 5 - Free
Seniors - $15 NZD
Crowns are the currency used to purchase any food or drink item from the many vendors. You can purchase the crowns before or after you walk inside the event. One crown equals one New Zealand Dollar.
This handy map clearly lays out all of the Taste of Auckland goodies. (Photo by Digital Nomad Foodie)
Once inside - plan your route and then indulge!
As soon as you step inside the Taste of Auckland, take a moment to view the map so you can figure out which route you want to go. We ended up walking in a clockwise direction starting with the adult-beverage vendors.
We first checked out wine from Glen Garry, which is the largest family-owned liquor retailer in New Zealand. Since we came for all things New Zealand, we decided to pass on the Spanish, French and Italian wine flights they offered for $12 NZD each.
When in New Zealand try their world-famous wine! (Photo by Digital Nomad Foodie)
Nearby was 20 gold-winner Ara Wines, which is based out of the world-famous Marlborough region of South Island, New Zealand. Their Single Estate gold medal winning Pinot Noir Rose and three-time gold winner Sauvignon Blanc were the perfect way to start off the day.
Cassels & Sons Brewing Company at Taste of Auckland. (Photos by Digital Nomad Foodie)
Next up was the beer and cider!
As a craft beer fanatic back home in California, I was excited to try out some New Zealand craft beers. One big difference I noticed immediately was the alcohol content. American craft beers are slightly higher, which is what I prefer. Getting buzzed faster while drinking less is my personal philosophy. I gotta watch my waistline!
General Manager Nick Cooke of Harrington's Breweries. (Photo by Digital Nomad Foodie)
Harrington's Breweries (established in 1991) is located in Christchurch, which is located on the South Island of New Zealand. General Manager Nick Cooke happily described the crafting process of their unique fruit combinations which result in fresh, crisp and refreshing ciders. The cider is so good that I am trying to have my local cider restaurant, Cider Junction located in San Jose to import their cider. Connecting these two businesses would truly fall in line with Harrington's motto of "Drink Global. Think Local."
The food for all of you foodies
You can't leave the Taste of Auckland without eating some food. Boy were we in for a surprise.
If you enjoy foie gras, which is considered a luxury food product, you will love the parfait and terrine from L'Authentique. This handmade New Zealand brand is proudly made by imported Frenchmen according to their company slogan. They know what they're doing!
L'Authentique's unique spreads. (Photo by Digital Nomad Foodie)
We ended up purchasing their Chicken & Pistachio Terrine, Chicken & Duck Parfait and Duck Liver Parfait. Each one of these are produced without gluten, no dairy, no flour, no fillers, no chemicals or preservatives while using prime cut free-range meat.
Baduzzi had one of the more unique set-ups and the Karitane crayfish were iconic. (Photos by Digital Nomad Foodie)
For you seafood lovers, some of the best crayfish I've had was from an Auckland favorite Metro 2014 Restaurant of the Year, Baduzzi. Their name translates to "meatballs" in Sicilian and are led by Executive Chef Benjamin Bayly. Since we didn't try their slow cooked Te Mana lamb meatball, we did try their "icon dish", which was a 1/2 Karitane crayfish, grilled and smoked over Totara. Totara is a species of tree native to New Zealand and Baduzzi went all in with it! This item had a huge line, so if you see them later this year, make sure you check them out.
During the course of the day, you'll eventually see some other vendors that showcase muttons rolls, gourmet popcorn, corn nuts and coffee.
These were some awesome hats. (Photo by Digital Nomad Foodie)
You'll see some interesting outfits
While you are enjoying the Taste of Auckland experience, you'll notice the various outfits some people wear, which we learned was for the "best dressed competition". The top two winners each win a $500 NZD voucher for Crafters Union Wines. Free credit for booze? Now that's a great prize.
100% New Zealand swag. (Photo by Digital Nomad Foodie)
So to wrap it all up, getting lost ended up being a fun day meeting cool people and we left with happy stomachs. The Taste of Auckland was the ultimate New Zealand foodie event! Have you ever attended it? If not, you should go in 2018.
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