I had an AMAZING time at the Noho Marae cultural weekend! I learned so much about Maori culture, especially singing and dancing, my favorite aspects of world culture!
…haha, yeah right!
Of course my favorite aspect of culture is FOOD! Lucky for me, we enjoyed an international potluck our first night! Everyone had to bring a dish that was native to their home country (and I brought Pasta Salad! Yeehaw! Note: It was all gone by the end of the evening, so I guess it was a hit!)
It was a whirlwind! Soooo many choices! My selection process was very random…yet delicious!
Everything had a label on it that explained what was in the dish and where it came from. I should have made a chart of my plate so that I could remember everything! What I can remember:
- Cheese Quesadilla from Mexico
- Salmon Rolls from Norway–MY FAVORITE!
- Meatballs from Germany and Austria (I think?)
- Potato Salad form Germany
- Ham Quiche from France
- Creamy cheesy potato thingy (another French thing?)
- Mussels from somewhere in Scandinavia (Norway again, I think?)
- Beef-filled crepe-type thingy from Germany
I ate it all so fast, I forgot about it a minute later, apparently. Lol it was so delicious! I love trying new things…
There were 100 of us at the event, so we basically felt like we won the lottery when our table got to line up first! Here’s the end of the line. People were still getting food when I was all finished with mine!
But I know what part you really want to hear about….
DESSERT! It. Was. Epic.
- A real cheese Danish from Denmark! It was heavenly.
- Maple fudge from Canada! It was also heavenly.
- Swedish whipped-creamy topping on a pound-cake-type-thing = PERFECTION
And that was just the first night! Our second night, we enjoyed a traditional Maori feast. It was a big deal. They sang to us as we entered the dining room.
Singing is a huge part of Maori culture.
And the table was set so nicely!
Even a centerpiece at each table!
We felt like princesses.
I went down the line and literally had a bit of everything because I wanted to try it all! This is just the first layer of my dinner plate:
- Lovely salad greens with a citrus-y dressing.
- Sweet potato salad with red, green, and yellow capsicum (bell peppers) tossed with grated cheese.
Bottom layer of my plate: (Thank God I’m not a vegetarian anymore!)
- Kumara (sweet potatoes)
- Yams (we think?)
- Regular potatoes
- Beet salad
- Fish salad (I confess: eww.)
- Stuffing cube
I wish I’d gotten to ask what everything was exactly! Bread was also enjoyed but not pictured. Hannah and I said “no thanks” during the first round since we already had so much food. Later we found out that it was homemade, so naturally we went back for a slice. Hannah actually asked me, “do you want to put butter on it, cause that’s what they do here?” Any excuse 😉
Now, I get to tell you about the most important part of the meal!…
- Pavlova (“It’s made from eggs and sugar”) Who knew something so simple would be so life-changing? It melted in your mouth.
- Spice cake (I think they called it pudding, actually) So moist and deep, comforting flavors! I had leftovers for breakfast the next day 🙂
- Whipped cream and kiwis all over the place, because why not?
We sang to our hosts to thank them for cooking such an amazing meal for us, as per Maori tradition. And guess what? Then they returned the thanks! Maoris are truly gracious people. And great cooks!
I wish I could live like this every weekend! I was one lucky girl 🙂