The Maori people settled NZ long before the Europeans. But with
European settlement here, the Maori gradually replaced their staple
fernroot with potatoes and bread cooked Maori style. Maori bread is
commonly called rewena paraoa. Occasionally it is possible to buy it
at country fairs, school galas, wine and food festivals, etc. It is
usually cooked in large round tins, I guess 10-12 inches in diameter,
and the bread is about 6inches deep. Here is a recipe from a cookbook
compiled by a fellow member of the NZ Guild of Foodwriters, David
Burton (Two Hundred Years of New Zealand Food and Cookery)
Rewena Paraoa (Maori Bread)
2 C flour
3 medium slices potato
1 tsp sugar
Boil slices of potato with 1 cup of water until soft. Cool to
lukewarm and mix in the flour and sugar to a paste. Cover and standa
in a warm place until the mixture has fermented.
5 C flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
Sift flour and salt into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Fill
with rewena and sprinkle baking soda over the top. Combine and knead
mixture for about 10 minutes, adding a little water if the mixture is
too firm. Shape into loaves or place the mixture into greased loaf
tins. Bake at 450F (230C) for 45-50 minutes.
Now here is another recipe I post for interest's sake. The Maori had
a penchant for strongly flavoured food, according to David Burton.
Often, because they were away engaged in incessant tribal wars, their
plantations were left untended and they returned to find their crops
rotting. Out of necessity they had to live on rotten food and
developed a penchant for it. Some foods were then left deliberately
to decompose - such as Kaanga wai - cured corn. Corn cobs were dried
in the sun then put in a kit (a flax basket) or a sack and left in
clear running water for 2-3 months until the core was rotten. The
corn ws then stripped from the husk with a knife, washed with fresh
water and mashed then cooked (3C water for every 1C corn) for about
2-2 1/2 hours until it made a strong smelling porridge. Today's Maori
add some salt and sugar.
I have eaten Rewena Paraoa (very nice although not quite enough salt
for me but our salted butter helps that) but not the Kaanga Wai, which
I believe is strong like blue vein cheese.
Well, that's a bit of ethnic stuff from down under for you :-)