To those who celebrate – Happy Christmas and Happy 7th night of Hanukkah. While you are spending the holidays dining on tons of rich dishes (I mean, who wouldn’t be – We definitely are), take a break to make something lighter. A modification of a Mäori boil up, with just yams, roast pork, salt and water.

The History

Before we get into this recipe, some background needs to be provided. We moved forward to New Zealand, which is the last location (outside of Antarctica) to be inhabited by humans. The origins of humans in New Zealand occurred from 1280 to 1350 C.E., when the Polynesians travel to the islands and settled. From there, they focused the M?ori culture, which we see today.

When the Polynesians arrived, they brought many foods from their previous home, including: Yams and Taros. It is believed that they attempted to bring pigs with them, but based on Archaeological records, the remains of Kunekune pigs (Which is the ones that were available to them) did not appear in New Zealand until the 1700’s.

This leads us to a difficult variation on our existing rule. As you’ve seen, we’ve used the term “Pre-Colonialisation” or “Pre-European Contact” for these recipes. It’s been specifically to show the historical transition of food from one region to another, and avoiding allowing European influence to change what would have been present.

However, where this becomes a conflict is heavily with New Zealand. It was unoccupied, foods from other parts of the world were brought there to start and early contact with Europeans (The Dutch in the 1600’s and Captain Cook in 1786), lead to actions where pigs, different species such as from Vietnam, Europe, the Americas, were traveling on these ships and were often left on neighboring islands. This would be before the British waged a war from 1801 to 1840 against the M?ori, killing up to 40,000.

With this, this recipe would be a 1800’s variation of the M?ori Boil Up, using the ingredients that would have been accessible, with the knowledge that other items which would have arrived around the time, soon after, may not have been present.

This will be the latest our recipes will go, because majority of the world had been taken over by Europeans much earlier.


Meghan’s Review

3 out of 5 stars

I know what you are thinking – Meghan didn’t like a simple stew? It may have been easy to make, but it was disappointing to me. I feel as if, if we had more access to native herbs and plants, which could have added more flavor, but due to topics we’ve mentioned in the podcast, we don’t have as much variety as someone living on that side of the world would have.

Brad’s Review

5 out of 5 stars

I know that Meghan thought it was plain. However, as I have mentioned before, mine is not that of a refined palate. I thought it was amazing and would recommend it for anyone.


I'm an IT Product Owner who enjoys playing video games, cooking and painting.

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