Serving suggestion: Planta Mate, Juno Gin & Egmont Honey
The unique landscape around the Taranaki maunga has provided a source of abundance for people for hundreds of years. Today it’s being harnessed with new and exciting ideas by wildly enthusiastic growers, new eateries, spirited distillers, and crafty brewers; serving up sustainable, natural, fresh, and diverse food and beverage, they’re a force to be reckoned with.
The region's premium products are exported straight to the plates of New Zealanders. Food produced in Taranaki ends up on plates all over the world, as well as those of locals, from quality cafés to restaurants and bars across the region.
We wanted to ask some of the local food and drink businesses around the maunga about their favourite homegrown products. From manuka smoked apples to smoked beer, Taranaki has a Food, Drink and Hospitality Experience Like No Other.
Three Sister’s Brewery - Ameya and Joe
Smoked Beer – Hot Rod
“It is one of the first beers we made and it has done consistently well. It’s medalled three times, plus won a New World award. It is a little bit polarising.
It has a great story behind it too. There is a Kiwi guy named Doug Bell who hosts a hot rod show, which is quite well followed, he texted me a while back and asked if we could give him a beer for his show. I asked him what kind of beer the fans would like and when Doug replied ‘something that would taste like burnt rubber’ the Hot Rod was born! Sometimes the smoke in the beer tastes like bacon, other times like a bonfire – the smoke expresses itself differently in each batch.”
Theory Food - Momo & Michelle
“We love the Kasundi, bold in flavour but without being so spicy that you can’t enjoy it. And it is incredibly versatile meaning you can simply serve it with cheese and crackers, or on crostini with chicken and hummus. It is also great on white fish or with a salad to name just a few ideas.
It really lifts a dish. It is also a wonderful gift to take to a dinner party as it is both practical but also adds a touch of luxury.”
Egmont Honey - James Annabell
Pure Liquid Manuka Honey
“The great thing about honey is that there are so many different types and flavours. Right now, I love the Egmont Honey liquid manuka product that we sell in a glass jar.”
Little Liberty Creamery - Pieta & Rebecca
Almond Mocha Ice Cream
“I’m a big fan of our almond mocha ice cream. I think that the success of this product comes from using local Proof & Stock coffee, who roast and sell beans out of their garage in New Plymouth. Being able to use local suppliers is really great. There are a cluster of small, local businesses that I didn’t know existed until we bought the ice creamery, and we love supporting them.”
Juno Gin - Dave & Jo
Juno Extra Fine Gin – available in 200ml and 700ml
“The Juno Extra Fine Gin is a beautiful, well-balanced gin. We love our seasonal gins too which are sort of vignettes of flavour, little stories of flavour. Made once, never to be repeated again. We’ve just started making a coffee vodka in collaboration with Ozone Coffee which we are excited about.”
Food Hugger Gourmet - Ricci and Scott
Manuka Smoked Apples
“When people taste the manuka smoked apples, they are totally different from what they expect them to be. They are flavoured with a wonderful combination of smoke and secret spices which came about when we wondered what would happen if we added hickory smoke to apples. We really love experiencing people’s reactions to our products. It makes us feel proud.”
Planta Mate 330ml
The perfect lip smacking fusion of Old World superfood and Aotearoa New Zealand botanicals. The motivation behind this innovative creation was to create a healthy carbonated drink that was as refreshing as it was stimulating. Planta Mate was born. Exotic, healthy, and like nothing you’ve tasted before. Its floral, light, gently astringent with unpredictable citrus notes.
Marcel’s Pancakes – Natalie
“It is the blini. They are so wonderfully versatile for entertaining and despite the fact that very little effort is required to assemble them they never fail to impress! And they taste amazing.”
Major names in food production have established production facilities in Taranaki, and an increasing number of agile, forward-thinking companies have chosen the region as home to carve their mark in this sector. Business support services are available to all businesses in Taranaki, including those involved in food production.
Any business either looking to enter, or already operating in, the food sector can tap into Venture Taranaki's business services including free business start-up clinics, general business support, access to an experienced business mentor, capability development voucher funding for eligible businesses to grow management and governance skillsets, research and development assistance, and a range of regional intelligence products.
Venture Taranaki is responsible for visitor and lifestyle attraction, and actively works to promote key industries to the world – the rapidly emerging food sector and its creative businesses is one of these. Venture Taranaki passionately supports Taranaki businesses of all shapes and sizes, across all industries.
For a taste of Taranaki today, and to discover more about this region ‘like no other’ click the link below or follow Taranaki Like No Other on Facebook or Instagram.