Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hangi Pie

Rotorua. May 2009. Ajr
When I visited Whakarewarewa Village in Rotorua last week, I was delighted to find out that the 25 families (70 people) living permanently in the village, still harness the natural georthermal energy for washing, bathing and cooking. There are seven cooking vents (covered with steaming boxes) located around the village and in addition, the large scalding hot geothermal pool, Parekohuru (95degC at the top) is also used for cooking. Meaning 'murderous rippling waters,' Parekohuru makes short work of 200 frozen corn cobs. They're wrapped in a cheese-cloth bag, tied to a rope and lowered into the pool. Just ten minutes later, they're cooked. The pool will boil an egg in just one minute. While I was in the village, I was treated to one of their unique specialities - a hangi pie. I'd heard from several people in the village that they were the best thing ever invented and I'm here to tell you, they are. The pastry treats are filled with hangi meat and vegetables cooked in one of the geothermal steam vents and they are delicious. Whakarewarewa is well aware of their popularity and they now sell them at some Rotorua outlets beyond the village. I saw this sign above, as I was leaving town a few days ago - just so you know I'm not making this up as I go. Whakarewarewa is now in the process of securing IP rights over the hangi pie concept. www.

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