Mary Branscombe (marypcb) wrote,
Mary Branscombe

New Zealand trout: only on planes

The food on Air New Zealand is, frankly, very good. They've switched to pre-plating and dropped one of the nicer cheeses in favour of a pressed fig cake, and the mango in the fruit salad was chalky and under-ripe. But the wine and the wine selection are still excellent, the cocktails are wickedly good, and the food is tasty and inventive. Of course there's lamb, but I had the crab-crusted halibut with sweet potatoes and pak choi - although the chicken leg with garlic noodles was tempting. Dessert was a mix of New Zealand flavour ice creams and sorbets (I've seen feijoada described as a cross between a pineapple and a guava but there's a touch of peach and quince in the flavour). Afternoon tea arriving at Los Angeles (well, as we passed over the Hoover Dam in fact) was that fruit salad (orange, strawberry, melon and the unfortunate mango), crustless sandwiches and scones, tipping the hat to the English infleunce and the American taste.

But the most and least New Zealand dish on the flight was the starter; smoked trout, slow-roasted grapes with herbs, rocket and olive caper tapenade servied with garlic bread, rosemary bread and more garlic bread. Absolutely delicious. And trout is the thing people go fishing for in New Zealand bar none; every second person you meet has a favourite river, a favourite fishing spot, a favourite time to switch from dry fly... But you won't find trout in any New Zealand restaurants. You can catch it - with a licence - but you can't sell it. There are salmon fish farms but no trout farms. It keeps the trout population up, the rivers scenic and it's a typical New Zealand subtle difference from elsewhere. So if you want a New Zealand take on trout recipes, get on a plane.
Tags: flying, food

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