Anyone could buy a ticket for $15 and wait for the hangi to be unearthed at 7pm.
|The hangi being uncovered|
A hangi (pronounced harng-ee) is the traditional Maori method of cooking under the ground using heated rocks. There are a few different ways to do this, but for this particular hangi they used a digger to dig an enormous pit. Normally the pit would be dug with spades.
The meals were individually prepared and wrapped in tin foil, before being placed over hot stones in metal baskets.The stones were preheated in a fire for about 6 hours. The baskets are covered with wet sacks, then tarpaulin before being covered in earth and left to steam for approximately 4 - 5 hours.
The table that you can see held hangi cooked mussels (cooked in a separate pit), which besides being delicious, the shells were useful as spoons for the main hangi.
|There was more than this - that piece in front is stuffing|
There is nothing else like the flavour of hangi cooked food - steamed, smoked and slightly earthy. It doesn't look that attractive, but the meat is amazingly tender. They also did some vegetarian meals. All those people know - it's going to be good.
We took our meals and ate them off our knees, with a nice glass of white wine, overlooking this bay.
|Matauwhi Bay, Russell, New Zealand|