The residents of Whakarewarewa Village in Rotorua have a very unique way of cooking.
Year round it requires the usual preparation but no electricity… and yes they do eat warm meals!
Slaving over a hot stove is unheard of here… why take the trouble when you can let Mother Nature take care of it for you!
A suitably sized steam vent is found and a concrete surround is fitted around it. Into this is inserted a heavy wooden box with slats in the bottom. To complete the cooking equipment a fitted wooden cover is made for the box.
Our guide tells us that anything you can think of that you would be normally cooked at home on your oven or stove-top can be cooked in the box.
Meats, veggies, even breads and desserts… It’s as simple as placing things in the box,closing the lid and going off to go other things whilst Nature takes care of the food. This large pot of meat and vegetables was put into the box about 4 hours ago and as it’s getting midday soon the owner will be coming to retrieve it for their lunch.
Amazingly I learn from our guide that any sort container can be used in the box without problems, even Tupperware containers and plastic bags. Apparently Mother Nature makes a seriously good steamed puddings and does joints of lamb fabulously in this… the world’s most organically powered slow cooker.