You are looking though the pages of my travel journal and making a virtual tour that follows our New Zealand trip of December 2011- January 2012.
In this post we are in the small town of Otorohanga, situated between Hamilton and the Waitomo Caves. Yesterday I posted a few photos of a mural that’s just down the street, and whilst it’s fun and eye catching, this is the mural a little distance further on that makes you stop in your tracks, do a U-turn and go back for photographs.
What you are looking at here are a selection of items that could be termed “classic Kiwiana”… they are instantly recognisable to New Zealanders and this mural is sure to bring a “whoa! wow, look at THAT!” reaction, probably followed by a big smile from all who pass by here and spot it whilst waiting at the traffic lights like we did.
Let’s take a look at some classic iconic New Zealand things and acquaint yourself with items that are known and loved by Kiwi’s everywhere.
Gumboots: They might be known as “Wellington’s” in the United Kingdom, but Kiwi’s know them as Gumboots, or “gummies”. Gumboots for farm work are generally black, but butchers, lab staff, freezing workers and fisherman are often found in the white variety. Of course children’s gummies come in an arrangement of colours and are a standard edition to every New Zealand back porch.
Wikipedia tells me: ”The term “gum boot” in New Zealand is thought to derive from the 19th-century kauri-gum diggers, who wore this footwear, or perhaps because the boots were made from gum rubber.”
There’s even a 1970′s song about Gumboots by Kiwi comedy character Fred Dagg which most New Zealand kids at the time knew at least the first lines of.
Pāua is known to a lot of Kiwi’s as the edible seafood found as Patties in many a fish and chip shop, and by mostly tourists as the colourful shells that are turned into various souvenirs. It’s the Maori name of the molluscs from the Haliodae family which are also known in other parts of the world as abalone or ormer shells.
You know all about the Edmonds Cookbook from this post: http://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/?s=edmonds+cookbook
Thomas John Edmonds opened a small grocery shop in the suburb of Linwood in Christchurch New Zealand, and after hearing customer complaints about the quality of the baking powder available on sale at the time, he started making his own out the back of the shop.
When one lady expressed doubt on the supposed improvement on the old products available, Thomas apparently replied “it is sure to rise Madam” and from this comment the iconic “Sure to Rise” trademark and logo were born, both of which are still in use on the Edmonds Baking Powder product today.
The Edmonds company website tells me:
“Thomas spent 3 years perfecting his baking powder but demand for Edmonds Baking Powder was initially low so Edmonds travelled the Canterbury region leaving free samples with almost every household, promising to take it back on his next visit if anyone was unsatisfied.
No tins were returned and the householders asked for more. Demand slowly grew until its popularity spread from the housewives of Canterbury to span the whole of New Zealand.
Edmonds Baking powder also won a prize at the Dunedin Exhibition in 1890. As the 19th century drew to a close Edmonds moved to Ferry Rd, Christchurch and in the expanded premises increased production of Edmonds products.
Edmonds Baking Powder went from strength to strength and by 1912 one million tins had been sold.
Thomas Edmonds was not only a successful businessman but a pioneer in industrial policies, during the Depression the company was the first to introduce a five day, 40 hour week which enabled redundancies to be avoided.
When the Edmonds company turned 50 in 1929 Thomas Edmonds generously gifted the city of Christchurch with a clock tower and band rotunda.
Today the Edmonds range of products has grown to include not only baking ingredients but flour, cake mixes, pastry, mayonnaises and salad dressings and the Edmonds brand still stands for Kiwi home-style cooking and baking.“
Today Edmonds baking powder mostly comes in cardboard box or plastic packages but I have fond memories of the old tin canister that was ever present on the shelf in my New Zealand Grandma’s kitchen. It was the type that had a press lid with a lip that you put the edge of a spoon under to prise open again. How many times did my little childish hand hold a wavering teaspoon over that can, whilst I carefully levelled the teaspoon with the back of a knife ready to be added to a baking mix for scones, biscuits (cookies) or cakes? I long ago lost count.