Kai Chronicles

Eating, exploring and enjoying life


Slow Food On The Move At The Hokitika Wildfoods Festival

Remember the American game show that Joe Rogan hosted called Fear Factor? Remember how the contestants had to eat testicles, brains, cockroaches, worms or other creepy stuff?

Well, there is an entire food festival based around this very notion, except the participants are more than willing to pay for the fearful grub. It’s the annual Wildfoods Festival in Hokitika. Every March people travel from all over New Zealand to enjoy a day of eating ‘wild’ food and drinking lots of piss (the fermented, alcoholic kind..lol).

The event is sponsored by Greymouth brewery, Monteiths, but if beer is not your thing, there  is also cider, wine, flower power bubbles, honey mead, kava, moonshine, kowlua and milk shots scattered around the 74 stall event. Still thirsty?

Another satisfied customer!!

How about a strawberry flavoured shot of horse semen? They are sure to get a rise out of you!! Pure protein and testosterone. I considered trying one but my stomach said no. The stall was certainly active with keen participants and curious onlookers.

I’m sure that has your mouth watering for some other tasty west coast delicacies. Being that it is a food festival, there are plenty of yummy and crazy morsels to fill you up. And it’s not all what you may be thinking! There are sweets to be had.

Waffles with fresh blackberries, strawberries and ice cream; fudge, crepes, pancakes, churros, donuts, honey and licorice are just some of the sweet treats to drool over.

But if you’re more of a carnivore or a wannabe Coaster (person living on the West Coast) you may want some real protein. How does sheep’s brains, eyeball eggnog or mountain oysters fancy you? In case you’re wondering, mountain oysters are lambs balls! They’re quite chewy!!

If you’re not that adventurous, there are plenty of other dead animal parts to tempt. Venison, pukeko, rabbit, paradise duck, ostrich, wild pork, BBQ beef, sausages and chicken were all served up in different ways.

I was all set to try the pukeko but they had run out of samples by the time I got there. The paradise duck was yummy and not at all what I expected wild duck to taste like.It was more like a red meat.

Fish and seafood are big favourites of the west coast and there was an abundance of it at the festival.

Me with my gluten-free whitebait pattie

Whitebait is a local delicacy and there were five different stalls selling the fish patties. I was delighted to see the Curly Tree Whitebait Company offering gluten-free patties!! With a bit of fresh lemon, they were delicious.

Other sea and river dwelling snacks included: trout, salmon, scallops, tuna, paua,kina (sea urchin), mussels, smelt, shark, prawns, octopus and snails.

I’ve had escargot before (even in Paris!) but the snail I enjoyed from the Westcargo stall was very plain. It was fine, but I do prefer my snails to be drowning in melted butter and garlic.

And save room for the crunchy selections……

There were lots of huhu grubs, grasshoppers, crickets and chocolate covered beetles. I did try a BBQ huhu grub. It is not something I would order again but I am proud that I gave it a go. They certainly were a popular item with a hand-full of stalls offering the crawly goo-filled creature. Some say they taste like peanut butter. I love the stuff but did not relate the two at all. My favorite exhibit was the Hoki Hocki Huhu Grubs where they had strong blokes chopping the huhus out of the wood pile. Can’t get any fresher than that!!

One big huhu grub!!

If you plan to be in New Zealand in March 2013, be sure to include Hokitika and the Wildfoods Festival on your list of TO DO. But book your accommodation well in advance!! The small town of under 3500 residents jumps to over 15,000 on the festival day!



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You Are What You Eat.

This post marks the end of the first week of a new year and new regime. Although I did not blog everyday, by now you get the gist of what my daily diet will be: oatmeal, rice, fruit, vegetables,nuts, seeds,  fish, chicken, smoothies,  decaf coffee, rooibos tea(and more, of course) are all foods that are healthy and “clean”.

Clean eating is free of excess sugar, fats, heavy sauces and processed ingredients. Remember the old saying, “You are what you eat”?

Now that I have “survived” the first week with NO issues, I will aim to blog 2-3 times weekly about my personal journey. As time permits, I will include one health and wellbeing piece.For today though, here’s what happened.

Weight: 50kgs

Exercise: 20 minute walk after dinner


  • Fruit smoothie with LSA and rice milk
  • A handful of toasted nuts
  • Decaf coffee with rice milk
  • Vit C 1000mg
  • Bromelain

Early Lunch:

  • Salmon and vegetable risotto
  • One raw carrot
  • Vit C 1000mg


  • Decaf soy latte

Early Dinner

  • Home-cooked roast free-range chicken with roast potato, beetroot, onion, garlic, carrot and steamed peas and green beans with a small amount of homemade, gluten free gravy.
  • Vit C 1000mg

Physically: I feel awesome.

  • I am drinking more water.
  • I am having daily bowel movements with NO issues.
  •  I am not having that afternoon tired feeling that I have when I eat excess sugar or bread products.
  • My sinuses are improving greatly.
  • I’ve only used my ventolin twice this entire first week.

There is so much literature out there at the moment about New Year resolutions and how they are set up to make you fail or how you can achieve them or whatever. I think if you are true to yourself and you are doing something entirely for yourself, there can be no failure. 2012 is going to be a great year; I can feel it.

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Rainy Day Happiness

kaichronicles gluten free chocolate pudding cake recipe

Today has been one of those cold and extremely wet days, the kind that makes you want to stay inside and curl up with a hot cuppa and a good book.

Once again, I use these days as an excuse to eat warm, comforting food. Home made stew or soup with freshly baked bread or scones are excellent remedies for a stormy day. So is a hot, saucy chocolate pudding cake!!!

I whipped this up in no time and enjoyed it as a treat after dinner. It’s easy, yummy, gluten and dairy free and has little sugar compared to other desserts.

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Eat to live or live to eat?

Welcome to kai chronicles!!

Kai is a common word and its meaning varies depending on your culture. I have connections to New Zealand and Japan and that is why I have chosen to call this blog kai chronicles.

According to Wikipedia:

In Māori, Kai means “food” (this one is absolutely true and used by many kiwis).

In Japanese, Kai may mean “change” or “the action to correct” or “concerning oneself with” (I will check this with Japanese mates). Notice how Wikipedia uses the word “may”.

So now I ask the age old question: Do you live to eat or eat to live?

I seem to be living to eat lately but I go through stages.

I have been attempting to be dairy, gluten, red meat, alcohol, fruit, sugar, yeast, caffeine,  fermented food FREE off and on for nearly 18 months now. Actually since 2005, I have experimented with many forms of food restrictions due to health issues.

It’s extremely hard to do but I have been successful, for short periods of time.

AND, the thing is this: When on the ‘restricted’ diet, I feel better!!! But after 4-6 weeks, I crack and cannot cope unless I eat a whole cake and once I do that, it’s all off until I have the will power to start all over again.

This I  know for sure: I’m an emotional eater.

My latest attempt, which was successful for 2 weeks then I introduced apples, potatoes and some other ‘sweet’ vegetables and all was well for anther 2 weeks before I started to cave, was smack in the middle of some emotional turbulance so it was probably not the best time to give it a go.

I am now enjoying most of the restrictions except: alcohol, dairy(except pro-biotic yogurt which is good for tummy health), caffeine and mostly staying away from yeast. If I crave a peanut butter sandwich, I’ll eat it.

I’ve been practicing ‘presence’ for nearly four years now. I rationalise my food intake with the NOW.

If this moment is all we have, I say, “EAT CAKE AND LOVE IT”.