September 18, 2015
Kawakawa tonic wows food judges
A drink based on a traditional Maori remedy has won the Foodbowl Novel Ingredients Award at this year’s New Zealand Food Awards.
The Ahi-Ka Tonic’s kawakawa leaf tonic is made from wild leaves and honey sourced from the bush on Aotea-Great Barrier Island.
Company founder Tame Toki says growing up on the island his grandmother always had a pot of kumara hou and kawakawa steeping on the wood stove during the winter, and the tonic was a regular part of the whanau diet.
He now brews the leaves with shaved ginger & turmeric root, kale and wheatgrass, along with other ingredients
There was total of 150 products from 79 food and beverage producers competing for the awards, a 40 percent increase on last year.
Judge Nici Wickes says the creativity, innovation, quality and taste of the products entered was exceptional, and shows the forward-thinking nature of New Zealand’s food industry.
The Massey University Supreme Award went to Waikato’s Magills Butchery for its Magills Slow-Cooked Pulled Hereford Beef.
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