Indigenous Foraging Experience with Charles Royal

Segment: Indigenous Foraging Experience with Charles Royal
Episode: Ep 1: Rotorua
Air Date: 23th February 2020
Presenter: Trevor Cochrane


Local chef Charles Royal runs an indigenous foraging experience where he takes guests out into the rainforest to teach them about the herbs and plants traditionally used by the Māori people.

  • Charles’ foraging experience perfectly demonstrates the cultural aspect of food in Rotorua – the connection between the Rotorua’s Māori people and the land.
  • Once the ingredients have been collected, you make your way back to Charles’ house, where the ingredients are crafted into a delicious meal.
  • Charles shows guests how the herbs are processed, taking the plant and turning it into a dried powder. There are a lot of health benefits with these herbs – they were often used as medicine.
  • This is a 4hr tour. Guests are taken into the bush and are shown the various edible plants. Once back at Charles’ house, they are taught to cook the food they have collected.
  • Horopito hummus is something special – the horopito is processed and turned into a powder while maintaining its colour and health benefits.
  • It is said that you leave New Zealand with the memories of the people you meet, and in the case of Charles Royal’s foraging experience, this is definitely true.

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