Lewis Road Creamery has launched a winter spice milk infused with horopito to celebrate Matariki.
The company partnered with Pouarua Farms to produce the milk, which will have a limited release of 40,000 bottles in June and be available in supermarkets unless sold out prior.
Pouarua Farms are jointly owned by Ngāti Maru, Ngāti Paoa, Ngāti Tamaterā, Ngāti Tara Tokanui and Te Patukirikiri.
They have been suppliers of PKE-free milk to Lewis Road Creamery for several years.
“This is an historic year for Aotearoa with the first official recognition of the ancient event of Matariki,” Pouarua Farms chairman Paul Majurey said.
“The sharing of kai has always been at the heart of our people’s celebrations, so we are proud to share our kai with Aotearoa.”
The milk is based on the time-honoured cold weather combo of milk and spice – combining native horopito for spiciness and heat, with ginger root, sweet notes of caramel, spices and earthy black pepper.
“Matariki reminds us of our responsibility to Papatūānuku and the fragile envelope of space our Earth sits in. Bringing thanks to our animals, our planet, and to people from our past and present, is embedded in our company’s ethos.”Prem Maan
Lewis Road Creamery
The horopito used in the milk has been wild-harvested from the Horopito region near Ruapehu.
Lewis Road executive chairman Prem Maan said he was delighted to have discovered Horopito, which has a delicious spicy pepperiness, as well as being traditionally used in rongoā for its calming and soothing properties, given that he is allergic to chillies and other nightshades.
“This is a collaboration for celebration not for profit. We won’t make money on such a short product period, instead we’ve taken real pleasure in creating something special to share the fruits of our labour, and to celebrate a fantastic national holiday.”
Lewis Road owners Southern Pastures have long celebrated Matariki on their farms as a time to pause and reflect on their place as food producers living and working on the land.
“Matariki reminds us of our responsibility to Papatūānuku and the fragile envelope of space our Earth sits in. Bringing thanks to our animals, our planet, and to people from our past and present, is embedded in our company’s ethos.”