Chocolate fish: a New Zealand delicacy

Have you ever caught a chocolate fish?

Chocolate fish by Marie
Chocolate fish by Marie

Every country has special sweets that children grow up with and New Zealand is no exception. One of the favourites of Kiwi kids is the chocolate fish. It is marshmallow, either white or pink, wrapped in chocolate. They are usually about 10-15cm long but you can also buy giant ones and tiny ones, known as sprats. Go into any dairy, the New Zealand word for a small shop or corner shop, and you’ll find chocolate fish along with lots of other goodies from open boxes. Although it is changing a bit these days as more things are individually wrapped, you can still choose what you like from the boxes in dairies putting them into a little paper bag and paying by the piece. There are variations on this theme in the form of toasties, a block of marshmallow covered in chocolate and toasted coconut, and pineapple lumps, smaller squares of pineapple flavoured marshmallow covered in chocolate. But the chocolate fish has become one of those images in New Zealand we call “Kiwiana” as it represents lots and lots of nostalgia.

Do you like sweet things? Try:

Alfajores from Argentina
Mooncakes from China
Tort de ciocolata from Romania

About the author

Marie Szamborski
Marie lives in Auckland, New Zealand but was born in the United States and is a dual-national. She has lived in five countries altogether but sees New Zealand as her real home base. She loves travel, and living in multi-cultural Auckland is the next best thing to being out there.
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  • These are cool! I’ve never seen sweets like this before. When I was a child we usually bought sweets loose, measured into paper bags, but almost all sweets are pre-wrapped nowadays. Definitely a nostalgia trip!

  • Can we have the recipe ? Please, I must try these chocolate fish !

  • I want some…

  • My Gran used to buy fish shaped cookies for us. This post reminded me of her. Thanks!

  • Thanks for all the comments. I’m glad you like our chocolate fish!

    Liz, there are definitely some things in common between the UK cornershops and the NZ dairies.

    Carmen, I’m afraid there is no recipe that I know of because we always just buy them in a shop.

    Sanjay, you’ll have to come to NZ because even if I could post you some they’d surely melt in India!

    Ana, that really cool. There should be more fish-shaped snacks around the world:-)

  • p jane

    I *love* chocolate fish and pineapple lumps and there’s nothing here in the States that compares. (Ironic, my adoration for these marshmallow treats, as I hold Peeps and those foil-covered ‘mallow Santas in disdain.) Thank you! This lovely article took me back in time (31 years!) to when my brothers and I deliberated in the dairy bar over which treats to spend our precious pocket money on.

  • I’m glad you enjoyed your trip down memory lane, P Jane:) It’s true that things from our childhood will never exist lower in our minds to things we discover out in the world later in life, even if nobody can agree on what is the most delicious or disgusting!