Sunday, November 16, 2008

Some more stuff you won't see in the U.S. The culinary version.

1) Cheese rolls. I'm told these are more of a regional South Island thing (and more specifically, an Otago/Southland thing) than a NZ thing. White bread, cheese, and french onion soup mix rolled up into little pinwheels and grilled or baked until the bread is toasty and cheese/soup mix combo gets all gooey. What's not to love?

2) Beets. Kiwis LOVE beets. Except they call it beetroot. And then they put it on all of your sandwiches. And it makes your bread turn pink. I was picking it off of a sandwich the other day and a friend commented, "Americans aren't into beetroot, huh?" I confirmed this was correct. She responded, "But you still put it on burgers, right?"

3) Lemonade. Order this in a restaurant and they will bring you Sprite, 7-up, or a similar fizzy lemon-lime beverage. If you want lemon juice with water and sugar, you'd probably better make it yourself.

4) Pavlova. I've mentioned this before, but no list of Kiwi culinary quirks would be complete without it. It's a meringue desert, usually topped with fruit. It's good.

Whenever a Kiwi talks to me about pavlova (which happens more than you would think) they always make a big point to note that it originated in New Zealand, and that Australians have merely stolen the idea and claimed it as their own and are a bunch of damned liars. It appears to be a sensitive issue.

5) Sweet chili sauce. You don't really need to worry about this. Just avoid it at all costs.

6) Marmite. You don't really need to worry about this. Just avoid it at all costs.

7) Vegemite. In fairness, I haven't actually tried this, but after my Marmite experience I am avoiding it at all costs. My more adventurous readers can probably find it in the larger North American grocery stores if anyone wants to give it a go and report back. Go ahead. I dare you.


Frank said...

Marmite ROCKS !!!! You are so wrong :)

I'm embarrassed that my only correspondence with you over the last month or so has been this comment, but i felt it was worth saying.

Kelly said...

Hi! I just found your blog, and already you have solved two mysteries for me.

One. The beetroot thing. Im Canadian and we wouldnt ever consider putting it on a burger. My Kiwi friends are insisting that it's amazing, but so far I havent tried it. It's good to know they put it on other sandwiches and not just burgers.

Two. When I was in a bar the other week, I asked for a "whiskey and 7". The bartender asked if I meant lemonade. I shook my head, ordered a beer, and chalked the whole thing up to my accent and the loud music. I had no idea that "lemonade" meand lemon fizzy drink!

Btw, Im in Auckland and am really happy to have found another North American expat blog!

The Real Mr Nobody said...

Hi, I found your blog through the next blog method...and it made me really homesick...

The Swedes can't understand my need for beetroot and egg on my hamburger :(
And beetroot sammies... I might just go and make one now...
I guess Marmite is an acquired taste but it is possible to miss it.

Raising a child on the other side of the world to their grandparents is tough... Skype with video is a life saver.

Any way have a good one and congrats for Zach..