If you know me even a little, you will understand how important food is to me. Everyday I like to know what all of my meals are going to consist of and if I have something in my head, I need to fulfil that craving if I am to be happy. Pathetic? Yes completely, however I can’t help the fact that food means more to me than most humans (bar a select few). Since being in New Zealand a kind of red food mist has descended over me. When I was in Asia it was a given that everything was different and I didn’t mind that, but when you’re in a western, English speaking country it is very easy to kid yourself that you’re back home and that everything should be ‘normal’. It’s not, and everyday it makes me angry.
In England the Twirl is a firm fave. A product by Cadbury’s that is universally loved by all. A creamy, dreamy double whammy wrapped up in royal purple. One would think that this fine specimen would be identical anywhere in the world. It isn’t and I would urge anyone with a similar love for said chocolate to STAY AWAY. I genuinely took two bites and gave it to Matt, who subsequently threw it away. It was disgusting and waxy and bitter. Will I ever look at a Twirl in the same way? It’s debatable.
When at River Valley we were promised a Roast dinner. People need to be careful when they say Roast to an English person, especially when said English person hasn’t had a Roast since Christmas Day. There we were sitting down, smelling the beef wafting across the room and dreaming about roast potatoes when mash potato is placed in front of me, followed by cold peanut noodles. Sorry what?! Peanut noodles and mash in a roast?! This was followed by feta and sweet potato salad, gravy and Yorkshire puddings. Yes it was lovely food but it was not a Roast. There were no roast potatoes and no carrots and that in my book is the defining factor.
I feel sorry for the people of New Zealand, I truly do. They have caramel popcorn, they have salted popcorn, they have butter popcorn and they have sweet and salty popcorn mixed together. But can I find sweet popcorn anywhere?! Hell no! I went to the cinema the other day and had a detailed conversation with the ticket lady about the lack of sweet popcorn and how she couldn’t really comprehend why I didn’t want her salty alternative. A nation without warm sweet cinema popcorn?! Shocking.
The ‘Creme Egg’ McFlurry:
‘Now a branded food MUST be the same’ you cry! Alas! There I was, craving a McFlurry and debating over which one to pick (they are 4 dollars out here after all) when Creme Egg caught my eye. Perfect! My Easter favourite! I eagerly mix up my creme egg syrup and chocolate pieces and take that first heavenly bite…. it tastes of custard. There is no Creme Egg flavouring present, just pure, yellow custard. I hate custard. Once again Matt was left finishing off my leftovers and I was left despondent. It honestly should be renamed ‘Custard McFlurry’ – it’s false advertising really. Plus now I don’t want to try a real Creme Egg out here incase all Creme Egg products taste of custard.
The ‘small’ Milkshake:
Another Macca’s issue, although I promise I don’t spend all my time in this place! One day I was craving a milkshake, and headed into the Golden Arches to satisfy my craving. I ordered a small because you know, in England a small tends to be a relatively decent size. This tiny cup suitable only for a two year old appeared on the counter and my number was called, where I swiftly paid 50 cents to upgrade to a decent sized beverage. I’m not sure where portion sizes have been cut due to the obesity epidemic which everyone in New Zealand seems to mention periodically (our bus drivers do anyway) or what but it hurt my heart to see something so small. Kind of like when Hermione gets sent a tiny egg by Mrs Weasley in the Goblet of Fire.
Has anyone else found this when visiting another country? I’m sure people must get to England and wonder why the hell we have sweet popcorn on offer and why our chocolate is so milky and sweet. It’s so easy to forget that we are on the other side of the world, as far away from England as we can get and that of course there are going to be some variations. All I can say is that my taste buds have taken a denting and I’ll be very wary of sticking to ‘home favourites from now on!’.