Posts Tagged ‘Food FAIL’

When moving from an English-speaking, First World country to another English-speaking First World country, culture shock is subtle and often food related. I’ve already blogged about the Australian obsession with beetroot and my reaction to it. Now let’s talk about pickles, donuts and marshmallows. Australian food FAILS.

I love pickles. they are awesome. Crunchy dill pickles. On sandwiches*, on the side along with a sandwich, on burgers, just to snack on in the middle of the day, or even to electrocute for the fun of seeing how they glow**.  The pickle is a wondrous food. I love the flavour, the consistency, everything. The best are the big, homemade pickles swimming in brine in ginormous jars at delis in the US. Mmmmm, pickles! Yeah, not so much here. For some reason known only to the misguided Australian pickle makers, they appear to *cook* their pickles. I’m not kidding. They’re soft, often rubbery,cooked & humiliated cucumbers often swimming in a mixture that is far from the delicious dill pickle brine of my childhood. I have to be careful about which brands I buy (because, as bad as they are, I cannot have a burger without at least something resembling pickle on it) lest I get one that tastes truly foul. They seem to have an abundance of flavour varieties, as well … like, bread and butter pickles, etc. Um, wut? DILL, people! DILL is the only kind of pickle! And they are called “pickles,” in everyday language, not “gherkins,” or whatever. Oh, and only the cucumbers are called pickles … you can’t call relish or other “pickled” items “pickles.” Sigh.

Moving on to donuts … I should preface this with the fact that I’ve never been a big donut connoisseur. I mean, I like donuts and I’ll eat them if they’re around but I’ve never been the type to eat a lot of them on a regular basis or even to think of buying them when there are other choices for a sweet desserty item available. Having said that, compared to American donuts, Australian donuts taste like ass. Ok, maybe not that bad … but they aren’t good either. They’re dry, the wrong texture overall, often missing flavour and a certain … something. I can’t put my finger on it. I’ll eat them occasionally but I prefer to think of them as mediocre cakes as opposed to real donuts. Recently, Krispy Kreme has made it to Australia sparking a phenomenon. Reportedly, there are lines around the block to get these things, people in Perth beg friends from over east***  to bring them Krispy Kreme donuts when they visit. Now, I have never had Krispy Kreme donuts, so I can’t speak from experience but I’ll say one or both of the following things are happening here: 1) Krispy Kreme put crack in their donuts and/or 2) Australians are getting a taste of donuts made the American way and are HOOKED.

Moving on, let’s talk about marshmallows. Marshmallows are, quite possibly, the most non food item human beings have ever invented and willingly eat (aside from McDonalds burgers and Little Debbie cakes, of course). Seriously, who thought of jet puffing sugar and eating it? I don’t know but I think I’d kiss them if I met them. I used to love marshmallows. In my hot chocolate, roasted over the camp fire, roasted and sandwiched between graham crackers and chocolate …. Then I moved here. They have no idea what a proper marshmallow are. The ones of my youth were big, fluffy, melt in your mouth kind of things. They had just the right amount of powdered sugar dusted on them to keep them from sticking together and to make them perfectly delicious, they roasted beautifully, they made me happy. The ones I can find here are shriveled, miniature, overly sugared sad little things. Often they’re flavoured, too. Flavoured and coloured marshmallows? YUCK!

I am well aware of the possibility that some of these things taste so good in the US because they are likely pumped full of artificial flavours and additives that I normally would shun. You know what, though? I don’t care. I still lust after a good pickle and a proper marshmallow. A decent donut would be nice every now and again, too.

*    Only occasionally and only certain kinds of sandwiches, of course.

**  The Nerdy older brother of a friend of mine once did this to impress us at a sleepover (we were 13, he was 17). And, boy, was I impressed! It was awesome! Plus, well, I might have already had a bit of a crush on him. What can I say? I have a thing for nerds. 🙂

*** The franchise hasn’t made it here yet.

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