It’s funny how you can never guess what things you might miss the most when you are not living in your native country.
There are three things I miss the most.. all food related:
New Zealand milk – in India we get either the full fat unpasteurized buffalo milk that needs to be boiled before you can drink it.. from this you can get malai, cream, and K’s mum makes butter and ghee (clarified butter) , or you get the Nestle or Amul longlife cow milk-in-a-box. This tastes strange and is not so nice to drink on its own. When I went home recently I couldn’t get enough of the light blue half and half milk. It’s all pasteurized cows milk but dark blue is full fat, green is fat free and light blue is inbetween. and it all tastes damn good. Light and cold and milky and fresh and no weird after taste.. I miss milk.
Baby Spinach leaves – I don’t like iceberg lettuce. it has no flavour and is watery and blah. I LOVE baby spinach leaves in a salad, sandwich, pasta whatever, its yum. When spinach gets a bit older the stalks get harder, the leaves get stringier and the taste gets a bit more bitter. In India spinach (palak) is used widely, but it is always cooked. This means that it doesnt mater what age the spinach is and so it is usually old with huge thick leaves that have a strong taste. Not so nice for salad, though I have tried many times. For every big bunch of spinach I buy I probably end up using only 25%.. yes I am a big ol’ spinach waster cos I hate it cooked and I love it raw.
Cheese – Give me some strong New Zealand cheddar and a glass of red wine and I’m in heaven. The fact that i still have a little piece of Mainland Vintage cheddar that I brought in April tucked away in the back of the fridge because I can’t bear to finish it, should show how much i love it. Cheese, cheese, cheese. The Kraft processed plastic cheese that we get here is inedible so I just have to wait and dream about the next time I can bring some back…
Then there’s the coffee. I really think us kiwis are spoilt because we truly have some of the best coffee in the world. Not many places can do a latte like us – I think that kiwi milk might have something to do with it. So while I get my caffeine fix here with a overboiled, watery, foamy, tasteless latte, I am dreaming of my old Purple Onion Cafe lattes.
In saying this.. of course there are great things in India that I cannot now live without:chai tea, masala dosa, sev puri, alphonso mangoes, sali boti, fish fry, caramel custard, amma’s mutton curry to name a few.. but man, can someone start importing New Zealand milk and cheese already??