Sunday, July 15, 2018

Accessible turkey

Things disappear, things become hard to find, and sometimes something better comes along. This is one of those times.

Several months ago, I blogged about how Denny’s in New Zealand had dropped turkey dinners from their menu (and I blogged about the dinner itself back in 2015). The issue, as I said back in February, is that “it’s still not all that easy to find true American-style food in New Zealand restaurants.” The thing is, it’s not that easy to find turkey, except as a frozen bird or a frozen turkey roll, and both of those require long roasting (I roasted a while turkey for Thanksgiving in 2010, and I roasted a turkey roll for the day in 2016).

Other years, beginning in 2012, my sole turkey was a sandwich. In 2016, I had one again and noticed, thanks to the product’s new labelling, that they emphasised the “honey roast” part. They used to emphasise the word “sliced” with the old packaging. But it suddenly dawned on me why it wasn’t quite right, not quite what I wanted.

And that’s where things stayed until I saw the product in the photo with this post. The turkey is just roasted turkey, nothing fancy. They also make a sandwich slice version. I think both of them are quite nice, and more what I think of when I think of turkey in this form, but so far I’ve only seen it at Countdown stores.

This probably doesn’t matter. Nigel recently realised that he just doesn’t like turkey, which, while I obviously think that’s abominable, it’s not a legal reason for divorce. The more you know. The result is that I no longer buy it because I’d have to eat the whole package myself, and much as I like turkey, it’s not enough to eat it every day for several days until all 300g is gone. The sandwich slice version is probably manageable, though, since it has less in it.

The real story here isn’t this brand of ready-to-eat turkey, of course, it’s that this is such a rare thing that’s it’s downright exotic—turkey, for goodness sake!! In the USA, I’d sometimes buy some sliced turkey from the deli counter, diners offered sandwiches with turkey in them, and there were all sorts of variations on frozen meals with turkey. But here in New Zealand, I have to make do with prepared turkey that’s at a premium price (even more than might be expected for processed food).

This is why I’ve given up so many of the foods—good for me and, well, less good—that I used to love in the USA: They’re just too hard to find, too expensive, too different, or some combination. Not worth the effort, in other words.

To be sure, there are plenty of things I love about New Zealand foods, so it’s not like I’m “suffering”, or anything, but, then, I’ve been here more than 22 years, so maybe it’s easier for me than it would be for a new arrival. Maybe we do learn to change out of necessity as much as anything else.

Meanwhile, I’ll still have to occasional turkey sandwich, but not often. Everything changes, after all, even favourite foods.

Observant readers will note that the expiry date on the product in the photo is 22 Feb 2018. That’s because I actually took the photo on 7 Feb 2018, a few days after that Denny’s menu change I mentioned up top. I intended to blog about it at the time, but somehow it never happened, not the least because it all happened during my annus horribilis—there were only 17 posts total that month, for example. Things are improving now. Clearly.

Update July 16: Welcome Redditors! Someone shared THIS post, of all things, on a New Zealand Reddit. There are far more interesting posts about New Zealand on this blog than this one! For the benefit of any Redditors visiting this post: I am not complaining about the lack of turkey or American-style food generally. Instead, I’m merely observing differences, something that may be useful for any Americans considering migrating to New Zealand, and something that’s of interest to curious real-live Americans who follow this blog. Obviously countries are different from one another. That’s an objectively good thing. As a bi-national person, I often comment on the differences between the USA and NZ, again, something many followers of this blog are interested in. I’m also never totally serious about anything, including about not being totally serious about anything. And, there really are far better posts about New Zealand on this blog than this one. But thanks for stopping by!

Products listed/depicted and their names are all registered trademarks, and are used here for purposes of description and clarity. No company or entity provided any support or payment for this blog post, and all products were purchased by me at normal retail prices. So, the opinions I expressed are my own genuinely held opinions, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the manufacturers, any retailer, or any known human being, alive or dead, real or corporate. Just so we’re clear.

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