Since I’ve been traveling abroad back and forth for the past month and am finally getting settled in here in Australia, I thought it would be fun and interesting to list a few food-related things I’ve been missing from California. Certain things that are extremely common to me are unheard of or very much so unpopular here Down Under.
Iced Green Tea:
Good luck with that! I am stereotypical when it comes to being Californian. I frequent Starbucks just for a trenta iced green tea. Sometimes twice a day. Sue me. During my first trip to Australia, I went to about 4 different coffee shops and nobody knew what I was talking about. Gloria Jean’s and Starbucks, both which are popular in America, looked at me like I was from another planet. Iced green tea isn’t popular in Queensland and it wsa really shocking.
You can visit an Asian market and pick up a liter of green tea to chill in your fridge, but that’s about it from my experience.
Pumpkin Spice Anything:
Less than a week ago I was living in my over sized beanie, bundled up with a pumpkin muffin and pumpkin spiced latte enjoying the crisp fall air and vibrant hues of crimson and amber leaves contrasting against a beautiful gloomy grey sky. Now I’m living in my air conditioned bedroom in the middle of Spring that feels like the peak of Summer back in the United States. I love the warm tropical weather here in Brisbane, Australia, but don’t expect to find pumpkin spiced muffins or lattes, let alone the guilty pleasures of pumpkin spiced protein bars, granola, donuts and bagels. It’s never going to happen so just accept it.
My darling partner found some pumpkin muffin/bread mix at a local super market, but that’s about it!
I’m of Mexican decent and I’m a native Californian. Mexican food is a huge part of my culture and my lifestyle. I’m deprived here and it’s cruel. My mom will be sending reinforcements though. I can’t even find fucking pinto beans in this place. My darling did go out of his way to find Tapatio for me from a random grocery store and I felt like I won the lottery. It was the most sweetest thing in the world.
Mexican-style restaurants are very few and very… peculiar. There is some Latin influence, sort of, in the food I’ve seen but don’t expect a taqueria on any corner let alone every corner, and you’re limited to about 1 brand of tortillas. Thank god for them though!
Dessert pies aren’t as popular here as they are in the States. I am a huge fan of blueberry pie but never see it around. Also, blueberries aren’t big here either. They have them here, but in California you can buy large cases of them for a decent price. At least there are resources available to bake your own blueberry pie, but it may be a bit expensive. Savory pies are huge here and a staple in Australian culture. I haven’t had the pleasure to try them yet but there are at least a dozen varieties I’m looking forward to!
I’m not talking about the abomination that is the pumpkin spiced bagel, but flavors Americans would assume were sold everywhere; jalepeno cheddar, poppy seed, french onion, blueberry, whole wheat… bagels exist here but any super market I’ve been to I’ve only seen plain bagels. Plain bagel is great but he needs his friends…
As I continue to explore and adapt to this amazing country I know I’ll find more things to fall in love within it. I may get a little homesick at times, and at least I will be frequenting the United States multiple times a year so I’ll be sure to get my Californian fixes in (I’m dreaming about In N Out Double Doubles). Australia is rich in culture through it’s cuisine and I’ve so far in two trips have had some pretty amazing experiences. I’ll save that for another post though!