Day 48: I Want My Chicken Fried Steak!

My mother-in-law asked me today if I ever get homesick. I do, but I’ve had family visit me here and it hasn’t been a big issue. When I went to the American store a few weeks ago I realized how much I miss some of the typical American foods though. It was fun to sit on the deck today, drinking a Corona and munching on Cheese-Nips :-).

Meat in New Zealand is produced differently from the U.S., especially beef and sausage. Mince (what I would call hamburger meat) is more finely ground here and my partner (right or wrong) argues that the peaceful free-range nature of the cattle industry here makes the meat taste better. I don’t disagree, but when I eat a hamburger here it feels somehow not fulfilling. The meat is so fine that the burger is soft and the meat doesn’t have the taste and texture that I’m used to. It’s quite possible that it’s better quality and better meat, but it doesn’t ‘feel’ like a hamburger to me.

Hamburgers in New Zealand also tend to be served with beetroot and egg on them! A traditional Kiwi burger has both and the egg may be soft-cooked so when you eat the burger the egg runs down your hands if you’re not careful. It’s not for me, but most Kiwis love it. They even sell them at McDonalds! Check out this advertisement from McDonald’s about the Kiwiburger:


What I would call sausage in the U.S. is really hard to come by here. I mentioned before that my mom makes the best biscuits and gravy in the world. That is sausage gravy and usually something like Jimmy Dean’s sage sausage in the little tube you buy in the grocery store in the U.S. But here, minced sausage is practically impossible to find. You can find sausage links but the flavoring will be quite different and again the meat will be softer and more finely ground. To make biscuits and gravy here when my mom came to visit, we resorted to squeezing sausage out of the links and trying that. Adequate, but nothing like the real thing.

And I have searched in NZ but have yet to find a restaurant that serves chicken fried steak in this entire country! You can find schnitzel which I have had to make due with but not chicken fried steak. The closest I’ve gotten is mom experimenting with cube steak in the grocery store when she was here, pretty dang good I must say.


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