Although we’re both former British colonies, the U.S. and Australia have a LOT of cultural differences. We both allegedly speak English, but I still frequently don’t understand what people are saying to me and I sometimes have to ask my husband to spell out what he says. Americans wear religion on their sleeves, but you’ll never hear an Australian candidate for political office be forced to say how much he loves Jesus. In Australia, I can be watching regular TV at 8pm and hear the f-bomb and see full frontal nudity. Americans are prude by comparison. Americans only love a winner. Australia idolizes its losers (Ned Kelly, Burke & Wills).
But perhaps the biggest cultural divide between Americans and Australians is a culinary one: Australians love it. Americans don’t. Today, I officially crossed that great divide for the second time in a month by eating Vegemite without making a face and falling into spasmodic convulsions. I think this makes me a Vegemite eater, and probably a little bit more Australian.
Granted, my toast is spread with butter first, then just the thinnest veil of Vegemite and topped with a slice of cheese, but still… I’m eating Vegemite.
I’m curious to know what culinary hurdles other expats have cleared in their new countries of residence. Is there a food that once gave you the heebie jeebies that you now like?