Tag Archives: Expat Americans

I’m a happy little Vegemite

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?

This Bud’s for Us

 The King of Beers

I’m not much of a beer drinker, but I was positively giddy to see a guest at my friend’s 4th of July party here in Adelaide show up with 6 packs of Budweiser and MGD bottles the other night.  Along with the Memphis-style ribs and Red Velvet Cake, the beers were a welcome taste of home.  Apparently there were a few expats looking for that taste of home Friday night; the woman who brought them said the bottle shop (that’s Aussie for liquor store) was almost completely sold out of Budweiser.

As I drank my bottle of Bud, I was reminded that I need to get something off my chest.


I’m not normally besotted with Budweiser and I have absolutely no connection to the Anheuser-Busch company other than the fact that I grew up in Missouri, but recently, I’ve felt the need to stand up and salute the King of Beers, perhaps, in part, because during a recent trip to visit my folks,  I was re-indoctrinated to the cult of AB by the catchy little jingle  played at Springfield Cardinals games.

Anheuser-Busch has been in the news recently due to the buyout offer from the Belgian company InBev which it subsequently– and thankfully– rejected, and because of that there’s been more chatter about Budweiser on the internet and I’ve seen a few snide comments made about it by food and beverage snobs.

I’m not about ready to argue that Budweiser is the world’s best beer– far from it.  But to categorically say that a microbrew is better than a Bud, or that Bud is bad just because it’s  mass-produced is crazy, because I’ve had some pretty crappy microbrews.  Some so crappy they make Budweiser taste like the nectar of the Gods.

And besides, Budweiser started out the way many microbrews today do: small.  Bud is the brainchild of a German immigrant who ran a brewer’s supply shop 150 years ago and eventually married into a family that ran a small St. Louis brewery.  Adolphus Busch just happened to be an incredibly gifted businessman who grew that small company into a global giant.  Despite the fact that Budweiser is a global giant, all those haters need to keep in mind that it is, technically, still a locally brewed beer for those who happen to live in the neighborhood of St. Louis, MO.

The Anheuser-Busch company is a true American success story, and thankfully, at least for now, will continue to be an American success story.  And when you’re living abroad, looking for a beverage to help you celebrate your American-ness on the 4th of July, when you drink a Budweiser, you’ve said it all.