When we crave something, we don’t give much thought to what we are actually craving for. For example, if I am craving a cup of deliciously hot chocolatey Milo, I simply think Milo, Milo, Milo. I don’t think of it as a special blend of malt, chocolate, sugar, milk solids. This type of revelation only hits you when you move to another country, and you realise that the flavours you’ve grown up with aren’t necessarily available elsewhere, even if the products with the exact same name, marketed by the exact same company exist in the other country.
The following is a compilation of unique Kiwi tastes that are not available elsewhere in the world, or shall I say it is a compilation of the Partner’s grumblings over the years? (Fly home, bird!)
There are cornflakes, and there are cornflakes. I thought they were all the same, regardless of brand. Corn tastes like corn, no? Well the discerning tastebuds of the Partner says that only Skippy Cornflakes are good enough for him. Skippy, the brand owned by Sanatorium. Can’t get no Skippy in Singapore.
In New Zealand, Milo is a chocolate drink. If you look at the ingredient list, malt only features as a minor ingredient. However, in Singapore, and Australia, Milo is a chocolate malt drink. Malt features prominently in the recipe. Once upon a time, Milo used to be manufactured in New Zealand, and all was well. However, Nestle has since stopped operations there, and the poor Kiwis have to contend with the malty version, imported from Australia. Now isn’t that a double whammy? Thank goodness I happen to love the Australian version, which I think is very chocolatey already.
Btw, the Singaporean version features palm oil and skim milk in the recipe, so there’s no way I’m going to buy the local version even if it is $2 cheaper per tin. Isn’t it strange that for something as simple as a chocolate drink, there are so many different variations to the recipe? Does Nestle think that Singaporeans like to drink palm oil rather than milk?
Milk, Cheese and Butter
You can’t get fresh New Zealand milk in Singapore. By fresh, I mean the non-UHT types that are placed in the refrigerated sections. The Australian brands rule the milk section in Singapore. You can however get New Zealand milk in Singapore in the UHT milk section of all supermarkets.
It is also almost impossible to find soft cheeses made in NZ. The only NZ cheese I have seen in Singapore are the cheddar cheeses under the brand Mainland. Once again, the Australian brands show their muscle.
Surprisingly, there are 2 NZ butters in Singapore. There’s Anchor and WestGold. Anchor’s the one that costs $3.80 and WestGold costs about $1 less. Which is very interesting because as far as I can tell, they both taste the same, and the ingredient list spells the same ingredients. Anchor is available in all supermarkets but WestGold is found only in Shop n Save strangely, as far as I can tell.
Only in the last year or so can you find NZ beer in Singapore. Tui is the brand of beer. Yes there’s only this one for the moment. It seems that only Carrefour stocks Tui, so most likely, if you go to the other supermarkets, you won’t be able to find Tui. I am told that Tui isn’t even the biggest selling beer in NZ. The most heavily promoted NZ beer overseas is Steinlager. It is available in most countries but not in Singapore!