You’ll Never be a Kiwi ’til…

My earliest culinary memory of New Zealand is from 1957, at the age of around 6 years and ten months, eating some marvelous sausages at the Beech farm in Ohariu Valley. That is where we first stayed after we disembarked from the TSS Captain Cook in Wellington. We stayed on the farm located at -41.203156, 174.776251 in Google maps:

It is all changed now of course, but you can still see the stream in which Kenny Beech and I played.  Kenny and I were of an age, and cousins by marriage at the time.  We got on famously, had a great time all over the farm, and in the stream.  That is the way to bring up kids. I wish I could have done that for my girls.  But I digress. 

The sausages themselves were pretty amazing as I recall.  They had meat in them!  It seems I always had a thing for sausages. My Grandmothers always seemed to produce a cold sausage from the ‘fridge for me in England.  In fact, thinking back, I don’t seem to recall anything else in the way of ordinary food that has stuck in my mind quite so well. Only special occasion foods.  Christmas pudding with silver coins, cherry pies and counting the stones, apple and blackberry pie after going to pick the fruit ourselves, on the Horsell Common.  But once more I digress.

What I particularly recall, was the most amazingly delicious tomato sauce we put on the Ohariu sausages. The distinct warm spicy flavour is the epitome of commercial sauces.  It was, of course, Watties.  Over the years I have taken this sauce for granted, and as my cooking skills developed, I frequently found that I considered its use on my preparations as an insult, unless it was used on fried fish, chips, sausages or barbecued steak.  Oh, or bubble and squeak, the perfect sustenance for a long day of labour. 

So where am I going with this?  Only last week, after a year of buying cheaper alternatives, I bought a can of Watties TS.  It was on special of course. I have not been buying it because it is so pricey here compared to the others.  That is a mistake I shall not make again.  I cooked a couple of sossies, and ate them with fresh bread and sauce. Instant nostalgia, I was back in 1957 enjoying a taste experience.   That spicy flavour is so distinct. 

Truly one of the great commercially produced sauces of all time.  Right up there with Lea and Perrins, HP, and newcomer Nandos’ very hot peri-peri. 
Home made tomato sauce is good, and I have a great recipe from John Wilkins’ mum that is incredibly good, but my very favourite home made sauce is plum.  I srill have a little that I made from Wairarapa plums a few years ago. I brought the last bottle with me. It is nearly all gone now.  But once more I wander.

Anyway, buying this Watties sauce, I found myself in the odd position of defending Bainimarama’s policies to a European woman who has obviously lived in Fiji for a long time.  She was bewailing the fact that there seemed no longer to be the variety
of foods available in MH Flagstaff, especially of imported foods. I suggested that was going to become an increasing issue, as it seemed Fiji was finally and sensibly cutting down on unnecessary imports the country could not afford. For a sustainable economy they must produce and sell more than they import.  Local production is capable of feeding the country. But we may have to forgo some luxuries.  Like Watties tomato sauce.  


About Uisce úr

Though I am old with wandering Through hollow lands and hilly lands, I will find out where she has gone, And kiss her lips and take her hands; And walk among long dappled grass, And pluck till time and times are done, The silver apples of the moon, The golden apples of the sun.
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4 Responses to You’ll Never be a Kiwi ’til…

  1. Alan R says:

    I think I spotted the problem. Don’t forget the "-" . It doe seem to be lat and long. but the "-" is critical, Long correct, lat wrong.


  2. Alan R says:

    That is not a lat & long, it is a map grid reference just feed -41.203156, 174.776251 to Google maps in the box at the top, (cut and paste) click "search maps" and it will take you there.


  3. Glenn says:

    Are you sure about that Lat & long?That’s in the North Pacific just South of the Aleutians.


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