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My Love For New Zealand And The Tim Tam Slam
When my grandpa David was 16 years old he travelled to the Pacific Islands to join his parents Captain Francis Bottoms and Sarah Elizabeth Senior. My grandfather captained a ship and great grandma Sarah was based in the Island of Fiji.
After arriving in Fiji, grandpa David moved to New Zealand. He travelled to New Zealand in a search for work and found himself working in the forest with the local New Zealand, Maori and Pacific Islanders. Within a few years grandpa met grandma Rae, a beautiful part European, part Maori women and they married.
Mum was born in New Zealand as was 4 of her siblings. At the age of 11 mum returned to the UK with grandma and grandpa to begin a new life in Yorkshire. By the time my mum was 18 she was married to a Yorkshire man, my father and began a family of her own.
I was born in 1982 and just as I was hitting my early teens, my parents made the huge decision to migrate to New Zealand taking me and my siblings with them. I arrived in New Zealand in 1996. It was a beautiful hot summers day and it was also my 14th Birthday. I was jet lagged and tired and slept most of the day but I soon fell in love with New Zealand my new home.
Life moved on and before I knew it, I had grown up, completed high school, graduated University and married. I even travelled to the Pacific Islands myself and lived there in 2006 with my then husband which was an amazing experience.
By 2007 I had returned to my home New Zealand and started working as a teacher. My beautiful daughter Sylvia was born in 2008. She is part European, part Maori, Tongan, Fijian and Samoan. She is a beautiful mix of Pacific and European and the most important thing to me.
Sadly when Sylvia was a baby my marriage failed. I had to take out a protection order and in the end I left New Zealand. I migrated back to the UK, my place of birth. I miss New Zealand, I miss my parents and my brothers and sisters. I miss my nephews and nieces and all my New Zealand friends. I also miss the New Zealand food I grew up to love.
I’ve been here in the UK now for 8 years and I’ve never returned to New Zealand. It seems like a distant memory and yet I long to return and maybe even go home one day. There are two things which stop me returning home, the fact I love the UK, as does my daughter and the fact I might not be able to get the life saving medical treatment, The Adrenal Pump, over in NZ. It’s still a new treatment and the advances we are making here in the UK are slow and steady but I am hopeful one day I can return home.
I do miss New Zealand life and when I was contacted by Sanza with a potential collaboration opportunity I was so excited. Sanza are a UK based company that specialise in bringing a slice of home abroad. They have an online New Zealand store offering goodies and treats which expats like myself love to snack on.
When I visited the Sanza website to see what food and products were on offer I was excited. I saw foods I’ve not eaten in 8 years and was making such a commotion that my husband wanted to know what I was going crazy about. I ended up showing him all the foods on the site that I love and miss and of course I ordered a hamper of New Zealand goodies to share (or not share) with my family.
There were so many Kiwi food items to choose from in the Sanza online store and I went with the items I miss the absolute most. I ordered a Whittaker’s Chocolate Almond bar which I quickly photographed when it arrived, (and ate) within a few minutes.
I ordered a box of Arnotts Shapes. These are cheesy crackers which I really love. We always had lots of different flavoured Shapes boxes in the preschool I worked at and it was a treat both the kids and I would snack on when I was pregnant 10 years ago! Oh the nostalgia!
I ordered a packet of Raro. In the UK most juices come in a bottle and have to be diluted with water. In New Zealand a lot of drinks come in a packet and are crystals which dissolve in water making loving tasty and refreshing juice.
I know it’s not designed for this but as a teenager my friend ate a packet of raro and she was on a sugar high for a day. Seeing this packet made me laugh and remember the fun times. It also reminded me of my job working in the Countdown supermarket stacking the raro packets on shelves and then sadly I felt homesick and recalled the many times we had a bbq as a family and I made up the raro for the family.
I really do miss my mum and dad and my sister and sometimes I just want to cry. This box brought a whole rage of emotions to the table I was not expecting.
I got a packet of Grain Waves which happen to be one of my favourite chip packets in the UK. Here we called them crisps but in New Zealand they are chips.
I love Mitani Chicken salt, it is so so good and a great flavouring and I knew if I ordered this I would be able to flavour my hot chips and food for weeks. So tasty!
There are plenty of biscuits to choose from on the Sanza website but I had to order Tim Tams so I can teach my family how to have a TIM TAM SLAM!
The Tim Tam is a popular chocolate biscuit in New Zealand which has two malted biscuit wafers sandwiched between a creamy chocolate filling and covered in a outer layer of chocolate. To make a Tim Tam Slam you nibble away part of the biscuit and then use it the same way you would a straw. It’s a New Zealand tradition and I something I will be sharing with my family tonight.
Next I bought my favourite Meal mix Maggi Devilled Sausages. It is so so good and I can’t believe I have not tried this in like 8 years. The devilled sausages packet mix is perfect for making a type of sausage casserole and it’s a staple we had as a family when growing up.
I ordered the infamous Maggi Onion soup mix which when added to nestle extra thick cream creates the most delicious dip. I’ll be making this for the family on movie night. I am so so excited.
Last but not least I ordered Watties tomato sauce. This is like the number one ketchup in New Zealand and boy do I have a story about this. I was sitting on a cargo ship, in the middle of the Pacific ocean back when I was 22 travelling from the Island of Tongatapu to Vava’u Tonga. It was a 16 hour journey and there was no food. We stopped midway in Ha’apai and as people got onto the boat there stood a line of women selling home cooked meals. We grabbed three boxes and to our surprise the couple next to me pulled out a full bottle of Watties tomato sauce. I thought it would make such a great ad, this true story of being stuck in the middle of the pacific with nothing but a bottle of tomato sauce. Boy did it taste good. I am looking forward to using this sauce over the coming weeks.
So these are the items I chose from Sanza. The food was a nice treat for an expat like me who missed New Zealand, my family and the food. I’m going to have to order more items in future now I know there is a store in the UK that specialises in this and I’m excited to share these items with my family.
I do hope to return to New Zealand one day, I’m not sure when or if I will but having Sanza will make life a little more easier until I get a chance to go home and visit my family once more.