March 15, 2019

Food for Thought

This is supposedly the national dish of New Zealand, “spaghetti on toast.” I’ve heard about it for many years. Finally, @jkhiu brought a can of Wattie’s Spaghetti back from New Zealand for me as all Kiwis insist that it cannot be an American equivalent. It’s a reasonable demand when you see the list of ingredients; there are only 7 none of which are chemical. In contrast, Campbell’s Spaghetti lists roughly 40. So, OK, Kiwis are healthier despite this vulgar concept of canned spaghetti on toast.

But today, as I pressed for more details on how to prepare it, things started getting fishy. I asked whether you are supposed to heat the spaghetti or not. In various pictures I found, people were dumping it straight from the can, which would imply that you don’t heat it. My other Kiwi friend, W, replied, “I think maybe you put the whole thing in the oven.” If this is something eaten frequently, wouldn’t he know it like the back of his hand? Why “maybe”? He then says, “It’s not worth remembering.” There is something weird going on here.

So, I asked Jacqui who got me the can. “You can heat it up. Maybe I’m a lazy Kiwi. I don’t know people who would go to the lengths to warm it up. Let me ask my Kiwi friend.” After a few minutes, she says, “Yes. Definitely heat it up,” like she forgot what she had said earlier.

I also asked W, if you are supposed to eat this with a fork and knife. His response was, “Yeah, I think so. You should probably ask a real NZ person.” Suddenly the man who insisted that it had to be Wattie’s is not real.

Then Jacqui tells me, “It forms cool patterns. Well, not patterns per se but squiggly lines.” I asked, “Wouldn’t that happen with any pasta?” She replied but realized how nonsensical her reply sounded, so she admitted that she just made that up.

I think Kiwis made up this whole story. I don’t think they actually eat this. I think it’s a big inside joke, and they are laughing at people like me who actually eat it. But guess what? It tastes good, especially when it’s heated. It’s basically like eating a toast with tomato jam.

#newzealandfood #watties #cannedspaghetti #spaghettiontoast #toast #kiwifood #nycfoodie #wattiesspaghetti #newzealand