By: Blonde Two
One of the great things about New Zealand is the mix of people and their origins. People come from all over the world to live here, all of them have a reason and all of them have a story to tell. One (I think fairly recent) effect of this has been the introduction of the Pommie Shop – let me explain;
Pommie – If you are in New Zealand, Australia or (I believe) South Africa and you originate from the UK then you are a Pom, Pommie or Pommy. I am not sure how long you have to live here before you become a Kiwi instead – it’s a bit like Devon, unlike Blonde One, I won’t ever really be a local lass. The origins of the word Pom are ambiguous but suggestions include a derogatory referral to arrival on prison ships (Prisoner of M…), Australian rhyming slang for “immigrant” (pomegranate) or sunburn under the southern sky turning our skin to the colour of pomegranate (my favourite).
Shop – a place where you buy things you want. For example, if you want some clotted cream or Bassets Licorice Allsorts, you pop to the shop and buy some. When you live a long way from where you grew up, this is not always as simple as it may seem.
I remember my Mum buying my Kiwi Cousins Kendle Mint Cake when they came on one of their rare visits as kids. Norm misses decent blackpudding and I could not live without Worcestershire Sauce (born within sniffing distance of the factory). I was interested to find out what other Pommies missed so I got in touch with Chris from “The Pommie Shop” (pommies.co.nz) who runs Pommie market stalls around the Bay of Plenty. The website is fascinating, have a look. Chris, like most people here, was very friendly and gave me lots of information;
1. The most popular UK products that they sell are Galaxy Chocolate, Shredded Wheat, Cadbury Wispa bars and a variety of UK sweets (often sweets are called lollies here which can be a tad confusing). The Shredded Wheat seems like a misfit here but it is good to know that the expats are looking after their bowels. Walkers Crisps are also popular – guess which flavours!
2. The Pommie shops can’t provide everything – UK meat products are difficult to get into the country and things with a short shelf life like cakes and crisps can prove expensive. I was interested to note that I was not the only Pommie here who struggled with New Zealand sausages. There are a few Pommie Butchers around though if you know where to look.
3. Mostly the people who buy from the Pommie Shop are Poms although sometimes visitors from other countries buy too. Some Kiwis get a taste for things whilst on their OE (overseas experience) and will seek these out – this is often chocolate.
I have run out of time this trip to go and visit Chris and his Pommie Shop but I will make the effort next year. Interesting to note that he (being a true Brit) misses the football more than the food and loves living in New Zealand.