Before I start, I just want to ask two questions:
1) Is onion dip a just Kiwi thing? Like the All Blacks, fush'n'chups, Hokey Pokey ice cream, the Edmonds cookbook and jandals?
2) Are there foods specific to your culture that are full of gluten, and therefore out of your reach? How do you deal with that?
I love watching travel cooking shows. A few months ago, Rick Stein's Far Eastern Odyssey was on TV. As I watched him devour the diverse foods of East Asia, I realised that New Zealand doesn't have any national cuisine. I think that's why we unknowingly invented fusion cooking.
I think the lack of national, or traditional, cuisine makes little things like a simple onion dip become very special.
Maggi's onion dip has long been promoted as the Kiwi dip. It's like, if you don't like this dip you're not totally Kiwi. It's as shocking as if you didn't support the All Blacks in a World Cup year.
I already knew the Maggi's onion soup mix contained gluten. But when I first went gluten-free, Pam's was safe to eat! It was great!
But then, the other day I was about to buy some more dip *cue ominous sounding music*. I read the ingredients again, just in case.. *dun-duh!* they changed the recipe. Guess what: it now contains gluten.
Imagine my anger - and my sadness. It was as if a cultural icon (don't laugh, dip is important!) had been snatched away from me. Forever.
The other day Mum cleaned our pantry and discovered two packets of the old onion soup mix! Yay! So last night we made some up and snacked on celery, carrots and heaps of onion dip while watching Harry Potter #6.
See the old ingredients?* Why did they have to change the recipe to contain modified wheat starch and actual soy sauce? Don't they realise that they've destroyed a tiny bit of every gluten-free Kiwi's heart?
I don't like Pam's anymore.
So last night was the (possibly) second to last time I'll ever eat onion dip again. We've still got one packet stashed in the pantry. I don't know if I'll ever have the guts to eat it though.
I know that all you gluten-freesias out there will understand exactly what I mean. Saying goodbye to little things is hard, mainly because it seems to bring back the sadness you felt when you first turned your back on gluten.
Have you ever had moments like this?
* I know, the Modified Starch (1422, 1442) look dodgy as. We're super lucky in NZ, if a product says 'Modified starch' and does not specify that it is wheat, it is made from corn or tapioca.