If you mention breakfast in New Zealand, it usually leads to one of two things — eggs or Weet-bix. Eggs can commonly be found in all combinations from eggs and toast, big breakfasts with eggs, egg and bacon sandwiches, poached eggs, boiled eggs, bacon and egg pie, etc. etc. etc. The traditional Kiwi big breakfast is similar to what you’d find in England with roasted tomato, baked beans, sausage, bacon, eggs, hashbrowns and toast. The picture here is of the big breakfast from Kristy’s Cafe in Wanganui. Kristy’s is a unique little cafe that apparently has some really good savory pies as well but I haven’t yet tried them.
And then there’s Weet-bix. Weet-bix is a breakfast cereal biscuit that is (I think) the most common breakfast cereal in the country. It kind of looks (and tastes) like flakes of wheat layered on top of each other and then pressurized into little rectangular bars. It is manufactured in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa but each country seems to want to claim it as its own. Weet-bix had a marketing campaign in Australia that claimed “Aussie Kids are Weet-Bix kids” It was so successful that they did the same thing in New Zealand but of course changed it to “Kiwi Kids are Weet-Bix kids”.
Wikipedia says Weet-bix was developed in the mid 1920’s. It has been around as far back as my mother-in-law can remember and she is 86 years old.
I have tried Weet-bix and it isn’t bad but I don’t quite get what everyone here likes so much. At work, it is common to see boxes of it on people’s desks for their morning ‘brekkie’ and my step-daughter and her husband have convinced family to send some to them while they are living in Korea. There are articles with recipes on “21 New Ways to Eat Weet-bix”and other craziness. And a few months ago there was a news article about how Weet-bix was going for $50 per box in China! Apparently a Chinese television drama featured Weet-bix in one of its episodes which sparked an online craze for it.
Sanitarium (the company that makes Weet-bix) is also a big supporter of the All Blacks, New Zealand’s world champion rugby team. And now they have collectors cards in their boxes.
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