I fell in love on my first solo trip to Australia and New Zealand. I encountered a love that held no boundaries, a love that came in a number of tempting flavours and, most importantly of all, a love that gave me an immense amount of pleasure! That love came in the form of the chocolate covered biscuity goodness of Arnott’s Tim Tams. Being a vain, self-obsessed health freak, I try not to indulge too often, but for me it is not the taste of the product itself that amazes me these days, but the fantastic memories that they bring flooding back that makes me want to eat these Aussie delights. That bite of the chocolate coating to the biscuit, cream-filled centre takes me back to munching these on the beach at Byron Bay where the sea kayaking tour guide showed us how to perform the ‘Tim Tam Slam’. They remind me of the snacking I did on the long bus journeys between my stopping points on the Australian east coast and how sharing my Tim Tams with newly made friends, over freshly opened bottles of Tooheys and VB, brought our group all that bit closer on Fraser Island.
It is funny how foods you have tasted on your holidays can act as a powerfully vivid reminder of a place you have visited, a kind of sensory time machine to events and experiences that occurred many years previously. And, ultimately, a reminder that makes you smile and look back with great fondness. It is not just the Aussies that elicit this reaction; as I could easily say the same about the Dutch stroopwaffel or the par Thai cooked on the street stalls of the Khao San Road in Bangkok. One taste of these foods and I am back there – the smells, sounds and sights come rushing back.
Now I have new associations to these glorious biscuits, though. This particular packet (pictured above) came to me as a birthday gift, from my awesome Aussie friend, Erin, who I have mentioned before at Pulped Travel. I met her in a hostel in the summer of 2010 in Dubrovnik. We hit it off and have kept in touch ever since. I think it is just great that an Aussie woman I met in Croatia has sent me something I discovered back in 2005, when I was roaming around her country. I just need to save up that money to invest in a return trip to Australia to hand deliver some British treats Erin misses from her time living here in the UK. I will keep quiet about my real reason for visiting. I will just say that the spare case I have with me is for all the Sydney Opera House magnets, cuddly koala toys and kangaroo key rings I want to buy as gifts for people back home (and not the hundreds of packets of TimTams I will be aiming to smuggle out of the country)! Keep schtum and I might let you have one of them…
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