by Graham Pierrepoint
Despite sharing the same language and a number of similar interests, there is still plenty that separates countries such as the UK, the USA and Australia. We’re staying well away from politics or cultural history, here – as right down to TV watching habits, food choices and even fashion, there always seems to be a way to ‘spot’ someone who hails from England or America. This week, Twitter – as always – went into something of a maelstrom over the launching of a tasty new snack in the US – and it was British and Antipodean Tweeters who took equal surprise and delight in learning about Trader Joe’s new culinary creation.
The food giant’s latest snack to hit US shelves is known as the ‘Puff Dog’ – outlined by the brand as something of a breakthrough, the recipe takes hot dogs and wraps them in flaky pastry for enjoyment on the go. To Americans, this is something of a novel concept – but just one quick glance at relevant hashtags on Twitter would give you an idea of just how many UK foodies and Australian snackers found the whole idea hilarious. The reason? These nations have been eating so-called Puff Dogs for decades – and their origin can in fact be traced all the way back to France.
Sausage rolls, as they are known overseas, have been a picnic and buffet staple in the UK and Australia for some time – a common sight in the odd lunchbox and arguably one of many ‘British’ things the country holds so dear. Trader Joe’s, therefore, could either have been kicking themselves at the cultural oversight – particularly as they claim it to be ‘pretty genius’ – or could even have been reveling in the attention their lunchbox filler was suddenly receiving. After all, when it comes to Twitter, sometimes even negative reception can work to a brand’s advantage – in this case, humor generated over the exact origins of the sausage roll could have worked quite well for the brand.
Either way, sausage rolls aren’t quite so easy to come by in the US – whereas it’s thought that over 2.5 million of them are sold by UK chain Greggs each week – meaning that, on this occasion, differences from across the pond were certainly made clear. But what’s it to be? Puff Dog? Sausage roll? Chances are, you’ve already made up your mind!