I am a happy beneficiary of the fascination Americans have for Australians, but I was completely taken aback by a recent encounter in a light bulb store on East 60th street. When an elderly gentleman heard our accents discussing likely replacements for the festive lights on our balcony, he commented that Australia was the only country in the world to have their leader taken by a shark. It seemed to fit with the last frontier view of Australia that is popular here, but that wasn’t all, as the gentleman chuckled ‘….and you have hell pizza as well!’ Now while I am totally familiar with the Holt history, hell pizza is another story, and my notions of Australian nationalism were strangely piqued. The chirpy fellow produced his iPhone to fill in the gaps via internet, while explaining that the pizza was deliberately peppered with hellishly hot chili which one unlucky person would discover when playing pizza roulette. I was beginning to wonder why I ever shrank from ‘throwing another shrimp on the barbie’, when the man’s phone finally sourced the story. To my delight Hell Pizza is actually a New Zealand invention – 100% pure new Zealand. What a relief. Give me Holt over hell for the Australian history books any day.