Regarding the differences in food and diet between NZ and the States:
Our family's diet is largely vegetarian (we eat meat, just very rarely) and we're kinda health nuts, so we don't include a whole lot of sugar, salts, and unhealthy fats in our diet. The typical American diet is largely composed of...sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats.
So if the food seems more bland in NZ, it's probably because it's REAL food, and not the over processed, artificially flavored stuff that is so commonly served and sold here in the States.
And that's something I will NOT miss.
Also, having in lived in California, Arizona, and Nevada, I have tasted some pretty amazing Mexican food. But that might have something to do with the fact that the country of Mexico is right next door. I would expect to find the best Mexican food in or near Mexico. And the best Italian food in or near Italy. (you get the idea...)