Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What British products do I still yearn for?

When I first left the UK, quite some years ago now, I seemed to spend lots of time searching for British brands or products that I had been used to back home.
I tried the French alternatives, but they never tasted the same and it took about three years before I lost the habit of looking for things like mint sauce in jars, custard powder, baked beans, English bacon etc.
Then, one day, I was cleaning my food cupboards out, and I realised that almost everything in them was French. Apart from an old packet of Bisto that I hadn't used for ages and brown sauce that I really can't find an alternative for.
My taste had certainly changed, and when I did try the old faithfuls again, they were such a disappointment.
Now, there are two things that I will not give up, one is the aforesaid brown sauce, and the other is my English tea bags. I buy the latter in 1100 packs at a time from a shop that sell British produce.
I make mint sauce fresh from my garden, I have converted from gravy to various sauces, the French bacon has much more flavour, so that's a no brainer now.
As we eat out for much of the year, our stodgy old meals, pastry dishes and greasy gravy have long been replaced with crudites, salads, fresh baked baguette, duck confit on a bed of nutmeg mash with a fruit coulis, fresh fish, and of course the fabulous local cheeses.
I suppose we do eat much healthier meals now and we enjoy our food much more, but there's one meal that I would never, ever, give up, and that's battered fish & chips eaten out in the fresh air.
I have to travel a long way for them, and only have them two or three times each year, but when I do ... Oh, they taste so good!


  1. It's an awful thing to have to admit, but when I've been abroad for a while, in spite of the wonderful 'continental' breads that I love, I get a hankering for an English/British white sliced loaf!!! It really does make by far the best toast :D

  2. Yes Judy, you are right about the toast! We can get English style sliced bread here, but I tend to just toast the wholemeal now, it's easier & less expensive. Oh, and the marmalade just isn't the same on the continent either, so I make my own now if I can't get the English style that I prefer.