Monday, April 25, 2011

A taste of home

Not so long ago I was musing about the availability of pork pies in New York. Imagine my delight and surprise on stumbling across Myers of Keswick, about ten minutes walk from Rabbit Hutch Towers.

They stock pork pie and gala pie, sausage rolls and scotch eggs, and pasties too. The scotch eggs looked a bit anaemic so we picked up a sausage roll which was actually a bit greasy. TLOML went mad on the Walkers crisps too. They also stock Liquorice Allsorts, Digestives, Robinson's Squash, and oooh!, I could go on... So many of the tastes of home.

For a moment I was like a dog in a dog park (maybe it's the Chelsea effect, but that resonates more than 'a kid in a sweet shop' with me right now).

But then I reminded myself that I am living in the city which produces the best hot dogs, pizza slices and bagels in the world. Isn't it a shame to be at home munching on a custard cream when I could be heading to Doughnut Plant for something I won't be able to get for love nor money in England? (I'm talking specifically of their creme brulee doughnut). Likewise, in LA, I was so happy to be able to get proper, legit tortilla chips I didn't miss Seabrooks salt'n'vinegar crisps at all.

I think my motto is: if you can't (easily) get the food you love, love the food you can (easily) get.

There are some exceptions to this rule. These are the three food stuffs worth trekking to an obscure grocers and/ or paying a massive premium for:
  1. Patum Pepperium anchovy relish, because I don't think there is an American anchovy paste designed just for a gentleman's toast
  2. Yorkshire Tea, because Liptons sucks. You need about 3 bags to get a cup of tea that would make my Northern friends say 'eeeh, when I were that weak they stayed up wi' me all night!'.
  3. Salad cream, because it really and truly does not exist in America. Shame! How do they make a decent egg sandwich? I have never tried an egg sandwich here for fear it will be made with mayo...
And as you know, I'm prepared to bake what I cannot find for a special occasion. The hot cross buns are the highlight of my breakfast still.

But for the rest - the wispas, sherbert lemons and mini-cheddars - I've found ample American snacks equally as delicious and empty of nutritional value. And for the good stuff, they really know how to do comfort food over here. Heinz Baked beans? I stick with BBQ beans, thank you. Fish finger sarnie? I'll take a lobster roll. Yup, I'll cope.
A gentleman's relish worth packing

There is, however, one taste of home I take wherever I go. I've listened to it at home in Malibu and New York, and trips to Jackson Hole and Aspen, and on travels as far afield as Hawaii and Japan. The setting sometimes made the listening material seem bizarre at first, but within seconds I was transported the heart of Borsetshire.

That's right, The Archers. Not a food but essential daily consumption nonetheless. Unmissable and completely irreplaceable. I take it everywhere I go. They just don't make daily 15 minute radio soap operas about farmers over here, you see.

No comments:

Post a Comment