Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Sun Never Sets...............

It's good to know that the British Empire is still alive and well and 'living' in Sebring, Florida.

I realise that's a bit far fetched and not strictly true, not true at all really, but it makes for a good start to this post. I mean I've never let the lack of absolute truth stop me in the past !

So what am I babbling on about this time ?

Well we popped into our local supermarket, Sweetbay, yesterday evening on the way back from town. It has an "International Aisle" featuring grocery products from the far corners of the globe (just to keep my flat earth readers happy) although it seems that for Sweetbay, these far flung corners are made up of Britain, Mexico and a general area just to the right of Britain known as 'Asian' made up of just just China and Japan.  I'll be emailing both countries to let them know they're in danger of losing their separate identities thanks to Sweetbay Head Office.

So as usual I glanced wide eyed at the British section with products like Spotted Dick, Birds Custard, Robinsons Lemon Barley Water and Tetley Tea Bags. The wide eyes were down to the prices being charged for these imports, not for the products themselves. It's no wonder they weren't shifting, although I did help move things about by buying tins of Spotted Dick and Birds Custard at Christmas.   Never let it be said that I don't support British Exports.

Anyway as we weren't doing 'a big shop' yesterday, I had more time than usual to look at the rest of the products. The usual suspects like HP Sauce and McVities Biscuits were there, rubbing unhealthy shoulders with Cadburys Fruit 'n Nut and Lion bars.  Lion Bars ?  Where were the Bounty Bars and Milky Ways ?  

Well they have those here of course, or at least something similar.

But where were the bottles of Dandelion & Burdock ?  And don't get me started on the lack of Jaffa Cakes !!!!   If those had been there you'd have heard the cries of "clean up on aisle 16" over the PA system as I'd have been creating panic with my drool slick. 

Then, almost hiding from sight behind a row of pickled silverskin onions, I saw something that made me realise Britain may be sending out mixed signals when it comes to our national culinary identity.

Jar after jar of various curry sauces from Madras to Vindaloo !!

I read some years ago that curry had overtaken fish & chips as THE official British dish but I sort of hoped that news hadn't spread beyond Beachy Head.  I mean it's like saying some members of our Royal Family aren't 100% British and might have some traces of 'Johnny Foreigner' blood coursing through their veins. It's just not right.

I think I need to email Sweetbay HQ and get their buyers to put a few packets of Harry Ramsdan's Flaky Fish Batter Mix on the shelves just to redress the balance.

Cause you can't beat a good plate of lightly battered fish and chips with a side order of mushy peas after a good night the bingo.

Oh and with a little white tub of curry sauce too.  Wouldn't be British otherwise !


rhymeswithplague said...

One of the places the sun never set was on Inja, clear up until 1947. Don't you remember?

Your talking about British food made me think of one of my favourite (note spelling) television programmes (ditto) in the early days of The Food Network. I'm talking about Two Fat Ladies. Did you ever see it? I loved it! On a recent documentary by that network about that network, it wasn't even mentioned.

britoutofwater said...

The Special One is very upset that McVities appear to have changed the recipe of Jaffa Cakes, so that the orange is much more jelly-like and less tangy. She's not at all happy.

Personally I can't stand the things. Who cares whether they're a cake or a biscuit, frankly?!

Silverback said...

I agree with TSO, Dylan. That's partly why I tend to buy Sainsburys own brand. I know they're most likely made by McVities too but if so, they've kept more to the original recipe....and ok, being a lot cheaper helps my poor old budget.

Not much use in NY but I know you get about a bit - in the nicest possible way.

Daphne said...

Jars of curry sauce are an essential part of any British kitchen, of course. Well, mine anyway.
As for Jaffa cakes, Britoutofwater is wrong - - it's important to know whether they're cakes or biscuits. Perhaps I'll have a few more to help me decide.

Silverback said...

And thanks to your kind delivery of a food parcel containing jaffa cakes when you came to visit, I may just join you.

Now where's that vindaloo dipping sauce ???

Milo said...

Jaffa cakes are OK, but what about jammy dodgers, digestives and let's not forget custard creams!!

Jay said...

The only things it's absolutely necessary to put on that shelf from Britain, are the teabags, and Heinz tomato soup (have you tried American tomato soup?). Those are the essentials!

Curry sauce??? What are they thinking?

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