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Foodstuffs in London to bring home?


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We're in Seattle and my husband will be in London on a business trip at the end of the month. Any recommendations for nonperishable foodstuffs he should be on the look-out for to bring home? Anything particularly yummy that is hard to find in the U.S.?

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semi -perishable? The Guinness and Marmite chocolates from Paul Young, Tea for sure. Great bottles of wine and Champagne from London's top wine merchants.

"who needs a wine list when you can get pissed on dessert" Gordon Ramsey Kitchen Nightmares 2005

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Hmm, not really non-perishable but they should certainly make the trip over to the USA and be good for some time after:

Potted shrimp, Stilton, Stinking Bishop, Black Bomber Cheddar, Scottish Smoked Salmon, fantastic preserves, artisan picalilli, some cracking English sparkling wine, artisan pies (pork pies, beef and ale, etc) and top quality apple juice, such as that from Cox's apple - can't really think of anything else at the moment I'm afraid. It could be a good opportunity to stock up on some quality French procue too actually, particularly non-pasterurised cheese, although I don't think your husband will be the most popular person on the plane with them!

If a man makes a statement and a woman is not around to witness it, is he still wrong?

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  Any recommendations for nonperishable foodstuffs he should be on the look-out for to bring home?  Anything particularly yummy that is hard to find in the U.S.?

Cheeses from Neals Yard; they pack them in solid cardboard boxes insulated with straw, which makes them perfectly safe in the hold. Don't know how the US food police would react, though.

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Hmmmmm.

Suggest you declare a nice ripe Stichelton as a live pet and possibly a Bradenham ham as a hunting trophy :biggrin:

Tim Hayward

"Anyone who wants to write about food would do well to stay away from

similes and metaphors, because if you're not careful, expressions like

'light as a feather' make their way into your sentences and then where are you?"

Nora Ephron

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In Seattle, can you get Coleman's English mustard (both prepared and powder), HP sauce, Frank Cooper's Oxford Marmelade, Roses Lemon and Lime Marmalade, (and Rose's Lime Juice), and Rowntree's Fruit Gums and Fruit Pastilles? All should be importable, easycare and non-perishable. And you should be able to find them all in most British supermarkets. I'm thinking that hard-to-find is not an advantage here! Relatively perishable, but easy to find at the last minute should be some crumpets - and proper "muffins" too. If you hadn't gone against the Marmite, I'd have suggested a packet of Twiglets... How about some sweet biscuits - McVities' Digestives and HobNobs... ? Some shortbread? Scottish, hmm, they wouldn't let Haggis in, so how about a jar of Scottish Heather honey?

There's probably plenty on the chocolate counter that's common here but unusual there - Cadbury's Roses and Quality Street assortments, Terry's Chocolate Oranges...

As an off-centre suggestion, how about a big glass jar of (french), french fish soup? (About £3 in Waitrose supermarkets.)

And what could be more British than some Indian food? Sharwoods' range is very widely available. Pappadums (and even curry powder or Garam Masala) would take up little baggage weight allowance, the pickles and chutneys should last ages, and the cook-in sauces are probably better than most curry houses'...

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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If you do take any Marmite make sure you put it in your main suitcase because it's considered a gel/liquid for the purposes of hand luggage and they confiscate it. Yeah, I was flying to Tallinn and they took my Marmite away! Though the W H Smiths in Stansted sells these tiny pots of it.. ridiculous.

I have a friend in NYC who always buys TUC biscuits when he's in this country to take home. That's about the best suggestion I can make.

If I am your princess, then where is my crown?

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I used to love TUC biscuits (crackers)! I haven't had them in years, though.

I would consider buying things which have different recipes in the US, like Lea&Perrins Worcestershire sauce, but only if you have the space in your luggage.

Otherwise, I'd bring back cheese! Bring along (or buy) a small-ish soft-sided cooler and some cool packs (hopefully you'll have a small fridge in your room), so you can pack it all in your check-in luggage.

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Beef Bovril is the only foodstuff I'd ever take home from this culinary wasteland. Though living in Canada, I don't have access to American candy bars so I'd probably buy some Whatchimacallits from Partridges at exorbitant prices and fly them back home!

Actually I would take home: Dr. Kargs crackers, some obscure whiskeys, and tea bags (as the Tetley's sold in Canada/US are not nearly of the same high standard). Yup, thats all I'd crave from London.

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Beef Bovril is the only foodstuff I'd ever take home from this culinary wasteland.  Though  living in Canada, I don't have access to American candy bars so I'd probably buy some Whatchimacallits from Partridges at exorbitant prices and fly them back home!

whoa there missy, culinary wasteland? Going a bit far don't you think. Admittedly we've had a few messups in our time but you can hardly deny the same on the other side of the atlantic.

And anyway, beef bovril would be a product with meat in it and wouldn't be allowed into the US. Go back 3 years and you'd be fine, it was veggie then, but now they've gone back to beef. :raz: back to beef, i like that.

edited mistake, stupid laptop.

Edited by CalumC (log)
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my time in canada was riddled with pants food apart from one meal at west. we were self catering most of the time and the only place we could get really good produce was at the market in vancouver but it was bloody expensive. i missed good cheese, bacon, prosciutto, pickles and jams, and while i am sure you can source these ingredients (probably not cheese) to quite a high standard they are noy as widely available as they are in london at waitrose, even sainsburys have pata negra ham nowadays.

just to second what is said above, jams and pickles, ginger beer (luscomb farm hot), in fact anything gingery, preserve, duchy originals chocolate covered. and yes some real ale, and you can make it as cold as you want in your enormous fridge back in seattle!!

Matt Christmas.

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You might want to look at the websites for 2 shops specialising in traditional British foodstuffs.

A Gold (www.agold.co.uk) is the better of the two, it's a bit twee but does have some interesting stuff and is also almost next door to Verde's, a grocer/deli/traiteur owned by Jeannette Winterson (a writer specialising in novels about fruit!) and handy for Spitalfields Market and for Hawksmoor (if you feel the need for a decent steak and a proper cocktail). The website has been somehow aquired by a discount gold jewellry store at the moment , but they are confident of getting it back shortly.

The other shop is The Albion Emporium (its in Covent Garden , so rather more central than A.Gold). Its only been open a matter of days and the stock is still rather limited. their website is www.thealbionemporium.co.uk

Other than those two, Fortnums, Selfridges and the more recently opened John Lewis Foodhall are obvious places to check out.

Pickled walnuts, Frank Cooper's Oxford Marmalade, Bath Olivers, oatcakes,eccles cakes would all be on my list - but obviously cheese, cheese and more cheese should , given the abscence of any edible cheeese at all in the US , be the major focus.

You might also want to try some decent coffee as a special treat !! The Algerian Coffee Stores on Old Compton St is the place to go.

gethin

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my time in canada was riddled with pants food apart from one meal at west. we were self catering most of the time and the only place we could get really good produce was at the market in vancouver but it was bloody expensive.  i missed good cheese, bacon, prosciutto, pickles and jams, and while i am sure you can source these ingredients (probably not cheese) to quite a high standard they are noy as widely available as they are in london at waitrose, even sainsburys have pata negra ham nowadays.

just to second what is said above, jams and pickles, ginger beer (luscomb farm hot), in fact anything gingery, preserve, duchy originals chocolate covered. and yes some real ale, and you can make it as cold as you want in your enormous fridge back in seattle!!

Ha, I was sort of kidding. The food in the UK is great, much better than in Vancouver for sure. I more meant particular items of British heritage that most people who weren't raised here do not really appreciate. As a Canadian, I crave Canadian junk food, and most Americans here in London that I've spoken to crave candy/junk more than real ingredients (as good ingredients are available everywhere). Disgusting food like Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, or Mr. Big bars are what I want most from Canada, not the local pacific wild salmon, or seafood.

That being said, BC has some pretty decent artisan cheeses made on the islands (salt spring especially), though obviously no where near as good as London/UK. As a food city, Vancouver requires quite of bit of travel to acquire good ingredients, so when compared with London -- where I needn't walk more than 250 feet to my local Waitrose and get the 'best' from all over Europe -- it does seem pretty horrendous.

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isn't seattle the home of good coffee, at least thats the impression i get from frasier!

Seattle is home to Starbucks, Seattles Best Coffee Company, and many other worldwide chains and roasters. The streets are inundated with mediocre coffee that one wonders if it deserves its reputation. Vancouver is the same, with some areas have 4-5 starbucks within a 2 block radius.

Edited by brokentelephone (log)
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