Make sure to trot over to the Fortnightly Purse to enter for a real wing-dinger of an English food product.
However, I think perhaps this whole thing needs to be qualified. I have now gone on the record about two separate English grocery items that are downright weird and pretty much impossible to comprehend. Actually, come to think of it, I’ve probably spouted off about a number of other English products over the last couple of years. Eggs come to mind, and hot dogs.
So perhaps in the interests of fairness, I should pause for a brief moment and spotlight a few items that I LOVE here in England and that I won’t be able to find in America without a lot of effort and toil and expense and bother and frustration. Things I’ll have to import or special order or grow myself or something.
1. Broad Beans
Now, probably a ton of you will instantly reply that you can get broad beans perfectly easily in America and you eat them all the time. However, in Moscow, Idaho, I’m pretty sure that I can’t just grab a whole handful of them at the grocery store whenever I want. If I want them I’ll have to grow them. And I’m also sure that I can’t just buy the seed packet at the grocery store either . . . or even the garden supply. I checked, and the only place I can find the seeds online is from a “rare heirloom seed” sort of mail order place. So even if it’s humanly possible to get broad beans once I’m back at home, I will miss the ease of chucking them into my grocery cart with the milk. They’re in season now, and Judah loves to shell them for me. Then you steam them with asparagus tips, chuck in some cherry tomatoes, toss with a cider vinaigrette, and sprinkle goat cheese over the top, and you have a side dish to die for.
2. Purple Sprouting Broccoli
Same situation applies here. No doubt I could special order the seeds and whatnot. But here I can just grab it for dinner. (Ok, I actually can only grab it here when it’s in season . . . but I don’t think I’ll be able to grab it in season or out of season once I’m home.) This is gorgeous stuff and I’ve gotten heavily addicted. You eat it with the leaves and all . . . boil it first, and then stir fry for a second with olive oil and garlic and red pepper flakes and squeeze a lemon over it and a bit of Maldon salt . . . I’m going to miss this one for sure.
3. Clotted Cream.
I don’t know if there’s any hope for me on this one as I obviously can’t grow it myself. It’s possible that I could spend a lot of time trying to track down and special order it . . . but I bet I won’t. I’ll just sit and mope. Do you see that fabulous golden crunchy crust . . . and the nice oozy cream? There’s nothing comparable at home I’m pretty sure. Maybe you big city people can get it . . . but I’ll be limited to what I can locate in the great metropolis of Moscow. And that means I’ll have to resign myself to missing it.
There are others . . . loads of others as a matter of fact. But I have to go make dinner now. And the rest of you should make sure that you don’t miss the chance to enter for a taste of another of England’s less forgettable foods!