British food & treats: Great gift idea
Fabulous British foods & treats - available in the USA
There are many delicious British foods that can be bought online these days. This is great for expats and Anglophiles but unfortunately much of the selection tends to be pretty mainstream.
As an English person living in the USA, let me tell you that we want the finest - and unusual - treats.
So I was delighted when I found this gift idea. Your recipient (or you, if you're treating yourself) will receive two lovely hampers of truly special British artisan-made treats.
A journey round Scotland and England with a short detour into France
When creating this gift basket, the suppliers have selected the best and even people who think they know British food will find treats that are new to them. We start the tour in Scotland, actually on the Isle of Mull.
This gift hamper includes some wonderful biscuits (cookies in American) that are made in a small local bakery. Moving south to Yorkshire, we find famous and delightful ginger biscuits from the bakery of E. Botham of wonderful Whitby (where they have the best fish & chips too).
Only the best
The gourmet journey takes us across the Pennines to Manchester, to collect the almost legendary Uncle Joe's Mint Balls (you must have heard of them!)
We then become very regal and add on of the favorites of Her Majesty the Queen - Prestat truffles, hand-crafted in London. Then, we find Bay Tree Passion Fruit Curd, as sold in Fortnum & Mason, also of London.
A quick trip across the English Channel
Well, it's only just over twenty miles away and worth the journey to pick up two delightful treats from Normandy - from a company that has been making high-quality foods since 1920.
The result of our travels is a tasty selection of the best British (OK, and French) delights combining delicious flavors, foods preferred by royalty, artisan specialties and a sense of history - all packaged in pretty and functional hampers.
When you order online, you can even add your own personalized message.
So, who is responsible for the selection and import of these delightful goods?
Another food we British people love is marmalade. Frank Cooper's has been making the best since Queen Victoria was on the throne. As you will spot on the label, this too has a royal warrant meaning that it is a favorite of the British Royal family. With this, and the tea above, you can serve the same British foods for breakfast that are being enjoyed at Buckingham Palace.
British food? Surely not
British cuisine was known to be amongst the finest in the world -until the twentieth century. What happened then?
The first problem was the publication of Mrs Beeton's Household Management. Contrary to popular knowledge, Mrs Beeton was not a rosy-cheeked elderly cook but the young wife of her publisher.
She had a stomach condition that prevented her from eating the typically rich and spicy British foods of the time, so her recipes - which many households followed - were bland and boring.
People from other counties, serving in World War Two visited Britain.They were appalled by the food there. This is hardly surprising - because of the severe food rationing.
After the war, things were no different. Food rationing finally ended in 1954. But by then,it was the jet age.People were visiting Britain from all over the world and - sadly - being greeted by inferior food.
Thus the legend spread - that British food was just hopeless.
In the 1950s American visitors came from the age of plenty - they were accustomed to huge steaks.It's not surprising that they were appalled by the British corned beef hash!
Today though,it's different. You can even purchase products from the royal family itself.
Staying with royalty for a moment, do try these. They are made using wheat grown at Prince Charles' farm at Highgrove, his private residence and farm. They are made to a traditional Scottish recipe and are totally delicious. What's more, you can save money and time by using their regular subscription service.
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© 2013 Jackie Jackson