19 December, 2009
The great pudding hunt is over
I have travelled from one end of San Francisco to the other in the search for a Christmas pudding. Luckily it isn't a very big place. My first port of call was the Britshoppe.com, the other end of the Mission, which had sold out of puddings and mincemeat. But they tipped me off to the existence of "You say tomato" and this time I called first before heading to the fringes of Nob Hill. There I found a shop full of British delicacies such as Patak's lime pickle, Yorkshire tea bags, Marmite and a large Christmas pudding. I'll be honest with you that as a bit of foodie I'm rather disappointed in these shops. There is more to British food than cans of mushy peas and jars of marmalade but these shops mostly seem to cater to the home sick Brit requiring decent tea bags, or digestive biscuits. The brands sold are generally the obvious ones: Kiplings, Robinsons etc. I just think it's a shame that they don't explore the depth of quality that now exists in the UK. Where are the handmade cheeses we see at home in our delis, butchers and at the farmers markets? Where are the ciders, whiskies and wines? How about some biscuits from someone other than McVities? It is all too easy to make fun of British food and these shops, while serving a purpose (thanks for the pudding!) don't really help all that much in challenging that view. You can find better British imports in Whole Foods.