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.

7 comments:

Suzanne@ Panteg Alpacas said...

what happened to making your own? you enjoy that sort of thing , very therapeutic...

Eliane said...

Oddly I've been a bit busy lately. Esp. a month or so ago when you're supposed to make it.... Did you make yours?

mountainear said...

Interesting - how the clich├ęd brands manke it onto the shelves. We were talking only last night - to a Frenchman - about the a fantastic range of 'artisan' cheeses which can now be found in the UK. They are certainly as good as any to be found in France - and certainly made with as much passion and belief. This of course goes for many foodstuffs. It's a case of 'find the producer'.

Hope you find that pudding.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Living in Holland , I am always surprised by the shelves of Colman's mustard powder and Heinz baked beans in these shops .
But those Americans who rush in for their fix of Fruit Loops are probably wondering why I'm scuttling off with large packets of Weetabix .
And Christmas pudding ? You have to order it in advance and hope for the best !

Soilman said...

'Nob Hill' is priceless. I don't suppose the locals see the joke?

Suzanne@ Panteg Alpacas said...

ABsolutely did not - complete waste of time , always buy mine from Waitrose in the January sale !! but this is not about me ...

RRRROSI said...

I dont know anything about Christmas pudding, but there is a Williams-Sonoma version: "Jam-packed with fruit and nuts and rich with spices, this deliciously moist and crumbly pudding is made at an artisan bakery in the Cotswold countryside. The classic holiday dessert is made with the freshest ingredients according to a traditional recipe.
Prepared using free-range local eggs, fresh citrus zest, muscovado sugar and plump vine fruits soaked in French brandy. Still made the traditional way, it’s slow baked for 8 hours." I'm guessing you didn't have time to make one this year, either?