Category: British Food

How To Properly Cook a Jamie Oliver Recipe – Fresh Tomato Soup vs. Evening Butties

How To Properly Cook a Jamie Oliver Recipe – Fresh Tomato Soup vs. Evening Butties

I dared to argue with Jamie Oliver’s instructions on a certain meal once before, concerning his “Old Boy’s Omelette” recipe. This time was different. For this time, I presented two Jamie Oliver recipes at one meal, and one far outranked the other. Welcome to the match between Fresh Tomato Soup vs. Evening Butties.



Presenting the First Contestant: Fresh Tomato Soup and Little Cheddar Soldiers

Fresh Tomato Soup vs. Evening Butties
All the ingredients laid out for the meal preparation.

Searching through Jamie Oliver’s Great Britain recipe book revealed an amazingly simple soup. After buying the ingredients at the local Sam’s Club and Walmart Supercenter, I rolled up my sleeves and set to work on creating Fresh Tomato Soup and Little Cheddar Soldiers.

Creating Fresh Tomato Soup first involved blending the main ingredients: tomatoes, garlic, basil, and so forth. Jamie Oliver provided me some freedom in how smooth I wanted the soup. So, I made the soup chunky, and I set it to boil.

Fresh Tomato Soup vs. Evening Butties
Little Cheddar Soldiers straight from the oven.

As the soup began to boil, following the instructions, I cut some crusty bread and made Little Cheddar Soldiers with them. Allow me to cut straight to the chase with these Little Cheddar Soldiers: They were outstandingly good! I had followed the instruction to a T, adding good amounts of sharp cheddar, thyme, and Worcester sauce, and the resulting flavor was beyond my imagination. Every soup should have these elongated, cheesy croutons.

Returning to the Fresh Tomato Soup, I read the instructions and realized Jamie Oliver had provided me with more freedom regarding the sea salt, ground pepper, and white wine vinegar. He wrote down the instructions to season to the cook’s taste. And that’s where the match between Fresh Tomato Soup vs. Evening Butties began….



Presenting the Opponent: Evening Butties Filled with Meats and Sauces

Within the breakfast section in Jamie Oliver’s cookbook existed a few paragraphs on the traditional Breakfast Butty. Reading the page gave me the idea of creating Evening Butties – an idea which Jamie Oliver suggested in his cookbook – to go along with the soup. The meat-filled butties looked particularly good, so I set to work.

Picking up some flavorful spicy sausage at Walmart, my husband sliced the links into manageable pieces and cut them in half. He grilled them on the stovetop. Earlier I had defrosted some Sam’s Club bacon from the freezer. Taking this, Alex sizzled the bacon in its grease and served them alongside the sausage links.

Fresh Tomato Soup vs. Evening Butties
My Evening Butty creation, with help from my husband.

After I sliced some rolls, I placed them in the toaster to make them even crustier. Popping up from the toaster as delightfully soft and crusty, I proceeded to add some Heinz ketchup and Worcester sauce on one side, and HP Sauce and Worcester sauce on the other side. Like Jamie Oliver had said, the sauces simply melted into the crusty bread, yet without turning the bread into something soggy.

To satisfy all those coming to dinner, I separated the bacon and the sausage and put them into separate rolls. This way the dinner guests had two sandwiches to choose from. But! Fresh Tomato Soup still had some throws to punch….



Why Salt Can Be  an Enormous Mistake in Cooking

You guessed it, I over-salted the soup. Thinking the Fresh Tomato Soup as good, yet somewhat bland, I poured in some sea salt, ground pepper, and white wine vinegar. On the first seasoning round, the soup still tasted somewhat bland. Thinking some extra sea salt would solve the dilemma, I generously poured some in. Oops. One particular guest and I refused to finish the soup at the dinner table based on how miserably salty I had made it.

Fresh Tomato Soup vs. Evening Butties
Fresh Tomato Soup vs. Evening Butties presented for a table of four.

Meaty Evening Butties won the match between Fresh Tomato Soup vs. Evening Butties. The pure, unadulterated taste from Jamie Oliver’s recommended butties far outdid my attempt at creating flavorful Fresh Tomato Soup. Merely leaving out the salt probably would have done better.

Nevertheless, I recommend both recipes to every cook out there. The Little Cheddar Soldiers go fabulously well with the Fresh Tomato Soup, and the Evening Butties serve well during any time of day. As for me, I need more practice in seasoning soup.



Sunday Afternoon Tea – Exploring Several Odds and Ends in UK Delectables

Sunday Afternoon Tea – Exploring Several Odds and Ends in UK Delectables

Shopping at Cost Plus World Market and Nugget Market has filled our cupboards with UK delectables, including garnishes, sauces, and foods. Many of these items serve well in fancy meals or snacks with children. However, fancy meals and children rarely enter this home, which made the UK garnishes, biscuits, jams, and sweets far too comfortable in sitting and waiting in the cupboard. So, to solve this dilemma, Alex and I decided to have Sunday afternoon tea with all our odds and ends!



Preparation for Sunday Afternoon Tea with UK Delectables

UK Delectables
Preparing the Afternoon Tea – amidst the pizza from the night before.

Alex and I knew from previous study that a proper afternoon tea must have mini sandwiches and scones. Fortunately, earlier in the year, when Alex and I had visited Oregon, we stumbled across some marionberry scone mix. After church service on this particular October Sunday, we also went to the independent grocer in town and bought a cucumber, a red onion, some celery, apple vinegar, and canned chicken.

Using only some water, I quickly and easily prepared the marionberry scones. For the cucumber sandwiches, Alex sliced the cucumber while I mixed some light and regular cream cheese and made the sandwiches. Two chicken salads were made. One with apple vinegar, the other with light mayo. So, using the canned chicken, celery, red onion, and some grapes, together we made half a dozen sandwiches of each chicken salad.



UK Delectables Bought and Consumed on This Particular Occasion

We tried to follow the “British Code” in regards to Afternoon Tea. Unfortunately, on this occasion, America alone grew and packaged the ingredients for the scones and the mini sandwiches. But the aforementioned odds and ends were all UK delectables! The British and Irish foods and treats included in this special occasion for two are listed below:

UK Delectables
The table spread for the Afternoon Tea.
  • Plaza’s Black Capelin Roe
  • Carr’s Table Water Crackers, Original
  • Chivers Olde English Marmalade
  • Full Circle’s European Strawberry Fruit Spread
  • Devon Cream Company’s Luxury Clotted Cream
  • Elizabethan Pantry’s Lemon Curd
  • Candy Kittens’s Gourmet Sweets, Sour Blueberry
  • Farrah’s Rhubarb & Custard Candy
  • English Tea Shop’s White Tea, Blueberry & Elderflower

A special shoutout goes to Plaza’s Black Capelin Roe, Elizabethan Pantry’s Lemon Curd, and English Tea Shop’s White Tea, Blueberry & Elderflower. These three flavorfully unique tastes startled my husband and I with their wholly Irish and British flavors. Sealed tightly and imported straight from overseas, the products popped with strong flavors, freshness, and smoothness on their way down our throats. Buying these three products again became a certainty for the future.



Aiming to Learn How to Best Use UK Delectables

UK Delectables
Munching up the UK delectables.

As happened before in previous posts on the world’s beloved Facebook, I’m certain someone will criticize me on how I used these UK delectables. Therefore, I’m taking the time now to apologize for my ignorance on how to best use these foods and treats. According to what I’ve seen in movies, Carr’s crackers and the caviar would be best served in a party setting. Children would enjoy the sweets, such as the Sour Blueberries and Rhubarb & Custard Candy. But the creams, jams, and tea do seem proper for an Afternoon Tea. Am I wrong?

Thank you for reading! Alex and I had created such a large Afternoon Tea that we filled our bellies long before making any dent on the food. So, I look forward to future days with these UK delectables, and hope to invite friends over for future tea parties. How would you use these delicious garnishes, biscuits, jams, and sweets? Please comment below!



Fruit Gums – Nestle’s Sour Candy – A Critical Review

Fruit Gums – Nestle’s Sour Candy – A Critical Review

Fruit Gums are sour! Above and beyond what is normal for my dull taste palette. Seeing my pinched-faced reaction to the sour candy made my husband chuckle, though. He enjoyed the Fruit Gums, finding them pleasantly tangy and flavorful. If my fellow American has overlooked this particular candy, then allow me to describe who makes the sour candies, where to find them, and how they taste.

Nestle, a British-Owned Company Known Throughout the USA

Fruit Gums
Rowntree created both Fruit Gums and Fruit Pastilles.

I have very fond memories about – what I considered – the world’s best chocolate candy bar, named Crunch. Located in Oregon for a family reunion during my childhood, my father sat me down and happily explained to me about the Nestle company. Sadly, I retained nothing but the name: Nestle.

On the other hand, when I found out about Nestle’s British roots, I was ecstatic! For I learned I’ve been enjoying British candy since my childhood. And now I’ve learned about the company’s expansion into other food products, such as Fruit Gums.

To be specific, Fruit Gums comes from Nestle’s subcompany, called Rowntree. From this subcompany comes the various and distinctly British candies. Today I will talk about their traditional-flavored sour Fruit Gums.

Where to Find Nestle’s Fruit Gums in USA’s Northern California

Fruit Gums
We loaded up on all the UK candy.

Anyone who has searched through my previous blog posts will know exactly how much I love two particular markets in Northern California: Nugget Markets being my top favorite, and Cost Plus World Market standing solidly at second place. In this particular instance, the sour Fruit Gums came from Cost Plus World Market.

I remember writing before about the wide variety of British foods and candies found at Cost Plus World Market. There had once been question as to their products’s origins. However, the market’s products seem to  actually come from other countries, for my British friends seem to recognize the candy.

Earlier in Spring 2017, Alex and I had the opportunity to load up on British candy from this particular market. Unfortunately, we will need to load up again at a later date, for it went bad from the 100ºF and plus weather, which the Sacramento Valley has been suffering under for months. Therefore, to provide my readers with the full British experience, I will need to buy them again to review them!

We Know the Fruit Gums are Sour, but How Else Do They Taste?

Fruit Gums
We had opened the candy roll with great anticipation.

Before answering this question, I need to clarify a point: These particular Fruit Gums I tried were traditional Fruit Gums, and they had no relation to the intentionally, painfully, and saliva-inducing sour variety. For me, the traditional Fruit Gums have their very own ability to induce saliva. This downgraded the candy, in my opinion.

Otherwise, the Fruit Gums had very pleasant flavors. The traditional flavor list includes blackcurrant, orange, strawberry, and lemon and lime. Admittedly, I had no clue about how the blackcurrant would taste. Upon first biting into the small candy, I thought the candy had molded. Alex corrected me, emphasizing on blackcurrant’s somewhat bitter flavor – at least, bitter according to this American, who dearly loves her sweets. Once I realized my mistake, I thoroughly enjoyed all the flavors!

Alex enjoyed the grid on the candy’s top, but that seems to be where most of the sourness came from. Moreover, only people who enjoy hard candies, like Alex, would enjoy Fruit Gums, for they were made to be hard and chewy. Those who prefer softer candies, like me, would prefer something else.

When Deciding to Try Fruit Gums for the First Time

I object, adamantly and vigorously, whenever I catch someone turning up his nose at a specific food or dish that he has never tried. Everyone has a different taste palette. Even if two people come from the same culture, or even the same family, their tastes can differ dramatically. Therefore, when the question comes on whether to try Fruit Gums or not, I will always encourage people to explore different cultural tastes. And to try the candy!

*      *     *     *     *

Have you ever tried Fruit Gums? If yes, did you find them bitter and sour, or chewy and flavorful? What about the Fruit Pastilles? Have you ever tried them? How do you like them compared to Fruit Gums?

Jamie Oliver’s “Old Boy’s Omelette” – Critical Review of a Twist on the British Classic

Jamie Oliver’s “Old Boy’s Omelette” – Critical Review of a Twist on the British Classic

Jamie Oliver, a world-renown British chef, pieced together yet another cookbook, called Jamie Oliver’s Great Britain, in year 2011. According to the cover, it contains 130 of his favorite British Recipes, which include old comfort foods and modern classics. From this cookbook did I create his version of the “Old Boy’s Omelette.”

Why the “Old Boy’s Omelette” is Ideal to Make in the USA

Old Boy's Omelette
All the ingredients I used for my own version of Jamie Oliver’s “Old Boy’s Omelette.”

Looking through this cookbook revealed many recipes which I would find difficult to recreate, due to the unavailability of the recipes’s ingredients. However, the “Old Boy’s Omelette” contained ingredients easily obtainable within the USA. Delighted at this discovery, I took the opportunity yesterday to buy the ingredients in the dish and cook my family omelettes for dinner!

The three ingredients requiring a special run to the grocery store were a sourdough bread loaf, sea salt, and four portobello mushrooms. Luckily for me, we already had the olive oil, quality bacon, free-range eggs, ground pepper, and cheddar cheese. (Albeit, my husband reminded me later the bacon in the UK likely differed from the bacon in the USA. Oh well, everyone in my family has a great appreciation for American bacon.)

What I Added to the Classic “Old Boy’s Omelette”

Old Boy's Omelette
The Angus beef steaks which I seasoned and cooked for the omelettes.

Though I know enough about cooking to know portobello mushrooms are sometimes substituted for meat, I also know my family loves actual meat. So, in addition to the bacon which the recipe calls for, I bought a couple of well-cut Angus steaks to throw into the omelettes.

To adequately prepare the steaks, I brought out a large frying pan, placed the steaks in, and powdered on some salt, pepper, and garlic. Turning the steaks over, I spread more seasoning to the other sides. To give the steaks plenty of flavor, I then dosed the steaks in Worcestershire sauce. I then proceeded to cook them, flipping them every so often.

Once the steaks were thoroughly cooked, I turned off the heat and set them to the side. When they had reached a manageable temperature, I placed the two steaks on a cutting board and cut them into cubes. I removed most of the fat, but kept some for flavor.

Preparing to Make the “Old Boy’s Omelette”

Old Boy's Omelette
The prepared ingredients to throw into the omelettes.

What I did with the steaks, I proceeded to do for the rest of the ingredients. I fried the bacon and cut them into either 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch pieces. Also, I cubed the sourdough bread, cleaned and sliced the portobello mushrooms, and grated the cheddar cheese – lots and lots of yummy cheddar cheese.

As for the free-range eggs, I took four small bowls and cracked three eggs into each. I whisked them with a small whisking utensil. Using the sea salt and ground pepper, I proceeded to pour good amounts of each into the whisked eggs. With this done and the remaining ingredients chopped and ready, all I had left to do was wait for the men to come home for dinner and begin the final step!

Making the “Old Boy’s Omelette” and How They Turned Out

Truly, truly I tried to follow Jamie Oliver’s instructions. However, what resulted ended up looking completely different than the beautiful photo for his take on the traditional Sunday morning meal. But, first, how I cooked the omelettes:

  • Poured olive oil into the skillet, a good amount.
  • Threw in the portobello mushroom slices.
  • Tossed in the sourdough bread pieces.
  • Sprinkled on a few bacon pieces.
  • Threw in plenty of cubed steak.
  • Added lots of cheddar cheese.
  • Mixed everything together with a wooden spoon and let the cheese melt!
  • Then poured in the egg mix.

 

It seemed too easy, and it was easier than it should have been. When I read the instructions, the omelette sounded more like making scrambled eggs. Moreover, the renowned chef instructed me to turn off the heat before the eggs had fully cooked. This, according to this American-born-and-bred individual, was a mistake. For everyone in my family enjoys fully-cooked eggs.

An American Verdict on Jamie Oliver’s “Old Boy’s Omelette”

Old Boy's Omelette
Mary Truong’s version of Jamie Oliver’s “Old Boy’s Omelette”

Even though I changed the recipe slightly, and even though the eggs ended up slightly liquidy, my family highly enjoyed Jamie Oliver’s “Old Boy’s Omelette.” My father and my husband especially enjoyed all the meat. The cheddar cheese was probably my favorite part, for the portobello mushrooms ended up fried in the olive oil and had lost all their natural flavoring.

My family had already finished their meals by the time I remembered the HP sauce and ketchup, but I’ll try to remember for next time. For my family enjoyed the meal so much as to have it again – only this time with fully cooked eggs.

Have you ever tried “Old Boy’s Omelette?” What about trying Jamie Oliver’s version? Does the ketchup and HP sauce help to cut down the olive oil taste? I think adding tomatoes might make this a great meal too, what do the readers think?

Yes, Honey, I’ll Eat ‘After Eight’

Yes, Honey, I’ll Eat ‘After Eight’

Nineteenth century English gentlemen and ladies would sometimes dine at eight o’clock in the evening. (So I say based purely on Jane Austen literature!) The dining time was especially practiced if said gentleman or lady had guests over for dinner.

However, Alex doesn’t expect me to dine late into the evening. He does expect me to eat his share of savory chocolate mints. And teasing me for eating After Eight mints simply makes him laugh!

Who Makes ‘After Eight’ and Where They’re Sold

A treat that stands above the rest.

It’s a crying disappointment how Nestle withholds these savory and mouthwatering chocolate mints from average American grocers. When searching for information on Nestle’s website, I found I had to change my country to “UK and Ireland” in order to simply find the mints!

Nevertheless, all is not lost. After some searching, I found two or three retail grocers who carried After Eight mints. This particular box I found came from – You guessed it! – Cost Plus World Market. This store had it discretely shelved on a lower shelf opposite the popular, worldwide candies. At least, so it was at this particular location in Northern California.

What Nestle Says About These Popular UK Treats

A social treat for family and friends.

Nestle talks about the elegance and savory flavoring of the After Eight mints, of course. But what I found interesting was the predominant ingredients in the mint. These ingredients include dark chocolate, 100% natural peppermint oil, and most unexpected of them all – fondant!

Originally, when Nestle first produced these savory mints, the advertisements appeared on television early after eight o’clock. The product’s design was based on an antique baroque, silver clock, as seen currently on the individual mint covers. And according to Nestle’s statistics, 50% of the mints consumed in the UK are After Eight mints.

What Drew Me To Them – ‘After Eight’ Aesthetics

Whoever designed the packaging, both the box and the individual wrappers, must have done extensive research. Several qualities exist that draw the buyers in:

  • After Eight mints are social mints. Twenty mints are included to share among a group, whether they be family or friends.
  • The outer packaging quietly draws attention to itself, telling us to look at its savory products.
  • Nestle officially labeled the product as ‘After Eight – Mint Chocolaty Thins’ with visually appealing letters.
  • The individual wrappers are – pardon my American vocabulary – thin and crinkly with beautiful golden clock designs.

 

Need I Describe How ‘After Eight’ Mints Taste?

As all the ladies and gentlemen say, “Yum!”

Once I learned about the 100% natural peppermint oil included in the delicacy, I was sold. To taste a smooth, creamy mint sounded like a good reason to stay at home in the evening. And as Alex and I soon learned upon purchasing the product, I was right.

The strong peppermint flavor leaves a strong, but pleasant, aftertaste. One mint satisfies me. Although, Nestle recommends five After Eight mints as a serving size. The portion is up to the consumer, as it always is. Overall, I highly recommend the product.

P.S. Don’t let the price scare you! The eight to nine dollar purchase price are dollars well spent!

HP Sauce, Mushy Peas, and Cromwell Somerdale Cheese Make for One Delicious British-Style Supper

HP Sauce, Mushy Peas, and Cromwell Somerdale Cheese Make for One Delicious British-Style Supper

Cooked and consumed before Alex’s and my wedding, this special supper included several British foods and sauces found at Northern California markets.

“Hold on. Don’t Mushy Peas belong with Bangers & Mash?” asked my loved one. “And shouldn’t we eat the Cromwell Somerdale cheese with the most common British bread?”

Preparing to cook.

“Yes,” I replied. “But we, as nothing but poor and unlucky Americans, need to eat the local beef and the frozen dinner rolls before they go bad.” (In this instance, I was half joking and half serious. I may not be lucky, but God provides me with many blessings.)

And so Alex, my parents, and I ate a sirloin steak dinner with British-style side dishes and sauces. Please allow me to detail the scrumptious meal.

Small Sirloin Steaks Completely Covered in HP Sauce

Sirloin steaks bought from a store fall somewhere between “tasty” and “merely acceptable” most of the time. On this night, Alex and I cooked the evening meal. Later we learned the steaks we served fell right dab in the middle.

Cooking the sirloin steaks and heating the Mushy Peas.

To help flavor everyone’s steak, I placed HP Sauce on the table. Browsing through Cost Plus World Market earlier in the week had enabled me to find this popular British sauce. Squealing with delight, I had snatched it quickly off the shelf.

Before tasting the sauce, I slathered it on my small sirloin. I was sure I would like it, and I was right. To me, who grew up with Worcestershire Sauce and A1 Sauce, it tasted like a mix between these two popular American sauces. How would my UK friends describe this sauce?

Mushy Peas Served as the Required Greens

Earlier in the year, Alex and I had cooked, eaten, and posted about home-cooked British Bangers and Mash. When Alex re-posted the blog post on Facebook, one friend said in mock-outrage, “What about the Mushy Peas?” We were confused.

The main side dishes and sauces for the meal.

So, after a little research, we realized either Heinz Beans or Mushy Peas could serve as a side dish to the popular dish. We decided to try the Mushy Peas, and found them at both Cost Plus World Market and Nugget Markets. If I remember correctly, the product was slightly cheaper at Nugget Markets.

On the night we cooked, I heated the Mushy Peas over the stove-top until the wooden spoon glided through the mush. Serving them in a simple dish, I scooped some unto my dinner plate to try. They tasted like……peas. More accurately, they tasted like my mother’s split-pea soup. Alex enjoyed them, and I found them tolerably good.

Cromwell Somerdale Cheese because We Wanted to Cut the Cheese

Granted, serving cheese as a main side dish seems odd. However, Alex and I had found the cheese section at Nugget Markets. And among this grocer’s cheese selection were many, many imported cheeses, including French, German, Mexican, Irish, Scottish, and British! We had to try some.

Everything else…

After picking through the selection, we settled on the Cromwell Somerdale cheese. This looked particularly good because of the chives and onions within the cheddar cheese. According to a UK website selling the cheese, we should have grilled it. Regardless, Cromwell Somerdale cheese is good straight from the block as well.

Non-Alcoholic British Drinks for an American Soda-Drinking Family

Lastly comes the British beverages we found at Cost Plus World Market. While the store had a large alcoholic beverage selection, my family chooses to abstain from alcohol to prevent giving a bad example to others in our faith. So, I picked up four different flavors of the British soda beverages.

The meal laid out on the table for a scrumptious meal!

Looking at the picture now, I remember that I drank the Fentimans Curiosity Cola while everyone else drank the Barr’s sodas. The predominant feature I remember about the Curiosity Cola was how flat the beverage tasted. Whereas American soda pop has ample amounts of carbonation, this drink had none.

The flavor evades description. Again, I wonder how my British friends would describe the flavor? As for me, I recommend my American readers to go out, buy, and try this mystery drink for themselves!

This likely isn’t a traditional British meal. However, my family and I enjoyed the British flavoring found within the dishes. All it needs is some sort of potato, and it would be a British-style meat and potato supper!

Taste Buds Meter the Maltesers and Maltesers Teasers and Catch the Maltesers Fever

Taste Buds Meter the Maltesers and Maltesers Teasers and Catch the Maltesers Fever

Ooh! Whoppers! Or, em, British whoppers. No? Oh, yeah, Maltesers. And, em, Maltesers Teasers. Oh, for crying-out-loud, those thingamajigs!

Found at Cost Plus World Market, and later-on spotted at the Dollar General store, Alex and I stumbled across an imported British candy called Maltesers. Malterfood, a Mars Chocolate UK sub-company, produce these traditional candies. Favored throughout the world, Malterfood produces and exports thousands of candies every year.

Tasting the Original Maltesers

For Americans, it is impossible to refrain from comparing these little candies to Whoppers’ malted milk balls. However, there exists a striking difference between the two candies. Maltesers made the candies slightly more doughy on the inside, as opposed to the Whoppers’ obvious crunch. Also, the superb Mars chocolate coating was significantly lighter than the chocolate coating on the Whoppers.

Malterfood’s added honey as their extra, special ingredient. And, to be perfectly frank, I only realized this upon reading the packaging. For the ingredient, while good in tea and on toast, added nothing to the taste. Rather than sweet, the candy had more of a sour aftertaste. Overall, the chocolate, honey, and dough balls are too bland for my taste.

On the Other Hand, the Maltesers Teasers…

Wow! So, so, so, so much better than the traditional Maltesers! The Maltesers Teasers completely make up for what the traditional candy balls lack. Think chocolate. Think about how Mars chocolate melts in your mouth. Consider also how tiny balls taste, how they crunch. So good!

Maltesers TeasersOn a more serious note, the Maltesers Teasers are more like traditional chocolate bars. In one sense, the candy reminded me much of the Crunch candy, chocolate and crunch. However, the candy bar included more chocolate than tiny candy balls. Consequently, they significantly outdid the Crunch candy bar.

Dealing with the Maltesers Fever

MaltesersIf Alex and I can find these original British candies in a discount store like Dollar General, then I can hardly begin to imagine how many places sell these tasty treats. Next time my husband and I have the money to go to the theater, I will have to search the candy options to see if they are present. Or, how many Malterfood candies would a store like Walmart sell? I’ll have to do more research.

Someone who presented me with these two Malterfood candies would find that I would choose the Maltesers Teasers before the original candy balls. In fact, I recommend the candy bar to anyone who prefers Mars chocolate over dough and honey. The 100+ degree weather may have affected the candies. They may have melted the chocolate or made them less crunchy. Or maybe Cost Plus World Market sold the expired ones and I didn’t catch it. Either way, as British candy goes, the sweet tooth accepts both.

Delectable Treats – Terry’s Milk Chocolate Oranges

Delectable Treats – Terry’s Milk Chocolate Oranges

Treats like these don’t grow on trees! Terry’s Milk Chocolate Oranges are mouth-watering, flavor-popping chocolates which open with a good, solid whack!

American born and bred, I raised my brow on first hearing Alex mention one of Great Britain’s most delectable treats: chocolate oranges. I questioned how chocolate could adequately include an orange flavor which would satisfy a fruit-lover. Since I don’t consider myself an orange connoisseur – something I shall never be due to the orange rind – I decided to someday test one.

Where We Found Terry’s Milk Chocolate Oranges

Terry’s Milk Chocolate Orange

On my day off from the drug store, Alex and I wandered over to a neighboring town. Once we had acquired and bought our day-to-day necessities, I asked to go to one more place to spend my Visa e-gift card. Where did we go? You guessed it: Cost Plus World Market!

The store manager at Vacaville’s location in the Nut Tree Plaza did the store harm in rejecting my Visa e-gift card. Especially since, when Alex and I stepped into the store, we were the only customers there. However! I am dedicated to this blog, and I enjoy trying British foods far too much to have turned away and never gone back.

Keeping a smile on my face, I headed toward the food section to see the available options. Lo and behold, the employees had set up an entire display promoting solely United Kingdom foods! British, Irish, and Scottish! I quickly spent my budgeted play money.

The Hard Decision between Terry’s Milk Chocolate Oranges and Terry’s Dark Chocolate Oranges

A whacked and unwrapped chocolate orange!

According to the chocolate orange experts, if eating a delectable treat with orange flavoring, then the best chocolate to use is dark chocolate. Health fans must cheer and share this opinion, since dark chocolate is supposedly healthier than milk chocolate. Someday I will try Terry’s Dark Chocolate Orange, but this time we chose Terry’s Milk Chocolate Orange.

Though I enjoy dark chocolate as well as milk, I let Alex decide on what to choose on that day. As the source behind all my chocolate orange knowledge, he knew what most people preferred. However, he chose the milk chocolate one. I happily plopped one into our shopping basket.

How Terry’s Milk Chocolate Oranges Look and Taste

A chocolate designed after a true orange.

The design on the chocolate is pleasing to the eye with its ridges imitating an orange’s rind and fruit. Whacking one of Terry’s chocolate oranges is also a fun way to enjoy a delectable treat. Moreover, if the weather climbs to 100 degrees or more, the chocolate oranges refrigerates well, for the chocolate oranges are still easy to bite into when refrigerated.

Terry’s Milk Chocolate Oranges taste smooth, sweet, and stupendous! The orange flavoring in the milk chocolate has a strong flavor, but isn’t overpowering. Terry’s uses orange oil, an ingredient that reminds me of the orange peel used in my mother’s orange rolls, nice and sweet.

Intending to please my sweet tooth, I had planned to eat half of this chocolate orange for breakfast. However, it was far too sweet! Though this fact guarantees I will buy more in the future. Unlike the recommended serving, I recommend savoring Terry’s Milk Chocolate Oranges and eating only two or three slices at a time, as opposed to five slices.

Just a Little History on Terry’s Chocolate Oranges

Terry’s Milk Chocolate Orange

Terry’s used to run their own organization in York, United Kingdom. Established in the mid to late 1700’s, they produced products (such as chocolate lemons for a little while) for several years before they first handed over the reigns to a larger organization. Mondelez Global now ultimately produces this particular Terry’s chocolate orange.

Poland manufactured the chocolate, on machines that also process nuts and wheat, and sends the chocolates around the world. Terry’s original recipes are currently held and processed from three different European countries. It closed its doors in York in 2005, one year after the delectable treats began exporting to the United States – to my great delight!

 

How to Make a Very UK Breakfast from Northern California Grocers

How to Make a Very UK Breakfast from Northern California Grocers

Back when Alex and I were still engaged and actively searching for ways to make United Kingdom foods, we stumbled across a means to make a very UK breakfast! Let me tell you where to find the items and our experience in making them.

Our Favorite Grocers Make a Very UK Breakfast Possible

Items needed for a very UK breakfast.

The necessary items for this meal came from grocers mentioned in previous posts: Nugget Markets and Cost Plus World Market. Few items were needed, and they included Irish scone mix, blackcurrant jam, and luxury clotted cream. Cost Plus World Market carried the scone mix and clotted cream, while Nugget Markets carried the British jam.

Alex’s research revealed UK citizens would normally eat larger breakfasts that included meat. While we hope to make such a breakfast someday, our budget allowed for a few tasty scones for breakfast this time around.

Two Inexperienced Bakers Fussing with a Scone Mix

Though I’ve made banana nut bread countless number of times, I’m relatively inexperienced as a baker. Having never made scones before, I was clueless about what to expect during the process of mixing and shaping the dough. Therefore, Alex caught some very messy pictures of a very messy Mary trying to knead some very messy dough.

The items used to make the scones.
Struggling to roll the dough.
Trying to place the unbaked scones on a baking sheet.

Eventually I learned what my trouble was after placing the first set of Irish scones on the baking sheet: I neglected to use enough flour. This was an easy mistake to fix, and soon the unbaked scones began to look like real scones.

One box created two such baking sheets of scones.

Alex stopped taking pictures after the first batch, because he thought the proper scones looked worse than the messy and hard-to-make scones. Something only a cook would think, not a baker.

How to Eat Scones in the UK Style

A new breakfast favorite.

Since in this scenario our very UK Breakfast consisted of Irish scones, we had to add a British element. To do this, Alex and I purchased more luxury clotted cream. When we learned about the English adding jam on top of clotted cream, we went out and found an imported UK item called blackcurrant jam.

The combination of these three elements was truly delightful. Freshly baked dough, creamy clotted cream, and fruity blackcurrant jam had Alex and I devouring almost all the scones in one sitting.

Try a Very UK Breakfast at Home!

Alex and I highly recommend this breakfast to anyone with a light appetite. Even better yet, maybe add some meat – of which I still need to learn Great Britain’s favorite breakfast meat – and some potatoes, and it would be a full meal!

Does anyone have a favorite scone recipe or scone mix which they would like to recommend? Does anyone know about other UK jams? Please comment below!

Top Three Reasons to Try Harry Potter Jelly Slugs at Jelly Belly Co.

Top Three Reasons to Try Harry Potter Jelly Slugs at Jelly Belly Co.

Harry Potter Jelly Slugs came out after Harry Potter Bertie Bott’s Beans. Jelly Belly Company produced them around the same time as Harry Potter Chocolate Frogs. As Jelly Belly describes Harry Potter Jelly Slugs online, there are five different fruit-flavored gummis that delight every Harry Potter fan.

Unfortunately for me, many months expired before I found out about these delightful treats. And some time expired between learning about them and having the money to purchase any for myself. However, just a short-while ago, the knowledge and the money combined. Here are the top three reasons to try Harry Potter Jelly Slugs.

Reason One: Because Jelly Slugs are in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets!

Harry Potter Jelly Slugs popping out of the book!

I’d rather not dwell on the issue that caused the curse, or how the curse backfired. But here is an excerpt on where Jelly Slugs originated from in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets:

Flint had to dive in front of Malfoy to stop Fred and George jumping on him, Alicia shrieked, “How dare you!”, and Ron plunged his hand into his robes, pulled out his wand, yelling, “You’ll pay for that one, Malfoy!” and pointed it furiously under Flint’s arm at Malfoy’s face.

A loud bang echoed around the stadium and a jet of green light shot out of the wrong end of Ron’s wand, hitting him in the stomach and sending him reeling backward onto the grass.

“Ron! Ron! Are you all right?” squealed Hermione.

Ron opened his mouth to speak, but no words came out. Instead he gave an almighty belch and several slugs dribbled out of his mouth onto his lap.

~ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Poor, poor Ron had intended to defend Hermione’s honor, only to shame himself. However! Thanks to his backfired curse, Harry Potter fans can now enjoy Harry Potter Jelly Slugs!

Reason Two: Because Harry Potter Jelly Slugs Come in Five Delicious Flavors!

Jelly Slugs have five different fruit flavors.

Jelly Belly Company does its best to hide the flavors from buyers. But since I’ve bought a package, I’ll share them with my readers. There are five flavors:

  • Pear – a light green slug
  • Sour Cherry – a red slug
  • Tangerine – an orange slug
  • Watermelon – a dark green slug
  • Banana – a yellow slug

When offered to my father, he picked a sour cherry. To my amusement, he said it tasted like a cough drop from the olden days. Alex agreed, but he said it was a good taste. And I agreed with Alex, for the slug tasted delectable, as did all the variously flavored slugs.

Reason Three: To Spread Joy to All Harry Potter Fans!

I was wrong! Jelly Belly Company has locations all throughout the United States! And the company will ship anywhere! Therefore, if any reader wishes to indulge in the Harry Potter world, or immerse his or her friends in it, then visit the local Jelly Belly store.

The Harry Potter product line serves well to engage the Millennial generation and their children’s imagination. Bertie Bott’s Beans, Chocolate Frogs, and Jelly Slugs also serve well as gifts. So, go ahead! Indulge in a little British-inspired candy!