Category: British Food

Where to Find and Collect Harry Potter’s Chocolate Frogs in Northern California

Where to Find and Collect Harry Potter’s Chocolate Frogs in Northern California

“Why would I ever bother to collect some fiction’s chocolate?” someone who’s never read Harry Potter might ask. These unfortunate souls miss out on the real reason to find Harry Potter’s Chocolate Frogs: To collect every single magical card of all the famous Harry Potter witches and wizards in the real world!

How I First Found Harry Potter‘s Chocolate Frogs

Chocolate Frogs are found in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

It was Memorial Day weekend in the year 2016. Alex and I both had the day off, but we struggled to find something to do. We put our heads together and searched through our memories to recall things on our fun to-do list. And we remembered the Jelly Belly Factory, a place neither of us had ever visited. So, off we went!

Tour employees were present at the factory. The actual factory workers had the day off. So, as tours go, we had more fun in each other’s company than viewing the videos and stilled machines. After quickly walking through, we arrived at the Jelly Belly tasting counter and the visitor’s store.

Alex tried variously flavored Jelly Bellies, going through the line two times for a total of six beans. I separated from the crowd and headed straight toward a sign with the Harry Potter logo. And there, in the lower half of the shelf tower, were Harry Potter‘s Chocolate Frogs!

Harry Potter‘s Chocolate Frogs and What I Found Out

As the months wore on, more Chocolate Frogs found their way into our home.

Seeing the Chocolate Frogs at the Jelly Belly Factory made me leap for joy. Soon, Alex found me in my excited state and offered to buy me one Harry Potter Chocolate Frog. I kissed him for his sweetness, and I soon was in the car, tearing open the Harry Potter‘s Chocolate Frog package. My collection started with Rubeus Hagrid, the Hogwarts’s gamekeeper.

A week passed. My excitement over the Harry Potter card was still high and flying. To increase my new collection, I asked Alex to drive us to the nearest Jelly Belly store to see if it carried Harry Potter‘s Chocolate Frogs. He smiled and obliged me.

A sweet treat and a new card.

To our surprise, the store not only carried the item, but it sold them for a dollar cheaper than the Jelly Belly Factory. All the same, at 2.99 dollars per Chocolate Frog, I wanted to be smart. So, I only bought one. That day, my excitement died when I opened the package and found another Rubeus Hagrid card.

Eight months later would alert me to the coincidence in the cards being the same.

What’s So Great About Harry Potter‘s Chocolate Frogs

Along with the delicious Chocolate Frog – which, unfortunately, stays in place instead of jumping out the window – comes collectible cards about famous witches and wizards in Harry Potter. Many names are included in the collection:

My Chocolate Frog collection…so far…
  • Gilderoy Lockhart
  • Madam Pince
  • The Potter Family
  • Rubeus Hagrid
  • Voldemort
  • Severus Snape
  • Myron Wagtail & Heathcote Barbary
  • Filius Flitwick
  • Pomona Sprout
  • Madam Rolanda Hooch
  • Donaghan Tremlett & Myron Wagtail
  • Quirinus Quirrell
  • Mr. Ollivander
  • Albus Dumbledore
  • Minerva McGonagall
  • Orsino Thruston & Myron Wagtail

On the backside of the magical 3D picture is a description about the witch or wizard. Like the students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry Potter fans in the real world can buy, trade, and collect their favorite witches and wizards!

What I Later Learned About Harry Potter‘s Chocolate Frogs

Harry Potter‘s Chocolate Frogs

Harry Potter‘s Wizarding World at Universal Studios carries Chocolate Frogs. Based on what I hear, the Chocolate Frogs come in a pentagon-shaped box with a pentagon-shaped card. To collect these cards, fans must either go to Universal Studios or order the Chocolate Frogs online. As of yet, I personally can only dream about buying and trading this surely wonderful collection.

As for now, I encourage every Harry Potter fan and their children to go to the nearest Jelly Belly store and pick up some Chocolate Frogs. If fans wish to buy a box, they can go to JellyBelly.com and purchase 6, 24, or more Chocolate Frogs at once! They are loads of fun for every Harry Potter fan and make wonderful gifts, too.

Exploring British Marmalade – Chivers Olde English Marmalade

Exploring British Marmalade – Chivers Olde English Marmalade

During one late night excursion through Nugget Markets, Alex and I spotted and snagged an imported item from Cambridge, England: Chivers Olde English Marmalade. I slathered some on my English muffin the very next morning.

About Chivers Olde English Marmalade

Make sure to read the label on proper Olde English Marmalade.

According to the label on the jar, this particular marmalade brand originated from Chivers & Sons, located in Cambridge, England. The jar’s label and lid depict a coat of arms, the message inside indicating the company’s establishment in the year 1873.

On the label’s side, Alex and I took delight in seeing Edinburgh, a UK address, and the bold-lettered message, ” PRODUCT OF THE UK.”  I also took some pleasure in seeing how the product contained low calories, no fat, and little sodium, as portrayed on the label’s side.

How to Use Chivers Olde English Marmalade

Grocers and food markets who import and sell this brand in the United States recognize the company Chivers and Sons as a purveyor of fine jams and desserts. Since Chivers Olde English Marmalade uses only pure fruit, it makes for a sweet and healthy treat.

The company recommends using the product within six weeks of opening, for the marmalade contains zero preservatives. Several sites recommend spreading the marmalade on buttered toast, to add a tangy flavor in a British breakfast.

A Personal Opinion on Chivers Olde English Marmalade

An English breakfast, strong and tart.

As usual, being completely and woefully ignorant of how to use the marmalade before trying it, I spread the so-called-sweet spread on a plain English muffin. I should have buttered it first. Buttering the muffin may have added more flavor to the breakfast, for I didn’t find the marmalade very sweet.

To be perfectly honest, I considered Chivers Olde English Marmalade to have a rather bitter taste. I could certainly taste the fruit and the high quality ingredients. But I’m accustomed to America’s sweeter jams. Eating British marmalade for breakfast would require getting used to.

Oh! And a strong cup of PG Tips. Proper English breakfast tea helped immensely with this rather tart meal.

My Recommendation

All tastes differ. Therefore, I recommend for everyone to drop by their nearest multicultural market and purchase Chivers Olde English Marmalade, or to order some on an online market. With a strong, black tea to balance out the meal, the marmalade tastes great on toast.

Go ahead! Grab some toast, butter, black tea, and marmalade, and enjoy an English breakfast!

Breaking News! Cost Plus World Market Has Restocked English Luxury Clotted Cream!

Breaking News! Cost Plus World Market Has Restocked English Luxury Clotted Cream!

What Transpired

  • At half past one o’clock in the afternoon, Mary placed her dirty cleaning rag in the laundry bin and clocked out from work.
  • Ten minutes later, she met her fiance at her house, where they decided to grab a bite to eat and do some shopping.
  • Between half past two and half past three pm, they spotted the English Luxury Clotted Cream at Cost Plus World Market.

What Feelings Came to Pass

Hidden in a corner was a delectable treat…

Was I so glad to be wrong! If anyone who stumbled across this post has read my earlier post about Double Devon Cream at Cost Plus World Market, then he or she knows the great disappointment Alex and I experienced with the store’s English cream selection. This time was different!

Hidden in the top cupboard of the small food items’s bottom shelf was the long-coveted English Luxury Clotted Cream. Though we had searched in this section in an earlier visit to the store, this particular location must have run out of stock on the delectable treat. There was hope in Cost Plus World Market’s collection after all!

Chagrin played a major role in my feelings, for I have misinformed others on the company’s reliability in their multicultural selections. Although, some evidence gathered today also proves how some product origin labels may differ from the products’s manufacturing countries. More on that later.

What was Found

To be tried later with tea…
For the next time we enjoy British bangers…

Cost Plus World Market had imported many, many food products from England, Ireland, and Scotland. And, if the United States had manufactured the items, the items at least claimed to be a United Kingdom product. (The same applied for the products representing other countries.)

Alex snapped the photos displayed in this blog post. Some of the products we bought today. Others we plan to purchase when we have more money. Our experiences with these products we will share with you at a later date!

 

Our Conclusion

Soft drinks for later…
What in the world do we eat this with…?

Nugget Markets still reigns supreme as the multicultural market to shop at in Northern California. However, due to our experiences today, Cost Plus World Market comes to a solid second in providing multicultural foods to purchase and enjoy.

Prices are higher than the discount grocery stores, such as Walmart Neighborhood Market, but they remain reasonable. My soon-to-be-husband and I will remain loyal customers to Nugget Markets and Cost Plus World Market to satisfy our need to explore different cultures.

And for me to write this blog about all things in the UK!

Number One Grocery Chain in Northern California – Nugget Markets

Number One Grocery Chain in Northern California – Nugget Markets

Thank you, Stille family members, for your hard work and excellent service in providing customers like me with unique and multicultural shopping experiences. With you and your Nugget Markets, I have found quality British products and more to try and enjoy.

Getting to Know Nugget Markets

When I learned of my mistake in buying Double Devon Cream instead of Luxury Clotted Cream at Cost Plus World Market, I sat at home and sulked a bit. “Where would I find true British clotted cream?” I asked myself. And within a couple days, the answer came to me: Nugget Markets!

The Stille family

Mack and William Stille founded Nugget Markets in 1926 in Northern California, specifically in the Sacramento Valley. They branched out into cities such as Davis, CA and Vacaville, CA. Family continues to operate the business under Eric Stille’s leadership and Kate Stille’s help in marketing and communications.

Nugget Markets serves customers with their various health needs, serving vegan, non -dairy, gluten-free, and similar products. They even import products from countries such as Great Britain, Ireland, Israel, France, Germany, and more to provide their customers with multicultural experiences.

Why I Love Nugget Markets

Without help from the Stille family and their outstanding grocery chain, I would never have experienced genuine British food at this point in my life. Now, thanks to the market’s clarity in labeling their imported items, I have the sense to look at online British markets and consider purchasing their products as well.

Nugget Markets has a layout, gorgeous and attractive, to draw in the customers. The dark wood paneling attracts attention to the brightly colored food items, such as fruits, veggies, and baked goods. Personal care items, such as locally-made soap and Philippine shower scrubs, also call out for customers’ attention.

With the exception of one rude young man, the customer service at the locations are helpful and kind. The clerks provide quick service when needed, and they keep the stores exceptionally clean. My fiance and I visited a location late one evening, expecting them to be closed, but they stay open late!

Why Write about a Northern California Chain?

Local cheese section in Woodland location.

Okay, you caught me: Nugget Markets is strictly American in nature. However! I have found many British, Irish, and Scottish products at this Californian store, many imported, and plan to buy and write about them in this blog.

So, if any reader wishes to try some British cuisine, and they live in the Sacramento Valley, then Nugget Markets is the place to go. The Stille family provides unique and memorable experiences with their wide product variety.

Double Devon Cream Found at Cost Plus World Market

Double Devon Cream Found at Cost Plus World Market

Double Devon Cream is different than English Luxury Clotted Cream.

In an earlier blog post, I mentioned how my bridal shower spurred me on to search for English Clotted Cream in local retail markets. My hurried research introduced me to Luxury Clotted Cream and Double Devon Cream, two products very similar, but different, to each other.

During this search, I found a means to order the Luxury Clotted Cream via an online marketplace, but I refused to wait two or more days during the shipment. So, I searched specifically for the English Luxury Clotted Cream in stores around my central area.

Cost Plus World Market and Their British Products

Double Devon Cream next to a gift from my bridal shower.

To know exactly who messed up in creating the SEO for Cost Plus World Market’s Double Devon Cream in an online search is something I have yet to learn. However, when my Internet search showed an image for Luxury Clotted Cream, advertising its location at Cost Plus World Market, it messed up big time.

The nearest Cost Plus World Market carried only Double Devon Cream, and the Luxury Clotted Cream didn’t even have an empty slot in the store’s shelves, even though their website advertised otherwise.

Later experiences at different stores revealed the unreliability of actual British food and miscellaneous British products being available at Cost Plus World Market…though we still would shop there despite this fact.

Double Devon Cream and Homemade Blueberry Preserves

A scone with Double Devon Cream and blueberry preserves.

In my confusion, I went ahead and purchased the Double Devon Cream 5.6 ounce jar. Thoughts of how I must have misunderstood what I read online about the two products and how they must be the same filled my mind.

Alex had recently received two mason jars filled with his friend’s mom’s homemade blueberry preserves. However, my parents, Alex, and I first tried the Double Devon Cream on its own on buttery scones. My mother and I immediately and adamantly pronounced its inferiority to the clotted cream at the bridal shower. So, we tried the cream with the blueberry preserves.

The transformation from something barely edible to a mouthwatering delectable treat occurred with everyone. Soon, my family and friends were making requests for scones with Double Devon Cream and blueberry preserves.

A Personal Opinion on Double Devon Cream

The special-ordered clotted cream at my bridal shower was creamy and sweet, something to eat on a scone by itself. This Double Devon Cream had an entirely different taste and texture, which might truly be closer to what British citizens eat. I only wish I knew.

Somerdale Double Devon Cream tastes like unsweetened cream made from cow’s milk, a radical difference from the clotted cream’s sweet flavor at the bridal shower. The consistency was also hard and crumbly, unlike the clotted cream’s creaminess.

Blueberry preserves, strawberry jam, or any other sweet jam makes this British product a delight. All it takes is a little imagination. Blueberries and cream on a buttery and flaky scone, a combination made in heaven.

Four Out of Five Stars for Double Devon Cream

Sweet treats with solid drinks.

Overall, I recommend this product to everyone! However, I recommend doing a proper search on how to best eat this product. The Somerdale jar made a recommendation, which I knew once I actually took the time to read the labels. And it recommended strawberry jam. Do the British really prefer strawberry over any other jam?

At Cost Plus World Market, the Somerdale Double Devon Cream costs 7.99 dollars. A price that beats the Luxury Clotted Cream price by far. So, if the reader cares to have some cream on his or her scones and wishes to save on cost, then this product fits the bill.

Double Devon Cream – The Poor Man’s Substitute for English Luxury Clotted Cream.

How We Cook British Bangers and Mash in the USA

How We Cook British Bangers and Mash in the USA

I freely confess to my ignorance of British bangers and mash. Clueless. Confused. Mystified. When my father mentioned them at the dinner table, nothing but a large question mark appeared in my head.

American breakfast sausage, Italian sausage, and low-fat turkey sausage are familiar to me. I’ve tried them all, particularly enjoying the flavorful Italian sausages, and eat them somewhat regularly. In regard to British bangers, I might have remained in ignorance for far longer without Alex’s knowledge and observation.

How We Came Across the British Bangers

What we found at Walmart’s Neighborhood Market.

My parents had left for a business trip, leaving Alex and me to fend for ourselves in the kitchen. That left one thing for us to do: go grocery shopping at Walmart’s Neighborhood Market!

We picked up several items for our favorite homemade dishes, including spinach tortillas, ranch dressing, and chicken breasts. Since we had time on our hands, we also meandered through the aisles, observing the items on the selves.

The fruit and veggie section led to the precooked food section, and the precooked food section led to the sausage section. And there, tucked away on a top, refrigerated shelf, were Saag’s British Style Bangers!

Alex spotted them first. “Ooh!” he said, and he turned to grab my attention. At first, I was confused as to his excitement in the sausage section, but I looked up to where he pointed, and then it was me who squealed in excitement.

British-Style Bangers, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Pork and Beans.

How to Cook British Bangers and Mash

How did one eat British Style Bangers? Alex and I had to do some research to learn how to prepare the British bangers we bought. Were they a breakfast food? What served as good side dishes?

My computer-savvy fiance soon found out to cook the British bangers with mashed potatoes and baked beans, and to serve them for dinner. So we searched the cupboards, excited to find some instant garlic mashed potato bags and some Pork and Beans. We set to work.

British Style Bangers being grilled with butter.

Alex melted some butter on a grilling pan and grilled the British Style Bangers. We heated up the Pork and Beans in a separate pan, and I used the microwave to create the instant garlic mashed potatoes. We skipped the gravy, because I’m persnickety about that brown stuff.

How to Serve British Bangers and Mash

Again, thanks to my fiance and his technology research skills, we knew how to serve the British bangers and mash. We had two options on how to serve the baked beans, so we chose the following method:

British bangers and mash served for dinner.

First, I laid down a somewhat even layer of garlic mashed potatoes. Since we had four British bangers, I placed two on top of the mashed potatoes. Finally, I placed some heated baked beans in-between the bangers, on top of the mashed potatoes.

To my delight, Alex called the plate “beautiful.”

An Opinion on How British Bangers and Mash Taste

My father had warned me that since I cared little for homemade steak, potatoes, and gravy, I would probably dislike British food. He might have been right.

Saag’s British Style Bangers tasted like mild American breakfast sausage. These bangers came from pork, so the similarity makes sense.

Mixed together, the dish was enjoyable enough. Separated from the baked beans and garlic mashed potatoes, the British Style Bangers would have been too bland.

Overall, I would recommend trying bangers and mash in the United Kingdom. Saag’s, which makes their products in the United States, only will please those with milder tastes.

Harry Potter’s Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans at Real-Life Jelly Belly

Harry Potter’s Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans at Real-Life Jelly Belly

What feels like many, many years ago, I stepped out with my mother on a rare window shopping trip meant purely for entertainment. We wandered the nearby factory outlets and eventually found ourselves in a Jelly Belly shop. On this particular shopping trip, I squealed in delight as I discovered for the first time Harry Potter‘s Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans.

Experiencing Harry Potter‘s Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans

Harry Potter‘s Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans found at Jelly Belly.

This discovery occurred early on when the Jelly Belly Factory had only created Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans in their Harry Potter product line. Needless to say, my excitement softened my mother’s heart, so she bought me one small package of the beans.

Tasting the beans for the first time, I slowly consumed the beans while reading the latest Harry Potter book. The flavors ranged widely. Some had a delightful, fruity flavor, much like a regular Jelly Belly bean. Others had come straight from the Wizarding World, such booger, bacon, and vomit.

Every bean brought me straight to the Wizarding World’s heart, straight to my love for the series as a tween and on. The Harry Potter product line gave me a reason to frequent Jelly Belly, whereas no reason had existed before.

Why Parents Should Buy Harry Potter’s Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans for Their Children

Harry Potter product line at Jelly Belly, packaged and sealed.

Harry Potter came to America during my elementary school years. My sixth grade teacher, an amazing 26-years-old, single, and feisty woman, read The Sorcerer’s Stone to us, her students. She pre-ordered The Chamber of Secrets so she could read it to us before anyone else as well.

This teacher inspired imagination, encouraged love for the weird and extraordinary in the first millennials. And considering how well University Studio’s Wizarding World is doing, these same millennials are also likely teaching their own children to love Harry Potter.

Consequently, to delight and encourage imagination in their children, parents should buy them Harry Potter‘s Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans. The flavors quell harsh reality, surpass mere fun, and enter into awe and wonder.

Concluding Remarks on Initial Product in Jelly Belly’s Harry Potter Line

In The Sorcerer’s Stone, where Harry Potter‘s Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans first appeared.

Why would a 30-year-old millennial talk about her enjoyment in Harry Potter – inspired products? Because they’re British!

Granted, the Jelly Belly Factory is located in Fairfield, California, but the beloved series originated from a British author, J.K. Rowling. Therefore, these delightful beans qualify in this poor American’s mind as a delectable treat from the United Kingdom. And she encourages every other Harry Potter fan to try them as well.

How We Found Out Where to Shop for Jelly Babies

How We Found Out Where to Shop for Jelly Babies

“Jelly Babies were Tom Baker’s favorite!” exclaimed my fiancé. “I’ve been wanting to try them for ages. I think David Tennant likes them, too.”

What are Jelly Babies?

For those who’ve lost touch with popular British television, Tom Baker and David Tennant are the two most favored Doctors known in the over-50-years-old BBC television series called Doctor Who.

Gerrit J. Verburg Jelly Babies

Jelly Babies, self-described on Gerrit J. Verburg packaging as gourmet English style sweets, are jelly candies that come in various bright colors and fruit flavors, such as orange, lemon, and grape.

A Short History on How I Learned about Them

Alex, my soon-to-be-husband, told me about these colorful candies early on in our relationship, an icebreaker for our anxieties and common-ground for our self-declared loyalties to Doctor Who.

When Alex and I stumbled across this candy, my fiancé positively jumped for joy and immediately began talking about how for years he has visited stores without ever spotting a single bag of Jelly Babies. Never, until that day.

But before I disclose the stupendous store that carries this coveted candy, allow me to provide a short background on how Alex and I ended up at this store:

To celebrate my upcoming marriage, a friend from work collaborated with my maid-of-honor in throwing me a bridal shower. The theme was a tea party, or simply phrased, afternoon tea.

Double Devon Cream and Jelly Babies

“Oh, so the hostesses tried to resemble a British tea party with Jelly Babies,” one might think. Nope! The hostesses introduced something different to me that day: clotted cream, a luxurious and delicious blend from a nearby tea house.

My mother and I came home from the bridal shower raving about the clotted cream. In fact, I enjoyed the clotted cream so much, I searched the Internet to find a nearby store who carried the product. We avoided the tea house, for it exceeded our budget.

The Big Revealing

Wishing to try this new food product, Alex drove me to the store to buy the cream. The store carried only Double Devon Cream that day – which I will speak more on in a later post – but at Cost Plus World Market, we found Jelly Babies!

Tea, scones, and Jelly Babies for two at home.

That’s right, Cost Plus World Market carries the classic British candy. The market sold the Gerrit J. Verburg brand, where the chews come in a resealable bag. Although, be warned, the seal may separate from the bag. To solve this issue when it happened to me, I used a chip clip.

Everyone who wishes to experience a little British culture while confined in the States should try this delectable treat. Albeit, the brand sold at Cost Plus makes the product in and sells from Fenton, Michigan, but as a girl who can only dream about visiting the United Kingdom, they do just nicely.

My Opinion about Jelly Babies

Oh! And my opinion about their taste is chewy, yet satisfying. They look like little gummi bears, but they have a slightly tougher consistency. Sugar abounds in this small treat, yet the fruity flavors give the candy its true pizzazz. And the candy design? Adorable!