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Monday, December 26, 2011

Scoop of mince pie? It's not the wurst.

Some things, like the delightfulness of a new dolly under the Christmas tree are universal.

Others, like mince pie ice cream (which is admittedly delicious!) would be harder to market in the States. Also that a scoop of Philadelphia Cream Cheese is good on pasta. And Marmite (although the jar is graphically perfect and should be displayed next to our Lyle's Black Treacle can for aesthetics alone).

There are countless delicious things about living in Europe.  We've gobbled up endless delectable new (to us) cuisine on Edgeware Road, all over London and in travels to Paris, Bidart, Cologne and the British countryside.  I was never more proud of the kids than when days after we arrived, they enjoyed a plate of Lebanese kibbeh that looked nothing like any meatballs they'd seen before.

All things ending in wurst have been deemed wonderful by my family after a trip to Germany last week.  The Mister and I especially enjoyed wursts in drizzly Christmas markets with a Kolsch or mulled wine in the other hand.  The dairy and cheese counters here alone make me stop my "shopping trolley"* in my tracks.  London is a great restaurant and food city.  But there are some foods we may never become accustomed to seeing or daring enough to try.

It is the straightforwardness of the food that is so fantastically and admirably British.  Maybe this is also why we love British news.  Food here is not doctored by nuanced descriptions or packaging. Tinned meat and lard have their own sections on the grocery online order.  No one here thinks twice about selling "clotted" food.  They clearly don't think it sounds hematological.  You should know that anything clotted is amazing.  The new year will find me working off a fair amount of Marks and Spencer clotted cream champagne rhubarb yogurt sold in "pots." It started innocently enough:  I'm the mom.  I'll try an anthropological experiment for my family.  It became a bit of an addiction.  Clotted can be so very good. Digestives are delightful but wouldn't dare be called that in the US.  Same with streaky bacon.

Enjoy your Christmas celebrations.  We're across the Atlantic toasting you over savory biscuits while we pull apart crackers. Cheers!

*Baby Sister asked for a shopping trolley from Santa.  She considered asking for a buggy.

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