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Off topic: A question for fellow Brits living abroad re food...
Thread poster: Fan Gao

Fan Gao
Australia
Local time: 04:31
Member (2006)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Jun 15, 2006

Hi,
This question was inspired by Marion Lurf's recent question on how your native country is portrayed abroad.

I want to ask my fellow Brits who live in a foreign country, what food do you miss most?

The reason I ask is because next week I am going to Shanghai and one of the things I'm so excited about is the fact I will be able to relish in all of the western restaurants and supermarkets they have there!

I live in Nanjing, which although a major city, sadly doesn't cater for western tastes at all. Even though Shanghai isn't the official capital of China, it is the business and financial capital and therefore western influence is playing a huge part.

So to fellow Brits living abroad, if you could go mad in Sainsbury's or Tesco's for a day, what would you buy?

Bit sad I know but I have this craving for Bachelor's Cup-a-Soup. Not sure what that's all about!

I don't mean to exclude other countries as British food is now influenced by so many different countries food and I would love to hear from anyone else too as it might jog my memory as to other food that I miss and that I just might be able to buy in Shanghai.

Best wishes to all,
Mark


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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 14:31
Spanish to English
+ ...
for starters ... Jun 15, 2006

Marmite, Mars Bars, Guinness (well, that's not quite 'British', but near enough...) and 'real' Cheddar Cheese

MediaMatrix


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Clare Barnes  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 18:31
Swedish to English
+ ...
Marmite!!! Jun 15, 2006

Marmite and marmite again... I miss my mate, I do...

And piccalilli and branston and a good curry after a pint of Boddingtons...

And proper cheddar cheese and stilton...

And pies!!!!


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Victor Dewsbery  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:31
German to English
+ ...
Marmite again! Jun 15, 2006

When we get visitors from the UK, they are already primed on the need to bring Marmite, and whenever we visit the UK or find a British food shop (sadly, our local Brit shop is no more), that is always top of the list.
And of course the cheese (Cheddar, Chester, Gloucester etc.), although we can get Cheddar from one of the "native" supermarkets now.
And Branston Pickle (for my wife, although she was born and grew up in Germany, but she has developed a strong liking for some British foods).


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Gillian Scheibelein  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:31
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Ginger beer! Jun 15, 2006

I used to be able to get all sorts of goodies at the Marks & Sparks in Strasbourg - now shut


My UK shopping list for my 2-day trip to Cambridge next week includes bisto, mixed herbs, mixed spice, treacle, golden syrup, murray mints, walnut whips, crunchies, flakes (must take a cool bag), sage & onion stuffing (too lazy to make my own), carmel custard, Sarson's malt vinegar, Irn Bru (for my son, disgusting stuff), and last but not least low-cal ginger beer. The weight restrictions for the flight are going to be tricky, the ginger beer is a killer.


I have now found a source for branston pickle, marmite, and normal ginger beer in the Kleinmarkthalle in Frankfurt.

Cheers,
Jill


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Hester Eymers  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 18:31
Member (2005)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Shop on the web Jun 15, 2006

Though I am not British, I do miss some British products that I have grown fond of during my visits to the UK. Some flavours of Twinings Tea (Camomille), Hobnobs and Cadbury Chocolate (Fruit & Nut). Not all of them are easy to lay your hands on in the Netherlands. When I am not able to cross the Channel for a while, I shop with http://www.britsuperstore.com. Not exactly cheap, but it's cheaper than going over yourself.

Cheers!


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Anne Koth  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:31
German to English
my shopping list Jun 15, 2006

We drove to England this year so were able to fill up the car with stuff. My shopping list looked something like this:

Marmite
Vegemite for my German husband
Cadbury's chocolate, variety pack
Refreshers
Quavers, Monster Munch, normal crisps, Twiglets
Jelly granules
Mustard powder
Custard powder
Custard creams
Chocolate digestives
Cheddar
Branston pickle
(I make picallili myself!)
Golden syrup
Battenburg cake
Tea cakes, hot cross buns to freeze
(I also make these myself but they are not as good)
Curry powder
Ribena, squash, lime cordial
Various spreads: chicken spread, salmon spread etc
HP sauce
Extra Strong Mints

... and some more I've forgotten.

We also made a stop in France on the way back and got some delicious cheese!


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JaneTranslates  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 13:31
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Ginger beer and mincemeat, but what on earth is Marmite? Jun 15, 2006

If you'll pardon an American living in Puerto Rico sticking my nose into your forum, what is Marmite? There were several things on your lists that I've never heard of but given its obvious popularity, Marmite is the one that aroused my curiosity.

My British pal Robert (who also lives in PR) always longs for mincemeat and ginger beer.

And my family always brings me Western salad dressing and Raspberry Ice Crystal Light when they visit PR from Illinois. We get Crystal Light, but not that one flavor...years ago, it used to be green Kool-Aid that we couldn't get. Why just one flavor??

Also, Fritos and root beer are hard to find. Not exactly the necessities of life, huh?

Jane


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Trans-Law
Local time: 17:31
English to German
+ ...
Proper bread is what I miss Jun 15, 2006

Hi Jane, marmite is a savoury yeast spread and it really does taste great.

If you are craving marmite and are based in Germany, try a Bioladen, Reformhaus or Naturkostladen (health food stores). I can’t recall any product names, but they do have yeast spread in these stores and one brand looked very similar to marmite.

But why is it so hard to find proper bread in Britain? Not only do I find this white bread disgusting, its nutritional value is also very limited . There are hundreds of different types of bread in Germany with all sorts of seeds, nuts, tomatoes and lots more.

I agree, Ribena is a great British product! Cornish pasties are great as well.


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writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 18:31
Partial member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
No probs at all for Expats around Brussels Jun 15, 2006

http://www.stonemanor.uk.com/Home.htm

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Fan Gao
Australia
Local time: 04:31
Member (2006)
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
so many "wows" Jun 15, 2006

JaneTranslates wrote:

If you'll pardon an American living in Puerto Rico sticking my nose into your forum, what is Marmite? Jane


Thanks everyone and Jane please don't feel you're not welcome to comment, I really do appreciate it:)

To answer your question first. Marmite is a yeast extract spread which comes in a small jar. It's black and very thick and looks admittedly gross but it is gorgeous! Very salty so you only need the smallest dabs here and there but try some if you can spread on hot toast with butter and you'll be addicted:)

Reading through your lists of food I have had so many "oh wow" moments of things I've forgotten and I've been sitting here literally drawling! My shopping list for next week is going to be a BIG one!

Before I'll go and let you know my list and then when I come back I'll let you know what I could or couldn't get, whichever is shorter.

Thanks again,
Mark


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xxxCMJ_Trans
Local time: 18:31
French to English
+ ...
Tough question.....perhaps fish & chips? Jun 15, 2006

Apart from the wide choice of restaurants in the UK, whereas the French like their own cuisine best and the choice is more limited, about the only thing I can think of for which I have the occasional craving is fish & chips (in newspaper for preference but health and safety made that a pipe-dream years ago !).
Otherwise, on those rare occasions when we go to the UK, we tend to take heaps of wines and champagnes and cheeses with us and come back empty-handed foodwise...
I still miss stores like Boots the Chemists (as was - now shades of former glory) but that's about it....

I agree with Mauela about English bread, which is a pure travesty.

As to Marmite, I am amazed so many of you crave it - I find it disgusting!
PS right next to where I live is a British shop, in the unlikely case that I get a hankering for something...... but they don't do fish & chips
PPS Living partly in Belgium, I have to say that Belgian chips are something else - and I miss them when I'm in France


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Ricki Farn
Germany
Local time: 18:31
Member (2005)
English to German
Marmite Jun 15, 2006

I buy the original Marmite from the local Asian supermarket (the boss is from Sri Lanka, the employees and the food are from all across Asia). Must be the British colonial influence - they also have some other things that look British to me (Ovaltine and another similar thing, varieties of Cream Soda, some specific crackers and biscuits). I may be mistaken of course, I am not an expert on things British (just enough to like Marmite - I have learned never to try and feed it to fellow Germans).

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xxxsarahl
Local time: 09:31
English to French
+ ...
Well... Jun 16, 2006

LegalText wrote:

Hi Jane, marmite is a savoury yeast spread and it really does taste great.



That's if you *really* like salt, and I mean, really. I only had it once myself, the one and only time I visited the UK, and I had to drink a big glass of water right away.

From France, I miss:

the veggies! in all those street markets all over Paris

cheese that's not wrapped in plastic and does have a distinctive taste and aroma.

cold cuts I used to buy at the charcuterie on the corner.


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