Claire Martin

The Taste of Home – by Claire Martin

I have just come back from a fabulous holiday, back home, in Jolly ‘ol Blighty.

I was primarily there to see family and friends, but I also managed to sneak in a fair few hours eating and drinking in great British pubs.

The pub culture in England is (‘scuse the pun) bar none! From a grubby “local” to a 16th century thatched tavern, taking an hour a day to sit in a pub is as requisite for a visitor as having an expresso in Italy or a patisserie in Paris.

For me, there is in fact, something almost sensual about the scent of an English pub. It is truly heavenly.

But enough of these wistful musings! Here’s my rant:

Food in England has improved immensely since I left! Pub grub has gone from being greasy egg and chips chased down with a warm and murky brown bitter, to roasted pigeon in a whiskey cream sauce, followed with a bowl of wild berry and brandy trifle – smothered in single or double cream. YUM!

Now for those of you that don’t know – cream in England is as heavenly and as unique as the pub culture itself! High in fat, double cream boasts a 48% fat content, while single cream is 22%. And we simply cannot get anything like it in Canada.

I’m not sure what is going – some websites tell me it’s to do with the pasteurization laws in Canada, some sites tell me to buy clotted cream.

For the record – clotted cream (although now widely available) at 55% fat does not work for baking nor (more importantly) making a proper Irish coffee – it curdles as soon as it hits the hot alcoholised liquid.

Since emigrating in the 1980’s I have learned to live without Persil detergent (now here, but with a devastatingly different smell), Fudge fingers (also available here now, though usually slightly older than their packaged “due-by” date), Tetley’s (sorry, other brands just don’t cut it), and real scotch eggs.

Sadly there are some products that appear to have eluded the “we-can-get-anything-anywhere” shipping industry, and as an ex-pat with a barely sated yearning for real double cream, I am imploring other ex-pats to help me out!

Where or how do I get real cream in Canada??

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  • Reply Florence Spencer August 4, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    Good luck with your quest. Sorry i cannot help you but I do enjoy the times you share. Thank you Claire.

  • Reply Jane Rowland August 4, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    The English diaspora is renowned the world over for taking their pleasures with them, the history of the British Empire is rife with examples. “Yes, dear we can get the Telegraph now at the newsagents, but I can’t seem to find any Tiptree jam”, have been the cries of many a British expat. Unfortunately Claire, your search for double cream in Canada will forever be a fruitless one. I have never been able to find it. I am surprised that you can’t find any Tetley especially in British Columbia. We have it in Ontario. If you would like a care package just say.

  • Reply Linda August 8, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    Sorry Claire I think your best bet might be to have a chat with a friendly farmer! Just like Italian expresso coffee tastes nothing akin to an expresso in Canada. Patisserie here doesn’t compare to ‘French’ style……it’s a cultural thing…..though Thomas Hass cafes in Vancouver get pretty close and he’s German!

    On the bright side, just think of the advantages to your sylph-like figure!



  • Reply Christine Baerg August 19, 2017 at 9:18 am

    Have you tried talking to the people at Black Pudding Imports?

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