Hello lovelies! Hope you all had a lovely weekend. I sure did. :) My fetching boyfriend G came to town and we had a wonderful weekend together. G spent some time in the U.K. for his sister's wedding and returned to the States with a fondness for a few foods from the other side of the pond. He visited this weekend and on Saturday we hit up Ames British Foods.
The specialty shop is a real gem right here smack-dab in the middle of Iowa. The family-run business was started back in September 2008 to serve local U.K. expats working at Iowa State University. And now it's become a go-to shop beloved by born-and-bred Iowans and Midwesterners, Brits, Europeans, Australians, Kiwis, and people from all over the world.
|Above: Ames British Foods, interior|
The bf went in on a mission to find two things he'd been raving to me about: HP sauce and Branston. Ames British Foods had both. He nabbed a couple bottles of the HP sauce plus a jar of Branston whilst I went ga-ga over the teas and ended up with a box of Tetley. After our visit to Ames British Foods, we hit up the shop owner's restaurant The Chip Shop for a delicious lunch of fish'n'chips. (I also tried and fell head over heels for malt vinegar.)
Later in the afternoon after a few episodes of Sherlock, we cracked open the Branston jar. G couldn't quite remember what cheese he'd eaten with Branston over in the U.K., so we opted for gouda. We put the Branston and cheese on crackers for a quick snack. I also brewed up some Tetley tea. (I usually drink my tea with a splash of milk, but alas! For the photo above, I was out.)
All I have to say about the Branston pickle is... yum!
I know that I have some U.K. readers out there and I would love to hear how you eat Branston. What kind of cheese do you pair it with? What do you put it on? And what is the best beverage to drink with it?
I'd love to hear your suggestions as I have a jar to eat up. :)
And what other U.K. foods and beverages would you recommend? Food, desserts, tea, beer! Give me your recommendations. Since I'll be returning to this charming shop soonly and often, I'd love to buy something new each visit.
Ham & Branston on a sandwich is heaven too! We have it on a variety of cheeses.. Cheddar is the typical one in a "Ploughmans Lunch". x
While I am not a UK reader, while I was studying abroad in Oxford last summer I fell head-over-heels in love with Cadbury Chocolate spread. It's just like Nutella, but without that hazelnut taste. Soooo yummy!
Not from the UK, but I have developed an obsession with Marmite. I love it on toast, noodles, and sandwiches. It is pretty much a love it or hate it food though. I adore it, but the BF hates it. To each their own. :P
That sounds like such a fantastic shop!
I never buy pickles myself but in a cheddar sandwich it's fantastic! And the cheddar is typically shredded!
People are very into Cadbury's chocolate. I think it tastes just like any other chocolates, but I've heard Americans say it's creamier than the chocolate you're used to. My favourite is Fudge. Oh and people really love Percy Pigs from M&S.
In terms of tea, I love PG Tips, English Breakfast and Darjeeling - the latter two from Twinings! I don't drink beer but the cider here is great. Kopparberg Elderflower and Lime is my favourite, although it's definitely Swedish and not British, but they just love it here.
I'm a massive fan of Nairn's oatcakes. They're delicious! And, for a guilty pleasure, Mr Kipling's Angel Slices!
HP sauce is great - as is Worcestershire sauce!
And this is really bad (so lazy) - but Bisto's gravy granules are fantastic. You just add a little hot water to them and it turns into gravy, and it tastes great too!
If you're a vegetarian, the Quorn and Linda McCartney products are fantastic. My favourites are the Quorn Lemon and Pepper escalopes and their mince. And Heinz Baked Beans are just perfect for breakfast!
Shannon - I'm definitely on the hate it side of Marmite but haven't tried it in ages so figure I need to give it a go soon!
Woo go UK! Definitely have it with cheddar :) The other thing you have to try is Marmite and Cheese toasties.. I'm not sure if normal people do that, but it's fantastic <3 Also Earl Grey and Lady Grey tea. LOVE.
Kisses from England x
Two words: Welsh rarebit! Branston pickle is sheer bliss with a hearty rarebit on a cold afternoon.
Oh my god, I had no idea you didn't have HP out there... But Branston is made for cheddar. I love cheddar, ham and branston toasties. As for marmite... I'm on the love side.
I love Walkers crisps (like Lay's chips, but better!) and McVitties chocolate HobNobs.
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