Author Archives: musingsofananglophile

British Food | Favourite British Food Brands

Below is the article Elaine Lemm has written. This was not written by me. LINK: http://britishfood.about.com/od/buyersguide/tp/Quirky-Foods-of-Britain.htm

Britain and Ireland are steeped in traditional and easily recognizable foods, many of which have made their way into other food cultures worldwide. There are, however, foods and drinks now raised to near iconic status and considered typical of all things British.

Marmite

Photo © Unilever
One of the great British discussions – after the weather – is do you love it, or hate it? British favorite Marmite is a rich, dark-brown, yeasty spread for hot toast, spread on wafer biscuits, as a hot drink or a sandwich filling. Marmite lovers will tell you it is good on or in almost anything! The spread has a dense, salty flavor and must be used sparingly. Marmite is made from yeast extract (a by-product of the brewing industry) and is a rich source of vitamin B complex. Statistics say that 25% of Britons take Marmite with them when travelling.

Robinsons Barley Water

Photo © Britvic
Robinsons Lemon Barley Water is as much a part of a British summer as strawberries and cream being the drink of choice for players at the Wimbledon Tennis tournament. The drink was launched in 1823 as a powder to mix with water and didnt make an appearance in its current bottled form until 1935. The refreshing drink was designed to be taken to combat fever and kidney complaints and thus began its long association with health and fitness which still exists today.

HP Sauce

Photo © RFB Photography
No self-respecting full English breakfast is seen without it and a humble bacon sandwich raised to gourmet status with a dash of the ‘brown stuff’. HP Sauce has graced British tables since the late 19th century with the slim bottle and distinctive label featuring the Houses of Parliament now a British icon. HP sauce contains malt vinegar, spices and tomato with the recipe a well-kept secret. It resembles an American barbecue sauce though not used in the same way. Like mustard or ketchup HP is blobbed on the side of the plate for dipping; drizzling over food considered a little vulgar except in a sandwich.

Guinness

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It may now be brewed all over the world, but Guinness is still synonymous with its birthplace in Ireland in 1799. True devotees of the “black stuff” will vow that true Guinness is only found in Dublin pubs, where the pouring to create a large creamy head is considered an art form. The brewery at St James’s Gate is now one of the largest breweries in the world producing about 70 million gallons every year.

Colmans Mustard

Photo © RFB Photography
Colmans Mustard is considered one of the oldest (and most recognised) brands across the UK. The distinctive, bright yellow mustard has been made in Norwich, in England since 1814. The bull’s head logo first appeared in 1855 and remains a symbol of both tradition and quality. No British or irish sausage is complete without a blob of the pungent condiment.

Birds Custard Powder

Photo © RFB Photography
Throughout Great Britain and Ireland mention custard, and the first thought will be of Birds Custard. The sauce is made from a corn flour based powder and bears little resemblance to the thick egg based sauce of ‘real’ custard (the French Creme Anglaise). It’s distinctive taste is the perfect partner to rich English puddings and the base of a traditional Trifle. Bird’s Custard was invented by Alfred Bird in 1837 and remains today much as it has always been. No British store cupboard is complete without a tin lurking somewhere at the back.

R Whites Lemonade

Photo © Britvic
The best-selling lemonade was first produced in 1845 by Robert and Mary White. They set up business selling home-made brews from a barrow in Camberwell, London. By 1896 the fame of the company had spread including abroad to among others the Emperor Napoleon of France. Its claim to fame not only a high-quality soft drink and made with real lemons but the quirky advertising theme introduced in the 1970’s of the Secret Lemonade Drinker. The man in his early 30s, with dark hair and wearing heavy rimmed glasses sleeps in striped pyjamas and lives in a semi in the suburbs. He has an obsession with R Whites Lemonade and feeds his addiction secretly at night.

Golden Syrup

Photo © RFB Photography

For more than 125 years Lyle’s Golden Syrup has graced the kitchens of British households. The rich, sweet syrup is a preserve and ultimate ingredient in treacle tarts, steamed puddings and favorite topping on pancakes, in porridge or simply spread on bread for a sweet, sticky treat.

Oxo Cubes

Photo © RFB Photography
No self-respecting chef will give kitchen space to an Oxo cube. But, the foil wrapped cubes of beef stock in their distinctive red and white box are an iconic British brand and over two million are still sold every day in the UK. Their popularity came from post-war years of rationing when meat was still in short supply and the tiny cube gave a kick start to many meat dishes and produced a half-decent gravy.

Telly for Anglophiles | Teachers

Image from http://www.channel4.com/programmes/teachers and Content from Wikipedia

Teachers is a British television sitcom, originally shown on Channel 4. The series follows a group of secondary school teachers in their daily lives.

While the first series centers heavily around probationary teacher Simon Casey (Andrew Lincoln), later series have a more balanced ensemble approach. The cast changes dramatically over time, with few original characters remaining by the fourth series. While some of these disappearances are explained, others happen between series without explanation.

The first three series are set in the fictional Summerdown Comprehensive, which merges with another school in the fourth series to form Wattkins School. The series was filmed at the former Lockleaze school, and other locations around Bristol, England.

Teachers was nominated for six BAFTA awards between 2002 and 2004, and was nominated for Best British Comedy Show at the British Comedy Awards in 2003.

In January 2005, after a muted reception to the fourth series, Channel 4 announced that Teachers would not continue for a fifth series. A short-lived U.S. version was aired in 2006.

British Celebrity Spotlight | Shaun Evans

Shaun Evans (born 6 March 1980 in Liverpool) is an English actor.

His first major role was that of gay French teacher John Paul Keating in the Channel 4 comedy-drama Teachers during its second series in 2002. The following year he made his feature film debut in The Boys from County Clare, starring alongside Bernard Hill, Colm Meaney and Andrea Corr. Additional screen credits include Being Julia, The Situation, Cashback, Gone, Boy A (film), Telstar, Princess Ka’iulani and Clive Barker’s horror, Dread.

On television, Evans was featured in the 2002 docudrama The Project and was seen as the Earl of Southampton in the miniseries The Virgin Queen, which premiered in November 2005 on Masterpiece Theatre on PBS in the U.S. before airing on the BBC in January 2006. His stage work includes a UK tour of the award-winning play Blue/Orange by Joe Penhall. Recent television appearances include, Murder City, BBC’s Ashes to Ashes, Gentley’s Last Stand and four-part drama The Take from the novel by Martina Cole on Sky1. Evans also starred in Sparkle alongside Bob Hoskins and Stockard Channing (2007). He also portrayed Kurt Cobain in the Roy Smiles play Kurt and Sid, at the Trafalgar Studios, opposite Danny Dyer as Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious.

In August 2011, it was announced that he would be playing the young Inspector Morse in Endeavour, which would focus on the detective’s early career.

An initial episode was to be broadcast on 2 January 2012 which, since successfully received, has been re-commissioned for four new episodes by the ITV, with filming expecting to start summer 2012.

In 2012, Evans also played the role of new pupil, Daniel, in BBC Legal Drama Silk alongside Maxine Peake.

Radio | Cabin Pressure

Image for Cabin Pressure

Image from http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00lmcxj and Content from Wikipedia

Cabin Pressure is a radio situation comedy series written by John Finnemore. Its first series was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2008. The show follows the exploits of the oddball crew of the single aeroplane owned by “MJN Air” as they are chartered to take all manner of items, people or animals across the world. The show stars Stephanie Cole, Roger Allam, Benedict Cumberbatch and John Finnemore.

Critical reception to the series was positive and three series have currently been produced, the most recent broadcast in July, 2011, along with a special 2010 Christmas Day episode. Cabin Pressure will return for a fourth series in 2012. The theme tune of the series is the Overture to Ruslan and Lyudmila by Mikhail Glinka.

As part of her last divorce settlement, Carolyn Knapp-Shappey (Stephanie Cole) received a mid-size jet aeroplane named “Gertie” (a “Lockheed McDonnell 312”, registration G-ERTI). As a result, she founds her very own single plane charter airline, “MJN Air” (“My Jet Now”), which is crewed by an oddball mixture of characters who fly to various cities around the world, encountering a variety of odd situations.

The airline’s only Captain, Martin Crieff (Benedict Cumberbatch – except for series 3 episode 3, in which Tom Goodman-Hill stood in for Cumberbatch), has wanted to be a pilot since he was six years old (before which he wanted to be an aeroplane). He suffers, however, from a distinct lack of ability in that department. He was rejected by at least one flight school, and had to put himself through the required coursework, barely qualifying for his certification – on his seventh attempt. He took the job with MJN for no salary at all, as long as he could be Captain. He appears to have no outside interests beyond flying. He is a stickler for procedures and regulations, but is more prissy than pompous. At the end of series two he tells Douglas that he survives financially by running a delivery service using the van he inherited from his father (running two different jobs largely explaining the lack of hobbies). This was his only inheritance because his father believed he would waste any money he received trying to become a pilot.

First Officer Douglas Richardson (Roger Allam) is, on the other hand, a quite competent pilot who worked for Air England – until he was fired for smuggling. He chafes at his subordinate position to Martin, and misses no opportunity to flaunt his superiority in the younger pilot’s face. In later episodes, it is revealed that Douglas, ashamed of his second-rate job, dresses in Captain’s uniform for his wife Helena’s benefit, changing to First Officer’s uniform before he gets to work. Douglas is, however, something of a smooth operator who knows all of the dodges available to airline officers, and enjoys taking part in all of them.

Carolyn’s son Arthur (John Finnemore) is an eager dimwit aged 29, who is supposed to be the flight attendant but usually manages to get in everyone’s way. Arthur is a relentless optimist, whose biggest claim to fame is being the inventor (or at least discoverer) of fizzy yoghurt (the recipe for which is yoghurt plus time).

The cockpit crew frequently pass their time by engaging in word games, such as naming Brians [sic.] of Britain, making bets that Douglas always wins or playing ‘Simon says’. All crew members also make humorous cabin addresses, inserting e.g. limericks or titles of Hitchcock films, generally when there are no passengers on board.

tobor x tobor

Inspired by BBC’s hit series Sherlock, Adagio Teas is offering a selection of tea blends that “strive to evoke qualities of the characters both from the classic literature and the modern retelling. Whether your favorite character is Mycroft (cake!), Sherlock (smoke and mystery) or Moriarty (a bit insane and guaranteed to burn the heart of you if you’re not careful), you’ll hopefully find a blend to suit your taste.”

Some flavors include:

#believeinsherlock
assam melody, irish breakfast, honeybush hazelnut

The Badge and The Gun
irish breakfast, spiced green, hazelnut

and

individual blends like the:

The Sherlock Blend
irish breakfast, spiced green, hazelnut

For more information, visit here: http://www.adagio.com/sherlock/

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Random | Back to School Supplies… British style?

You knew I had something like this coming, didn’t you? I just couldn’t resist, I truly had to compile this baby as soon as ‘Back to School’ hit the scene… just like it does every single year. Shall we get into the products themselves?

All stuff will be from Amazon, as it is easier for people outside the UK to get the exact products. + click the image to be redirected to the page!

I actually have a bag that is very similar to this. I use it everyday to uni and it’s really easy to throw on and go. £9.95 – BARGAIN!

It’s the freaking CUTE factor! I love this Beatles ‘Help!’ pencil case. I’m biased though… I love it (yeah, yeah, yeah)! – £9

Union Jack Ballpoint Pen, Laser Cut, Beautiful Design

Write in style and show your mates who’s boss! For 1.99, you certainly cannot go wrong!

Dr Who A6 Notebook

Exterminate bad grades with this Dalek notebook. – It’s super snazzy! – £2.99

London Underground Map Printed Pencils Set (4) -LON1263A

Choose your line and grab the tube! Awesome set of 4 pencils for £4.99!

Organisation is key, so don’t forget to buy an Academic Diary/Filofax! This London 2012 one is £6.99.

Thorough and informative. Thank you!