In the Limelight

You Can Find Edible English Esoterica at The British Isles Shop

Eat like you're in Old Blighty without leaving the Loop.

By Joanna O'Leary August 3, 2017

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Because sometimes you're craving meat-free offal in a can.

Hey chaps! Are you missing dear old Blighty and eager for a taste of home? Or Yanks, are you so disillusioned with the state of the motherland that you’ve started craving the flavors of our former imperial oppressor? If the answer to either of those questions is "yes," then head to the British Isles Shop in Rice Village for one of Houston’s broadest selections of British groceries. They also sell some very ornate, very expensive plates which you can use to serve whatever dainties you purchase, should you be feeling particularly flush.

As you might expect, the Shop offers diverse Cadbury products, including powdered drinking chocolate and unusual chocolate bar varietals such as Tiffin, Bitsa Wispa and Starbar, as well as a wide assortment of boxed teas in almost every imaginable flavor (black currant, chocolate mint, pomegranate oolong) from famous British purveyors like Twinings, Harney & Sons, and Taylors of Harrogate. To complete your cuppa, you’ll, of course, also find jams, curds, marmalades, scone mixes and shortbread biscuits. 

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Colonialism still rears its head in these irrestistible chocolates.

While all the aforementioned comestibles are worth purchasing, I suggest, and especially should you be unfamiliar with British cuisine, opting for some of the more specialized products. Herbivores will appreciate the fact that they can finally try haggis (everyone’s life dream, right?) because the Shop sells a vegetarian version. Guinness lovers will also find the perfect snack pairing for their perfect pint: Guinness potato chips, or rather, “crisps” as they’re properly called. And those who want to serve a full English or Irish breakfast at home but stumble when it comes to making or procuring the black pudding component can buy a very decent frozen version made by meat company Tommy Moloneys for just under $6.

As a recovering Victorian studies scholar, I’m always in a Dickensian state of mind, so I adore the fact that in the middle of summer I can pick up a ready-made Christmas pudding to nosh on while reading about the Cratchits’ Yuletide preparations for the zillionth time.

Finally, Britain and America have obviously had their differences, but what truly unites us even today is our obsession with Heinz products. Those members of the 57 varieties family often missing in action at Kroger can be found at the British Isles Shop in the form of salad cream (similar to mayo), Farley rusks (cookies for babies, or old people with no teeth) and spaghetti "hoops" (a still canned, yet much classier version of Spaghetti-O’s). International relations can't get much better than that.

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