An Anglophile’s Pantry Staples

Such sad news coming from London! My prayers are with you!

I’ve been an Anglophile since my teen years. It hit home for me literally when, in the summer of 1985, I was a counselor at a summer camp in upstate New York where many of the other counselors were from England. I shared a similar dry, off-beat sense of humor with them. I felt a sense of understanding I hadn’t prior. One night in a townie bar during our time off they declared me an “honorary Brit.” Sadly that won’t get me official citizenship, but there’s no reason why I can’t import English goodness into my daily life!

I‘d like to introduce some British goodies to you in case you aren’t yet familiar with them, all of which can be purchased online:

Scott’s Porage Oats

A Scottish made oat company founded in 1880 in Glasgow, it is presently owned by the Quaker Oat Company. However, the oats are still milled in Scotland. I use these Scottish oats in my recipe for scones. I first discovered Scott’s Porage Oats at Bridgham & Cook in Freeport where the bold graphics on the box caught my eye.

Tate & Lyle Castor Sugar

I first came across “castor sugar” in my vintage British cookbooks. I mistakenly thought it was the equivalent of confectioner’s sugar when they are in fact very different. Confectioner’s sugar is superfine sugar mixed with cornstarch whereas castor sugar is 100% superfine sugar with nothing added. When making scones, using regular sugar instead of castor will add unwanted density. I also use it in my hummingbird feeder since it dissolves quickly.

Mrs. Bridges Damson Preserve

Preserves made from Damson plums, perfect for spreading on afternoon tea treats.

Devon Clotted Cream

Clotted cream, another tea time staple, kept showing up in my old English cookbooks, once of which contains a recipe to make it from scratch (of course!). I would like to try that sometime in the future, but until then there is ready-made English Clotted Cream by the Devon Cream Company. It’s a cross between butter and ice cream! Ordering online can be dicey since it needs to be kept cool at all times, even when unopened. Fortunately my local Whole Foods carries it!

Tate & Lyle’s Golden Syrup

Another discovery from many old recipes is “light treacle” which is essentially light-colored molasses, also known as “golden syrup.” It’s unlike any other syrup I’ve tasted before–tastes like liquid caramel and it comes in a pretty tin!

Are you familiar with any of these British staples? Are you willing to give them a try if not?

10 thoughts on “An Anglophile’s Pantry Staples

  1. Oh my goodness! I, too, am an Anglophile. I love all things British. My former mother-in-law was English, and I even learned to like ox tails. Sunday night with Masterpiece Theatre is my favorite TV night. I think that one of the reasons that I love being an Episcopalian is because if it’s British roots.
    Now for the food. When I visited Bath, England, I came upon the famous Sally Lunn house while strolling around the city. I went in, and had tea and a Sally Lunn cake, served with clotted cream and fresh strawberry preserves. To die for. I came home with a couple of the cakes, and some small jars of clotted cream. They survived the transatlantic flight quite nicely. Bath is a wonderful, beautiful, and historic city. I wonder if caster sugar is the same as the superfine sugar found in the supermarkets?

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    1. DeeDee! πŸ™‚ I first had oxtails last year when I wrote my vintage cookbook. They were very popular here in the US during the Depression. I also love the British roots of the Episcopalian Church! I am envious of your visit to Bath and Wayne and I hope to make a trip to England within the next five years. As for what’s available here for superfine sugar, like Domino, I’ve never held them side-by-side to see nor gave them both a controlled comparative test-drive. I’d bet the UK castor sugar tastes better. πŸ˜‰

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  2. I’ve heard of some of those products. Interesting that you had so many English counselors at that camp. I wonder why that was?

    Also, I’ve seen some bloggers online from the northeast who say “mum” for “mom” and spell color, favorite, etc., with a u as the English do. Is all that just a holdover from their English roots in that part of the US? Or maybe because they are so close to the Canadian border? Sorry if these are stupid questions. That area of the country is like a whole other world from Texas!

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    1. Aileen I think it was some kind of exchange program. As for your other questions I have not seen what you are referring to with mum vs mom unless they are British, so I can’t say! But for the rest, Maine at least has a large influx of Canadians in the summer.

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      1. These bloggers aren’t British and I know that one of them has parents who immigrated from Ireland so that could be the reason in one particular case. Oh well, interesting!

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  3. Yes, I too am an anglophile. I think it began with reading Jane Eyre when I was twelve. However, my father’s roots are English from the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. His brother was in the USAAC, then recruited into the RCAF in 1940, and subsequently was attached to the RAF during WWII (he was killed in a Halifax bomber in a path finding mission to Flensburg, Denmark in 1942). He was engaged to a British woman at the time. In studying his history I came to appreciate the British people and their tenacity during the war. Consequently, I have a small collection of British wartime “cookery” books and enjoy using products you display here.

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    1. Nice! I was also about twelve when i read Jane Eyre. πŸ™‚ Genealogy is a wonderful thing that can really help us appreciate what our relatives had to endure. Too bad you’re not local to me because it would be fun to have a vintage British cookery get-together!

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