Kippers. HP Sauce. Jammie Dodgers. Weetabix. Being a reader of Olive and Good Food magazines, I find myself marveling at odd British food things as much as I do odd Asian goods like shrimp crackers, musk mellon candy and durian flavored anything. In Portland there are at least five Asian Markets for me to stand in the aisles for hours, trying to figure out what exactly is in the plastic package. Sadly, though, I have to travel to Freeport to find the closest British goods store in the area.
Located on upper Main Street, just past ‘The Boot,’ sits Bridgham and Cook, Ltd. Far from the loud chain outlets that line the main and side streets it, right down to the smell of tea and splattering of plaid, reminded me of my paternal grandparents house in NY. The fiddle and pipe music coming out of the speakers was a nice, quiet contrast to the eurohouse shite we were met with at The Gap–but, that’s the beauty, and point, of this store as it is unlike everything else sitting on that stretch of Freeport. It feels like walking into a completely different, and welcomed, world.
One noticeable difference between my grandparents house and this shop, outside of the retail area being one singular, smallish sized room, was that my grandmother NEVER had an entire wall dedicated to candy. They do. While we went there to pick up some pickled onions–a recommendation from an older British woman I know–we left with a bag full of nothing but candy.
Familiar names like Cadbury and Nestle was scrawled across nearly every box on their shelves. It was only the varietals that were unfamiliar to me. Tiffin? A Chocolate bar NOT for women? The bar that was at the root of the insanity that is deep fried candy? Well, let’s start with the Tiffin, shall we?
Generally a slang word for ‘a light meal’ or, as I know it better the general term for one of those fantastic lunch tins they use in Indian, the Tiffin bar tasted exactly how one would imagine a milk chocolate bar, with raisins and crunchy cereal(biscuit) nuggets, would. Only, because this isn’t a bar produced by Hershey–and isn’t part of the Kraft takeover—it does taste a wee bit different than the Cadbury Fruit and Nut bar that I’m more use to.
The most noticeable difference is the lack of cloying sweetness that I normally associate Cadbury products with. And, I am a hater of the Cabdury Creme Egg, btw. The chocolate itself seemed of, if only a smidge, a higher quality base, too. The texutre of the bar slightly whipped or aerated though the only filling seemed to be the previously mentioned cereal bits. I think, between the pieces the Missus and I split, there were two raisins in the entire bar. Cheap British bastards.
Overall, it was a nice snack and a nice break from the bags of Easter candy that are already filtering into the apartment. And, with British candies apparently going through a renaissance of sorts, it seems fitting to start this mini-review series.
Next… the misogynistic chocolate bar.