Although Thanksgiving was never my favorite holiday in the States, I have written before about missing it on some level now that I’m back in the UK. Almost as soon as the kids went back to school after their half-term break in October, Christmas advertising and “stuff” has been seeping into our lives. (Have to say, not always a bad thing since the TV ads are usually very good here, and people wait with bated breath for them.)
What I’ve also noticed is more and more Christmas themed food that actually has no relation to Christmas at all. Like these Turkey and Stuffing Christmas Tree Shaped ….. Tortilla Chips. I mean, what says Christmas in the UK more than tortilla chips? (And please – Chips? Are we in the USA?) At least they’re actually turkey and stuffing flavour, but I have to say I’m not tempted.
Or how about Black Truffle Hand cooked crisps? I mean, stick a Christmas tree on the packet and Bingo! – Christmas food! (I might have to give these ones a try though!)
The link is slightly less tenuous with the Pigs in Blankets Flavour hand-cooked crisps since our Turkeys are often surrounded by small bacon-rolled chipolata sausages before going in the oven. (Note the difference between British and American pigs in blankets – no pastry in ours.)
And here we have those very British Twiglets*, all gussied up for Christmas. Again, just stick a bunch of holly on the tube and we’re good to go. (See below for more on Twiglets.) If you’re not up for Twiglets, you can opt for the plainer Cheeselets from Tesco. See how they’ve simply changed the name from Cheeselets to Treeslets – and voila! Christmas. Very clever.
Of course, we have Christmas booze. Aldi is selling the very questionable-sounding Spiced Apple and Winter Berry gin, as well as Spiced Plum and Clementine gin. I would offer to taste test for you, but they both sound too much like gin-soaked potpourri for my liking. Not to be beaten, however, Asda has a heave-inducing Gingerbread Gin Liqueur.
Companies desperate to reach those dog owners with their clever marketing campaigns are going all out too. You can spoil your pooch on Xmas day with these tempting options – We all know how mad Fido gets when he can’t have a Christmas dinner like the rest of us.
For me, the winner this year is Marks and Spencer’s White Chocolate Snowball Wreath (cake). How gorgeous is this? It’s Belgian white chocolate mousse with a raspberry compote centre, on a crispy feuilletine base and it seves ten! Sadly, although M&S delivers to the USA, that doesn’t include food!
*Twiglets – (from Wiki) “Twiglets are a wheat-based snack with a “distinctive knobbly shape” similar to that of a small twig. The taste of Twiglets derives from the yeast extract used in its coating, and has been compared to that of Marmite.”. Basically, if you like Marmite, you’ll like Twiglets. And it goes without saying that there was a bit of bonkers British-ness to celebrate the 85th anniversary of Twiglets in August 2014. United Biscuits hosted an event known as Camp Twiglet on the Cotswolds farm of Blur’s Alex James. This included three wigwams made from Twiglets which were attributed to a local artist named Mrs Cakehead. And if you want to know what an edible Twigwam looks like (you know you do), you can find it here.
And with that, I hope you all have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!