Food from "Back Home"

My daughter (on the right) took her friend (French) to an Irish bar in La Rochelle where she is in university.

As you can see they are tucking into Pie and Chips *sniff*

I know it's a bit of an overworked question, but in the cold and dark of winter which foods do you miss from "back home"?

Answers on a postcard please.........

oh dear, my list will only fit onto an A3 postcard!

bun bo, soy, pho ga! and qua Tay (french fries) dipped in soy sause and chilli as opposed to ketchup..... Veronique, you have obviously lived here in vietnam at one stage of your life, Brian, you have too I have noticed... any other "viets" out there?


Mushy peas are made from a form of dried pea. In this case a large pea commonly called a marrowfat pea. The dried peas are reconstituted in water usually overnight and then cooked in the soaking water either on a low heat on the hob or in a closed dish in the oven. They tend to collapse when cooked into a semi purée this is why they are called "mushy" peas. I prefer to cook them with a little sliced onion but this is a variation. The nearest thing in France would probably be a puréé of pois cassées but the peas are much smaller than English marrowfat peas.

Good old Noz - I will look in my local one. There are all sorts of surprises to be found there. Thank you.

Well, in fish and chip shop lore.............

The main ones are:- Steak and kidney,mince beef and onion, chicken and mushroom. but there are other combos these days. In the Irish bar where you see my daughter eating in the picture, I had a pork and apricot, and there were loads of other exotic flavours offer too.

One more question for Helen: what sort of pie is served in the "Pie and Chips" combination?

Donna, the blog posts have to be approved, which is an option I chose when setting it up-I do try and approve them asap, but that is me not the blog! Thanks for contributing!

Heather and David, thanks for the explanation about faggots. There is a strange delay on my computer with this blog, so I can't see the comments or reply to them until long after they are posted. The dish sound interesting - offal that's prepared and seasoned well can be quite delicious. I'd give it a try. As for "mushy peas", I've heard of them, but they sound like something gone wrong. What does it mean?

Also,for those lover (like me) of trashy sliced bread, you can buy TOASTLIGNE in a lot of major supermarkets.

The link shows the brown version,but it comes in white too. Unlike all the other french looky likey's, it isn't sweet, but EXACTLY like UK sliced bread!!

Not exactly cheap,but you can see it from time to time with a discount,it is the best thing since (British) sliced bread.

Now I have to come clean.........Apart from liquids, my husband brings me a little goody bag each week from Sainsbury's

This week its crumpets, tortillas, pittas, cheddar, hummus and............jcloths, John Freida conditioner, and if there are any reduced, a Christmas pud!!

Some of the things he gets as they are so much cheaper (tortillas,pittas),and others because I love them!!

For the Stanstead travellers, there is a little section in Smiths after the security check in, and they sell Marmite, tea bags and a small range of British groceries

@Heather - I saw some Jerez in NOZ today, around 5 euros!

Genrally, I would substitute a fortified wine in these recipes, and of course, port comes to mind-tawny for savoury, ruby for sweet.

Faggots are made of belly pork, pig liver and pig heart all minced and mixed with fresh breadcrumbs. Seasoned with a little nutmeg and sage bound with an egg; Formed into balls the size of a petanque boule; wrapped in pig caul (crepine) and baked. They are very popular in the West Midlands and West country and traditionally served with mushy peas.

One of the things I can't make is Sherry - but that is hardly "English". Apart from the drink itself with some home made tapas there is sherry trifle and lamb's kidneys cooked in same. Cheers.

We too hate french dishcloths and buy large packs of Tesco ones when we go back on our annual trip. Anyone coming over here is asked to bring Cheddar and real Earl Grey. We have a cavern full of Marmite!!

I always feel like jelly babies if I am poorly, probably regression. We now have an Asian shop in Macon, so can buy some of the things we used to fill the car with. We were a bit short of space last year as we had bought the tiles to do the kitchen in the gite.

If it were possible I would like to have a proper gammon at Christmas and a decent sized turkey. This year I made a daube of roe deer (hind) and put in some of the used sloes from last year's sloe gin. Lush!

Dont miss anything really what we cant get we make ourselves, custard, crumpets, and i certainly dont buy pies for reasons i wont go into here but i like to know whats inside them and the RAF mess put me off curry for life my wife misses jelly babies and wine gums, down in 81 our local supermarket stock very little Brit food occasionally having a few things on the shelf all in all we have adapted well to French food finding it very little different to uk

Donna for faggots think sausages but round shape and filled with offal and bran. Sounds awful but quite delicious.

Question: what are faggots?

Fresh bagels from a wood-baked oven, horseradish (grated, marinated, in a jar, so hot it brings tears to the eyes), pierogis, bigos and other Polish food readily available in Montreal restaurants, wienerschnitzel, good rye bread with caraway seeds, pickled herring, inexpensive sushi and sashimi, inexpensive Indian food, a good Bloody Caesar, smoked meat...

My wife has a packet of Atora suet, surplus to requirements, if anyone would like it. Miramont 47800, north west Lot et Garonne.