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22 November 2012 @ 12:44 am
London-based Americans, help!  
And London-familiar Americans, plus non-Americans in London who like American food or have had dalliances with our Colonial cousins …

Does anyone know of good shops for American groceries in London? I've already listed the American Food Store, Panzer's, Bentall's and Ocado's online shop, but any hints will be gratefully received. A dear friend is doing a lovely Thanksgiving favour for some of her local Americans and needs direction!

I, on the other hand, need typing elves and independent wealth. Thanks to everyone who has commented and voted on the Lavender poll, I'll be back with you as soon as I have slain my last act. Possibly with a chainsaw at this rate … Much love to all!
(Deleted comment)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 21st, 2012 02:49 pm (UTC)

(Bed in 10 minutes, then I have a strict routine from now until Sunday, it will be fine.)
i can see your house from herewho_la_hoop on November 21st, 2012 01:54 pm (UTC)
Whole Foods is an American chain, though I'm not certain how much of their stock is branded goods. There are a few in London - one in Camden, and one in the west end somewhere.

Partridges, on the King's Road, also springs to mind - I think they have an American food section. Hang on.... yep! http://www.partridges.co.uk/index.php/fuseaction/shop.category/categoryid/15
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 21st, 2012 02:49 pm (UTC)
Partridges have some good stuff! Thanks, dear!
anna_wing on November 21st, 2012 02:20 pm (UTC)
There's a Whole Foods in Kensington High St. I'm not sure if they had American stuff, though I wasn't looking for it the last time that I was there. I don't know if most stereotypical American foods would actually be organic etc etc enough for them.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 21st, 2012 02:51 pm (UTC)
They tend to be good for Californian/Washington foods, and some staples, but yeah, I don't think she'd be able to find Miracle Whip or Tang ;-)

She's such a lovely, kind woman, so thank you for your lovely kindness in helping her out!
Tarataradiane on November 22nd, 2012 02:29 am (UTC)
Tang. Wow. I'm as American as an American can be, and I don't know anyone who drinks that. I can't even recall seeing it on shelves here.

Now Kool-Aid is another matter entirely. Love that shit. :D Also, Hawaiian Punch. Makes me feel 12 again.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 22nd, 2012 08:23 am (UTC)
I think they probably stopped making Tang some time ago (you know, the 80s …), but for those of us from the 1960s, "American food" will always evoke Tang and Space Food Sticks, while Kool-Aid equals Jim Jones. God, I can actually taste the Genuine Orange Chemical of Tang and the Tangentially Chocolate of Space Food Sticks just writing this! It would be a good 30 years since I had either!

And now, back to you know what.
Tarataradiane on November 23rd, 2012 01:11 am (UTC)
What's weird about the Jim Jones thing is that it wasn't even Kool-Aid that they drank - it was Flavor Aid, a cheap knock-off.

So yeah, poor Kool-Aid.
bk7brokemybrainbk7brokemybrain on November 22nd, 2012 05:52 pm (UTC)
I'm in New York and, as of recently, the big warehouse stores still sell Tang in a nice big container. It's still deeeelicious. I love it, but I try not to drink too much sugary stuff.
There's a drink from the age of spaceflight in the sixties called a Russian Tea. You mix tang and unsweetened powdered tea mixes. Very good.

I remember one of my neighborhood moms always gave us watered down Tang and Chips Ahoy cookies. It would have been so much better if she wasn't cheap with the Tang, resulting in baby apsirin-flavored water. Ahh, childhood.
wemyss: tweedywemyss on November 21st, 2012 02:33 pm (UTC)
The Whole Foods in Cheltenham have such things as sweet-potato mash and pecan pie; I shd think the same shd be true of Kensington and Piccadilly and Clapham and All That. Oddly, it doesn't seem as if al-Harrods are in on it; and obvs Fortnum shd never care to. This lot are in Ladbroke Grove: http://www.usafoodstore.co.uk/.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 21st, 2012 02:48 pm (UTC)
Re: Hmmm...
I've had some luck with the Ladbroke Grove shop in the past, but v pricey. Whole Foods seem to be good for the foodier parts of her endeavour, fingers crossed the chemically confronting ingredients will all be stocked at one of the others.

American sweet-potato mash scares me: my version is just sweet potato roasted with the skin on until it is caramelised, then beaten with a little milk or olive oil depending on what it's going with, maybe a little cinnamon or nutmeg if it needs a spicy edge, black pepper and salt if it doesn't. The ill-considered American boyfriend once fed me a version out of a can and another homemade containing marshmallow. And he was genuinely surprised that I couldn't see myself marrying him.
winstonmomwinstonmom on November 21st, 2012 04:59 pm (UTC)
Reg. you America boyfriend: food taste can be a deal breaker. If the now husband of mine hadn't conceal from me his dislike for pasta, I would not have become his wife!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 22nd, 2012 08:14 am (UTC)
HEE! Mine hates dried fruit, which is usually not such an issue, but 17 years without Christmas pudding … They're not stupid, they can sense the things to hide until it is too late (you never find out about the dirty socks under the chairs habit until you move in together …)
Tarataradiane on November 22nd, 2012 02:27 am (UTC)
Re: Hmmm...
Hmm, that's not very different from our (and by that, I mean my) sweet potato mash.

I definitely know the dish you speak of, though that's usually called candied yams or some such variation (not a marshmallow fan myself, so I don't usually eat it).

Now there is a sweet potato casserole that my aunt makes that is basically sweet potato mash minus the salt (well, just a touch, but to balance the natural sweet), but then it is topped with a mixture of finely chopped pecans (or walnuts, if you like), brown sugar, and nutmeg, and then baked so the topping forms a streusel-like crust.

Tis very tasty, but not nearly as sweet as the marshmallow concoction which usually involves a sugary sweet syrup. It's the yams in the can that do it. They're basically sitting in corn syrup.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 22nd, 2012 08:18 am (UTC)
Re: Hmmm...
That casserole sounds like a sweet that I was served in East Africa (I think Kenya, but I might be wrong, it was a long time ago!) that was really delicious.

I know there's proper cooking in the US, because my hippy friends over there all make delicious things. It's just that the other cooking is so remarkably terrifying!

(Of course, I say this coming from a heritage that has blood pudding on one side and witchetty grubs on the other …)
anna_wing on November 22nd, 2012 07:37 am (UTC)
Re: Hmmm...
A potential ceased to be potential when I invited them for dinner to a nice Persian restaurant and they confessed that they had eaten beforehand because they hadn't tried Persian before and hadn't been sure that they would like it.

I was taken for dinner to a "soul food" restaurant in New York once, and there was sugar in everything, including the sweet potatoes and the boiled cabbage (!!!). The iced tea was so sweet as to be literally undrinkable. I truly don't know how they bear it.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 22nd, 2012 08:12 am (UTC)
Re: Hmmm...
I will say to my chap's credit that he was very good about hunting out 'unusual' restaurants I might like and was a big fan of Persian and Turkish, bless his cotton socks. But he wanted to live in Santa Cruz.

And GOOD GRIEF! Eat AFTER if you don't like it, you can make it into a jokey bonding experience. That's just rubbish dating etiquette. I hear you on the sugar: I feel certain I would find it very easy to be super-healthy if I lived in the US as all the processed food is so unpalatable.

They have some brilliant produce and organic foods, though, I suppose that's to make up for the super-crap things.
Tara: US/UKtaradiane on November 22nd, 2012 02:23 am (UTC)
Re: Hmmm...
LOLOL al-Harrods.

God but I do love you.
Meredythmeredyth_13 on November 21st, 2012 05:58 pm (UTC)
I don't know what they're after, but the little corner shop underneath West India Quay (where I get my timtams and violet crumbles) also bring in US products (I think ... wracks brain .. no, I'm pretty sure).

It's this weird little grocery / corner store place with such delights as real ETA BBQ sauce, and mint slices. And I know the Aussie section is only a small part.

Might be of use?
Emmaemmacmf on November 21st, 2012 05:59 pm (UTC)
If she's looking for confectionary and drinks, cybercandy in Covent Garden are good.
acefacebloodbelieve on November 21st, 2012 07:19 pm (UTC)
Crispins in Chinatown is where I usually go!
(Deleted comment)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on November 22nd, 2012 08:26 am (UTC)
Cheers, dear! Hopefully she will have found lots of good leads here!
theodoraleft on November 23rd, 2012 11:57 am (UTC)
Thanksgiving feast
First of all, a huge thank you to BlameBrampton for forwarding my request so promptly; being such a Luddite I'd tried to post this message on Friends page and accidentally sent it as a personal message to her! Secondly, thanks to all respondents, the information was brilliant. In case anyone's interested, I managed to get: Aunt Jessica's Corn Bread mix (which I made by kneading the batter in a plastic bag, weirdly!); Blue corn tortilla chips, strange but true; Smuckers Goober, a striped peanut butter and strawberry jam work of art, and a tub of Marshmallow Fluff which put me in mind of Mr Staypuffed of Ghostbusters fame. These last two were meant as joke gifts, but my lovely US friend, a sophisticated, artistic lady wept with nostalgic joy at the lot! It's a good job I didn't have these as I child, I'd have no teeth left, and said friend joins me in thanking you. I hope every one of you has something in their life which makes them happy and thankful, and Happy Thanksgiving to you all.
ladyjanevaladyjaneva on November 24th, 2012 03:09 pm (UTC)
totall crashing this post for something else
I dreamed of you last night. Never mind that we've never met or spoken or that I don't know your real name or what you look like (except for being small), it was you in that dream. And you had a tiny baby monkey/ape (it was teeny tiny) that started purring and giggling when one tickled its sides.

I thought the thought of you having a purring, giggling baby monkey might make you laugh, hence I'm actually sitting down and writing this slightly disturbing piece of my dream. (the dream got way more realistic when I suddently decided: SCREW THIS during a written exam and got up and left)

The monkey was so cute! Now I want a purring monkey.
mrsquizzicalmrsquizzical on November 30th, 2012 03:45 am (UTC)
i get a little confused by the way this issue always seems to go 'slippery slope' no matter which side of the argument people are on.

it seems to make sense to me that there should be legislation in place that is enforceable, to do with accountability and responsibility (especially so far as anti harrassment stuff) but that it shouldn't actually be about telling people what they write about etc. but apparently thinking you want 'any' means you are against free speech and if you don't want 'more' then you don't care about the children.