About Me

I like to say that I was born in "NY and built in Asia" because at the age of 22 with two suitcases and a degree in Theater Arts I moved from NY to Bangkok.   There I made a niche for myself in the performing arts creating the brands Broadway Babe and Musical Theatre for KIDS. 

 

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© 2019 by Real Life in the UK

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5 British Treats you MUST TRY!

I must admit, I am not always a fan of British cuisine, but these next 5 "treats" this small island certainly gets right!

1. Scones with clotted cream


A brief history

Scones originated in Scotland and were originally made with oats and griddle-baked in a triangular shape. The story is that their name comes from the Stone of Destiny (or Scone), a place where Scottish kings were once crowned. Modern scones are "quick breads", similar to American biscuits, made with flour, sugar, baking powder or baking soda, butter, milk and eggs, and baked in the oven. Traditional English scones are sometimes made with raisins and are almost always served with jam or lemon curd and clotted cream. They should be served warm and will be round in shape.

Where to find them?

A common companion to tea, they will almost certainly be available at your local British café and they will definitely be available to order on any venue's "afternoon tea" menu.

How to eat them: The jam or the cream?

There are two ways to "butter" a scone. Based on the names of two regions in England. The"Cornish-style" says jam first, THEN cream; however I personally prefer the "Devon-style", which calls for cream first, THEN jam.

How to eat them: Like a sandwich or piece by piece?


NEVER, NEVER, should you make a "scone sandwich".

  1. First, take a dollop of clotted cream and jam and place on your plate.

  2. Next, break off a bite-sized portion of the scone with your hands (if using a knife, cut the scone horizontally).

  3. Then, using a knife spread the cream and jam onto your piece of scone.

Make them at home

2. Chocolate digestives


A brief history

Digestives are a cross between a graham cracker and a cookie. This wheat based cookie is a British invention from around 1892. The chocolate digestive, my preference, was created in 1925 and advertised as a "home wheat chocolate digestive". The company's choice of words was to emphasis that they used wheat grown in Britain and not imported.

Where to find them


Chocolate digestives are the UK's staple "cookie". They can be bought in small mom and pop shops to convenience stores to major grocery stores. Digestive's signature company, with apparently a "secret recipe"is McVite's, but I'm happy even with the store brand.

USE THEM TO MAKE THESE TWO BRITISH DESSERTS


1. Eton Mess Cheesecake (strawberry and meringue cheesecake)

2. Banoffee Pie

3. Tiffin


A brief history

Invented in the early 1900s, Scotland. From what I am told by friends it's super easy to make as it's just a mish-mosh of all the extra sweet bits you have around the house blended into one AMAZING (though heavy) treat. Kind of like "rocky road", but with more biscuit (cookie) in it. It doesn't require baking, instead, following preparation of the mixture, the mixture is chilled until set.

Where to find them

It may just be me, but I've only ever had tiffin when someone has made it. It's not really something I have seen in a cafe or in the grocery store.

Make them at home

4. Welsh Cakes


A brief history

Originates from Wales in Great Britain. It's a cross between a cookie, a scone, and a pancake; they are truly yummy! Made from flour, sugar, milk and butter, they are cooked on a griddle and best served warm alongside afternoon tea.

Where to find them

You can find welsh-cakes in the grocery store, but honestly they are not very tasty. The best ones I have come across have been from a small shop in Cardiff called Fabulous Cakes. And fabulous they are! Made on-site, they are super fresh and moist and come in a variety of fillings. You can buy 2-3 or a whole pack.

Make them at home 5. Candy: Percy pigs


A brief history

A brand of pig-shaped gummies that are traditionally raspberry or strawberry in flavor but now come in cherry, grape and sour/fizz-flavours too. They are sold by Marks & Spencer and first appeared in stores in 1992. After a brief "hiatus" from the stores in 1997, they returned. Although they are shaped as pigs, there is nothing pig like about them other than their name and face. They are made with pectin and the brands even makes a vegan friendly variation.

Where to find them

Marks and Spencer's food shops across the UK


BONUS! if you're of "legal age", Pimm's No.1


A brief history

If you visit England in the summer, there is no way you can go without a Pimm’s in the garden! First produced in 1823 by James Pimm, he ran an oyster bar in London and sold this as a gin–based herbal, fruity “health tonic”. It slowly evolved to it's current version today mixed with fizzy lemonade or lime soda, cucumber, strawberries, mint and oranges. Funnily enough, Pimm's is also quite popular in the American city of New Orleans. It somehow crossed the Atlantic and landed at The Napoleon House Bar circa 1940!

Where to find it

Most pubs throughout the UK will serve Pimm's throughout the summer. Go for the jug if you're with friends as it "goes down" fast. If you want to make it yourself, a bottle of Pimm's will cost between 16-20 GBP and can be bought behind the counter at local convenience stores or down the liquor aisle at most grocery stories.

Make at home


What you’ll need: PER JUG (4-5 glasses)

  • a jug

  • 4 Collins/highball glasses

  • 1 part Pimm's No. 1

  • 2 parts carbonated lemonade

  • 6-8 mint leaves

  • 6 slices of cucumber

  • 3-4 slices of orange

  • 10 cut strawberries


INSTRUCTIONS:


Take a jug (if you want to make several glasses) or a glass and add as much ice as you like.

Pour one part Pimm's No. 1 to 2 parts of fizzy lemonade over the ice.

Add mint leaves, thin cucumber slices, orange slices, and strawberry (all or some depending on what you prefer) and serve.


Something we've missed? Share YOUR favourite British treat with us in the comments!

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