Kimberly (kimberly_a) wrote,

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Shannon and I biked down to the (sorta) new Berkeley Bowl this evening, primarily because (1) I wanted to check out the store's "British food" section and (2) Shannon wanted to have a look at the nearby bike trails, which have been recently under construction. Despite the morning's drizzling rain, this evening it was lovely, sunny weather for a bike ride, though the wind was a bit chill.

The new BB is very conveniently located for bicyclists, as it's right on 9th, a very nice bike route. The store is much nicer (and bigger) than the one near Ashby BART, with wider aisles (resulting in fewer close encounters with maniacal, self-absorbed, aggressively cart-wielding organic food aficianados) and even more selection (with even *more* produce, including lots of funky stuff like this weird cactus-type thing I saw, which was vaguely spherical, green, and covered in long, thin, sharp, whitish spines -- I can't remember what it was called, though).

The British foods section was not huge, but they did have a number of products I remember fondly from my year in Scotland: Bounty candy bars, Flake candy bars, various "biscuits" (though I usually bought Tesco biscuits when I was living there ... if I could get those here, I would totally buy them! They were perfect for having with tea: not too sweet, not too rich, and yet very tasty.), PG Tips (though I always bought Tetley tea bags), Ribena (which I never particularly liked, but which my English friend Sharon drank often), Aero chocolate bars (though they only carried a mint flavor, which made me sad because I like the normal ones), Crunchie candy bars (too sweet for me!), custard powder, Heinz baked beans, tinned spaghetti (perfect for serving on toast, in the British style), Marmite, beetroot, various products with the word "pickle" in the name, mushy peas (yes, in a tin, already mushed up for you!), etc. Not a lot of "crisps," to my surprise, as the Brits tend to make them in so many wacky flavors. Like "meat" flavored potato chips. Mmm ... meat! Or "ketchup" flavored chips. Or "prawn cocktail." Or "lamb and mint." Or "onion bhaji and duck." I'm not much of a potato chip gal, at any rate, but I always enjoyed looking at the strange flavors represented on the shelves.

Berkeley Bowl also had a lot of surprisingly American-seeming foods in this section, such as Kit Kat candy bars, Rolos, etc. I guess the British versions must be significantly different or something.

Sadly, no Boost candy bars. *sniff* I know I can buy them online, but shipping is pretty ridiculous ... and I really just want a couple of them. I was also looking for these chocolate bars I bought sometimes from the university store in Stirling: they were made of chocolate sorta similar to Flake, but with two solid chocolate cylinders/tubes twined around each other, and they were yummy, primarily because of the texture. But I don't even remember what they were called! Internet searches tell me that there is a chocolate bar called "Twirl," but the photos don't look quite like what I remember, even though the name sounds right. Maybe the design of the product has changed over time. It's been about 20 years since I bought one, after all!

I seriously considered buying a jar of clotted cream, but the label said that once the jar had been opened, the contents should be consumed within 5 days. Now, I *really* like clotted cream ... but I don't think I could consume that whole jar within 5 days without some vomiting being involved. And that just doesn't sound worth it. I'll just have to go out to tea once in a while somewhere that will serve me a *small* amount of clotted cream with my scone, lemon curd, etc.

I did buy a can of sticky toffee pudding, though Shannon was scandalized by the price ($4.50). I don't mind spending that much on a tasty dessert, so I didn't hesitate a moment. It will be a tremendous treat someday soon!
Tags: biking, food, groceries, nostalgia, scotland, sweets

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