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Dec 9, 2013 05:28 PM

Help with gift basket for an Anglophile!

I'm putting together a food centric gift basket for an American Anglophile who has never been to England but it's first on her travel list. I need help with some ideas. I will be including a cookbook by a British author, a teacup and pot set with some tea and I'd like to include some chutney-relish type products, things like Branston pickle, piccalilli (need help with good brands), a great mustard, lemon curd, English cheddar. Any help with brands or other ideas would be greatly appreciated. I am in the US and can order online and also have several British import stores in my city.


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  1. Nothing will satisfy an Anglophile more than one of these Fortnum & Mason gift hampers:

    1. Great idea.
      For the piccalilli and the lemon curd the brand I'd choose would be Stokes. Not sure how available it is in the US?
      Colemans English Mustard.
      For the Cheddar it has to be Keens. Also some Carrs melts or water biscuits to go with.
      Maybe some Gentlemens Relish as well?
      Not sure if they drink? But maybe some beers and ciders? I like Landlord by Timothy Taylor, Tribute from the St Austell brewery and Harveys from the Harveys brewery. It's a good range of styles from all over England. For cider I'd try a single varietal from Thatchers.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Paprikaboy

        I'd probably go with Tracklements as an alternative for the various jams and pickles. Most piccalillis are pretty good and there isn't a lot between them. Maybe a horseradish as well?

        Quickes is my preferred cheddar

        1. re: mr_gimlet

          I'd also include anything from Tracklements.

          And cheddar choice would be Montgomery.

          That said, what I would actually do in the OP's situation is visit "the best" of the British import stores and buy whatever looks like to make up a hamper.That way the friend can always go back to buy more.

      2. Thanks everyone! I'm having so much fun shopping online for this project.

        18 Replies
        1. re: ChervilGeorge

          I would include lots of tea biscuits like hob nobs (yum) or jaffa cakes? And perhaps some English candy like licorice all-sorts? You can also be brave and get things like marmite and heinz baked beans. ( Two favorite things of my Irish husband!)

          1. re: elizabetheatsfood

            Didn't Heinz baked beans originate in America?!?! If I was expecting a nice gift basket of British foods and lived in the States, I would not be happy to see a can of those beans. :-) There are much better ones to be found over 'there.'

            1. re: zuriga1

              Well Heinz beans are definitely more of an English thing - Heinz might be an American brand but the beans themselves are certainly English. In Canada, we can get them at a few places with British sections, but certainly aren't considered a local product.

              Marmite is a good one, though Bovril on toast is so much better!

              1. re: brokentelephone

                I think there are more Americans eating Heinz beans than there are English people eating Heinz beans. To me, they are the worst-tasting baked beans in the world. Maybe the beans are local but the brand is the brand.

                Is Heinz ketchup also an English thing?

                And the Secretary of State (American) is married to the widow of the Heinz fortune, but I'd venture to say they rarely eat those beans. :-)

                1. re: zuriga1

                  American baked beans tend to be much sweeter than British baked beans.

                  As for more Americans eating them - I doubt it. Baked beans are a British staple, eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Not so in the States. According to the Heinz site, 1.5 million cans of Heinz beans are sold in the UK every day.

                  1. re: FarleyFlavors

                    Interesting article about how Heinz is now marketing beans in the U.S. I wish they'd offer some of these over here.


                    1. re: zuriga1

                      Brown sugar and bacon ? Molasses and pork ? Maple syrup flavour ?

                      Way too sweet I'd imagine.

                      (And the article confirms what I suggested above - if Heinz only sells $5 million worth of beans per year in the States, the Brits eat more Heinz beans in a single week than the whole of the U.S. consumes in an entire year !)

                      1. re: FarleyFlavors

                        Unfortunately, we Yanks like our food sweet. To each his or her own. As far as I remember, Americans don't put beans on toast.

                        As I said, don't take the Heinz figures as Gospel. Most Americans, I think, prefer other brands. I always did, although Heinz still makes a great ketchup.

                        1. re: zuriga1

                          "Most Americans, I think, prefer other brands."

                          Indeed. The figures are in the article you mentioned. Heinz has only around 1% of the U.S. market while Bush's have 69% of the U.S. market; about the same share as Heinz has in the U.K.

                          1. re: FarleyFlavors

                            The other popular brand of beans is B&M. I don't know how it got that name, and I don't want to know.

                            They're the traditional Boston (as in Tea Party) baked bean.

                    2. re: FarleyFlavors

                      I should have said that many Ameticans eat baked beans, but not necessarily the Heinz brand, so comparing Heinz beans eaten doesn't mean much. There are tons of bean brands in the States and most taste better than Heinz..IMHO.

                      1. re: zuriga1

                        At the risk of going wildly off-topic and boring everyone half to death ... the British baked bean market as a whole ($615m per year) is bigger than the U.S. baked bean market ($530m).


                        I'm guessing the British Heinz beans recipe is the original American recipe, which over the years has evolved into a much sweeter version across the pond.

                        (Me ? I prefer Branston's)

                        1. re: FarleyFlavors

                          Seems like zuriga1 doesn't know beans about beans.

                          That said, baked beans in the USA is a completely different animal. I don't know if I agree with the statistics mentioned with regards to actual consumption, solely because lots of beans in the USA are homemade/locally produced vs. here everyone just opens a can of Heinz (or a plastic tub, if you're disgusting) so comparing purchasing pre-made beans only tells one side in this very interesting bean narrative.

                          1. re: brokentelephone

                            I'll put my bean knowledge against yours anytime. :-)

                        2. re: zuriga1

                          "There are tons of bean brands in the States and most taste better than Heinz."

                          There are tons of bean brands in the UK and most taste better than Heinz. :-)

                          My own favourite - Sainsbury's own label reduced salt/sugar. Perfect on toast for Sunday breakfast, topped with fried Bury black pudding.

                          1. re: Harters

                            I haven't tried the Sainsbury's reduced, but will do... thanks. I don't mind the Heinz 5 bean can, but I add things to it, sometimes BBQ sauce. I know, I know....

                            1. re: zuriga1

                              Heinz (or any other) is much imrpoved when it's tarted up. I've been known to add fried onion, ketchup, mustard and BBQ sauce - often all of them.

                    3. re: brokentelephone

                      If you like Bovril BT. Check out the latest Radio 4 Food Programme Podcast. It's all about Bovril and I for one found it really interesting (but maybe I'm a little bit sad).


              2. Tom Kerridge Pub Food cook book is great.

                Patum Peperium is a must if they like fish (and weird spreads)

                People in the USA love Emma Bridgewater for teacups etc., esp. UK themed ones.

                I second klyeoh -- get a Fortnum and Mason giftbasket and babba bing, done.

                1. Cool gift! I'd include a box of Yorkshire Tea, a jar of Marmite, a bottle of HP Sauce (it's a bit like steak sauce, but you serve it with a cooked breakfast), some jam from Tiptree (the Little Scarlet strawberry is lovely), and if they're a drinker, a small bottle of Gordon's sloe gin (very Christmassy!)

                  Failing that, anything from Betty's of Harrogate: