The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Tastes from across the water

tayto crispsDonagh laid the long pack of breakfast sausages (16 sausages per pound weight) on the kitchen worktop.
“What have you got there?” Danny was curious.
“Back in the forties when our Mam was young and training in Dublin, she was instructed to bring a pack of Hafner’s sausages home to Oylegate each weekend. It was imperative that she carried out the mission. The company eventually vanished but a few years ago someone found the recipe and they started production again. I’ve bought a pack of Denny’s too. The famous Jumbo Gold Medal Sausage. I just thought it would be good to try them together.”

The sausages looked unnaturally pink. Irish sausages are different. A universe apart from Musk’s. I included some of each for our Saturday brunch. On our plates they nestled beside Fred’s own bacon, Cottage Smallholder eggs and gently toasted granary bread. The sausages were good but very salty. Hafner’s won hands down, slimmer than Denny’s. But they had the better depth of flavour.

With a magical rustle, Donagh produced 4 packs of Tayto crisps from his suitcase. Danny grabbed a pack and tucked in. Apparently if you have been parted from Tayto crisps, nothing matches the familiar flavour and crunch.

I always forget that Danny is living abroad. Familiar wafts and tastes are hot wired into his psyche. However happy he is, sometimes he must pine for the tastes of home.

If I was living away from the UK, I’d rather receive a pot of Marmite, than a bottle of the best Champagne. Forget the Belgian chocs, a small box of decent tea bags(Twinings 1706) or a jar of Patum Peperium would have me carrying the heaviest suitcase upstairs with a chirrup.


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14 Comments

  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Clare

    I reckon that it’s the water that makes the the taste strange as well as the milk.

    Love the tale of the custard powder!

    Tanks for the tip about Tesco stocking the Aussie treats.

    Hi Kate(uk)

    I must look out for these. Thanks for the nudge!

  2. If you think German bread is good, try Danish or Swedish bread…best I’ve ever had.

  3. I’ve spent 2 x 6 months living abroad, in Krakow and Berlin. My fellow brits-away-from-home missed salt and vinegar crisps and the type of tabloid magazine full of glamorous photos of soap stars. I’d packed myself a teapot and a supply of my favourite teabags (I brew a mix – one bag of PG tips and one of Sainsbury’s earl grey, delicious!) but I always find Tea tastes different anywhere outside of England – maybe it’s the milk?

    Another friend petitioned his grandma to send over some custard powder, expecting a tin or packet, or even a few of those instant sachets. He received, by post, a ziplock bag full of an off-white powder…. I dread to think what customs would have made of that if they’d looked through the parcel!

    I’ve also lived with Aussies, and after learning their ways, I went out to Berlin pre-equipped with tins of milo, jars of vegemite and timtams (all of which are available at tescos). It ensured my popularity for the first few weeks!

    Personally, I’ve had more food cravings for the places I’ve lived than for what’s at home. No-one makes bread and mustard quite like the Germans and I’m delighted that Polish beer and chocolate is now available on the high-street. If anyone knows of a way to buy Fort Garry Dark beer (from Canada) in the UK, I’m all ears!

  4. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Sally

    That’s strange!

    D hates Marmite too. He will allow me to eat it in his presence though.

    Hi Toffeeapple

    Those are wonderful names!

    Hi Sophie

    I™d forgotten about galaxy chocolate.

    Hi Magic Cochin

    Spot on. The tea would be the thing. Like you I love 1706 and get quite twitchy if there™s not a spare box in the larder.

    Hi Pamela

    That™s interesting that you have developed tastes for things from so many other countries.

    Hi Kate(uk)

    I had no idea that Holland has so many great things to eat. How lovely to have so many specialist shops!

    Have you tried Musk™s Newmarket sausages?

    I™d miss a good Stilton too.

    Hi Cherry

    I was only thinking about M™s love of Fox™s Glacier Mints this morning!

    On the baked bean front, I reckon that it has something to do with the water. Guinness tastes completely different in Ireland.

    Hi Pat

    Danny finds it™s the same as you. I asked him what he™d miss if he left England as his response was simple “ Waitrose!

    Hi Jo

    I can identify with you over the tea. And you can™t beat Italian coffee.

    Your breakfast sounds wonderful!

    Hi Flo

    Danny says that he liked your selection too! Although he hadn™t heard of Veda bread “ he hasn™t lived in Ireland for years now.

    The main thing that he longs for is Clonakilty black pudding.

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