Don’t forget the Fruit Gums, Mum.
I’m sure I’m not alone among long term expats in delighting in the occasional taste of home. My infrequent visitors from Blighty are asked to bring Marmite, a hunk of stilton (cheese, in case you didn’t know) and a couple of cans of Real Ale.
Now, I do know that Carrefour occasionally has Vegemite ~ which is no substitute, that Hero has a reasonable range of cheeses and that the Goose and Durian, the British Embassy social club, has Ruddles, but I’m not going to traipse across town just to tantalize my taste buds.
There are sufficient reminders of ‘home’ in the local warung
where I buy my Ardath cigarettes and Walls ice cream. I listen to the Walls vendors pass by on their converted becaks
(tricycles) ~ which I thought the city government had banned from Jakarta’s streets ~ and recall something similar from my youth. “Try me and stop one”’ was their never-to-be-forgotten cry.
My wife uses Domestos but not Surf ~ sorry, Souf
as it’s pronounced on TV. My kid likes Imperial Leather soap and Pepsodent. He wonders where the yellow went.
Then there are the very special delights, the surprises which were even treats back home. I think in particular of the Terry’s Chocolate Orange which arrived in one piece last year. Was it the taste which made it special or the packaging? I think it’s always been the ritual opening; the box open at one corner to show a golden globe. Extract it and knock the bottom firmly on a solid surface, peel off the sticker at the top and gently unwrap the thick, not cheap, orange foil to reveal the segments and aroma of orange chocolate.
Ah, abstinence surely makes the heart grow fonder. But as from now, it’s going to be its absence because Terry’s of York will shortly become Kraft-Terry’s of Sweden or Slovakia. Now this is serious enough news for the Guardian to use as its leader ~ which you can read here
This will generate further radio phone-ins, pressure groups, petitions, boycotts and the like, and not because we Brits have a sweet tooth, are xenophobic and anti-globalisation. Consider the names Cadbury, Fry
, Rowntree and Terry. They are not just synonymous with sweets, but are part of the social fabric of Britain. They campaigned against slavery, for prison reform and, more practically, built model estates with pleasant surroundings to house their workers. As well as its Foundation
and Charitable Trust
, Rowntree continues with its Reform Trust
to fund organisations which, whilst worthy, don’t fall within the remit of the Charities Foundation.
And now I’m salivating. If you are too, then feast your eyes on the delights offered by British Candy.com
, Posh Nosh
, British FanFayre
and Yummy Co.
which "offers over 200 nostalgic candies from the British Isles." Unfortunately, these e-commerce businesses are either in the States or Canada, but I’ve still come out in pimples.