Buying Typically English Food in Australia

One of the ‘joys’ of Mrs Bob having a broken leg is that I have to go to the supermarket to do the shopping. In the last few weeks I have probably been into Coles more times than I have in the previous five or six years.

I am, of course, given a shopping list to work from and I like to have a quick look through it before I embark on my journey to the store.

On the list the other day was Marmite but, after clarification, I was told it’s not called Marmite here, it’s called…

Our MateIsn’t that great? Marmite Our Mate. That’s better.

I was also told to specifically buy Our Mate and not to buy the Australian equivalent which as you know is…

vegemiteApparently, English people with a very discerning palate can tell the difference between the two, but I’m going to stay out of this debate, I’m not keen on either.

I must make it clear though that Our Mate is not exactly the same as Marmite, there is a very slight difference in the taste. For that reason genuine Marmite brought in to this country from the UK is like a tiny little pot of gold in these parts among aficionados of this spread; it has even been used here to win friends and influence people.

Anyway…

My search for Our Mate

So there I was, in the store, wandering from aisle to aisle, looking for Our Mate. Be fair, it’s a very small jar. Having little luck, I telephoned Mrs Bob from my mobile.

“Where is it?”

The answer surprised me a little, I was told it was in the ‘English Section’. The ‘English Section’?

Now I was looking for something much bigger, something with an exciting name; the ‘English Section‘.

Aisles and aisles later, I was still looking for the ‘English Section’. At that point I had to do something no bloke ever wants to do. I had to ask for directions.

In a supermarket!

A kindly lady walked me directly to the ‘English Section’…

the english sectionThis is it? This is the ‘English Section’?

With a small jar of Our Mate thrown into my shopping basket, I decided to have a good look around this ‘English Section’.

Here’s what I thought of it…

  • Lyle’s Golden Syrup – I wouldn’t be who I am today if it were not for Lyle’s Golden Syrup; how else would I have been able to eat my porridge and grow up to be big and strong?
  • PG Tips – Is there any other English tea worth mentioning?
  • Coleman’s Mustard – Original English of course. It’s tasty!
  • Yorkie Bars – I actually remember a time before Yorkie Bars; life was grey and dull and then all of a sudden Yorkie Bars hit the shops and there was colour!
  • Yorkshire Puddings – How can you have Sunday roast without them?
  • Paxo Stuffing – Ditto.
  • Weetabix – (Another name change apparently, called Whole Wheat Biscuits here); Weetabix (and sugar) rescued me from porridge and syrup!

As for the rest of it, I couldn’t care less, but I have to say for a very small ‘English Section’ it brought back some quite fond memories.

And on that note, it’s time for an ad break..

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{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Rachel January 27, 2015, 3:21 pm | Link

    A vital highlight of the english section that you’ve missed is the mint sauce. I have yet to find a comparable australian mint sauce to the one shown in your picture of the english section.

    • BobinOz January 27, 2015, 5:42 pm | Link

      I was never into mint sauce, but yes, I suspect that is another very English product. It’s clearly popular enough here for Coles to stock it though.

  • Pauhla November 28, 2013, 11:00 pm | Link

    Our English section (in France) in the ‘Super U’ is almost exactly the same. Except with something called ‘fluff’. Answers on a postcard please.

    • BobinOz November 29, 2013, 3:48 pm | Link

      You can get ‘fluff’ in France? I’ve looked everywhere here in Australia for fluff, can’t get it for love nor money. I asked in Coles if they were going to get any fluff in, no chance they said.

      You can’t even buy fluff online here in Australia, I’m at a loss. I used to have fluff all the time in England, but haven’t seen any for over six years.

      Still, can’t have everything 🙂

  • Rupert November 15, 2013, 9:12 am | Link

    Ah yes, the English section. Supporting the local economy is alive and well I see 😉

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