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.


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..

It's good to share...Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Google+0Share on Reddit0Pin on Pinterest0Share on StumbleUpon0
Open a bank account in Australia
{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Marlene September 17, 2017, 1:06 pm | Link

    I’m glad you pointed out that Our Mate isn’t exactly the same as Marmite. I thought my tastebuds must have aged along with the rest of me! I always found Marmite could be spread thicker without getting that bitter aftertaste (something you get with Vegemite with even the thinnest layer). Our Mate does have the consistency and piquant sharpness of Marmite but spread too thickly and you end up with the bitterness of Vegemite. Good to know someone else noticed the difference!

    • BobinOz September 18, 2017, 7:43 pm | Link

      Well, I am glad I have been able to confirm that your taste buds are not deteriorating, but thanks must go to Mrs Bob and my daughter Elizabeth, they are the ones that know all about the different tastes of Marmite, Our Mate and Vegemite.

      I’d love to take the credit, but I can’t, it’s down to them. I’m more of a beans on toast man.

  • 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 😉

Leave a Comment

If your comment doesn’t get answered, find out why…..
FAQs and Comment Policy.