Why do so many nerd kids grow up to become Anglophiles?

Do they have a special affinity for the absurdist humor found in the Monty Python reruns on every PBS station? Do they just listen to The Smiths and The Cure too much as awkward, pimply teenagers?

However it happens, I’ve got that nerd-Anglophile combo — as does my husband, otherwise we wouldn’t be married, I’m sure. So, here in the gezellig*house, we drink PG Tips tea, we eat Heinz baked beans on toast, and we enjoy the words chav, slapper, and slag. We even went as far as to buy an all-region DVD player just so we could watch the episodes of Shameless they didn’t air on BBC America.

So why hadn’t we been to Myers of Keswick yet? Who knows?

Fortunately, we remedied this by stopping in this past Sunday afternoon. Although this place is wee (I’m fairly sure the photos on their site are life-sized), it was absolutely packed, floor to ceiling, with every sort of English treat imaginable.

It was also totally packed with people doing some last minute shopping — including one woman trundling in her behemoth stroller she could have just as easily left with (I presume) her babydaddy waiting outside. I mean, seriously, lady, a little consideration? This place is the size of a shoe box, so maybe leave your oversized, overpriced, status symbol outside ’cause you’re kinda making the rest of us parents look like jerks. But I digress.

My husband and I bought almost anything we’d heard of but hadn’t eaten before (i.e. a packet of Polos for me and Minstrels for him) as well as half a dozen bags of the real reason why I dragged us all down there: Walkers potato crisps.

My husband’s former boss (who was English, and a drunken jackass, although I don’t think one had anything to do with the other) had brought a whole sack of them to the office a couple years back and after trying each flavor, we declared the prawn cocktail flavor the best… and then we just pined for them and mentioned them fondly every so often. (Well, I still pine for them, seeing as I ate the last bag 15 minutes ago.)

I swear, the prawn cocktail flavor… maybe it’s just my salt-craving premenstrual self talking here (see also: my annoyance with Stroller Lady) but they’re really just exceptional potato chips. Light, crispy, just the right amount of grease and salt, with a taste almost like a really good salt and vinegar chip but with both of a sweet note to it and something slightly savory as well that I can’t quite put my finger on. (Note to self: see if Taquitos.net is looking for freelance writers.)

While I was at the counter, my hunger and curiosity got the better of me and I asked for a pork pie. Having been subjected to many unwanted chicken pot pie dinners as a kid, I am not a fan of savory pies… or so I thought.

I admit, the best description of the first bite comes from my kid, who called it “kinda… jellyish, huh?”

After a couple more bites, once I got past the unexpected texture, the meat was surprisingly good — like sausage but, y’know, jellyish. And the crust — quite possibly the best pie crust I have ever had.

Next time we go, I’ll definitely be more prepared and bring along my trusty insulated bag to bring home some of the excellent looking chipolatas and Cumberland sausages they make on site.

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7 thoughts on “Why do so many nerd kids grow up to become Anglophiles?

  1. Kristen, you need to get yourself some prawn crackers. They are not hard to find (deli next to my office has them, so does Chinatown), and I guarantee you will like them if you like prawn cocktail crisps.

    My history teacher in high school, every single lesson (we had lessons 4x a week for two years), would ask about halfway through the period: “Are there any questions?” which would be our cue for someone in the front row to utter the magic words: “Mr Miles, would you like a Polo?” And then we would all settle in for the sacred Polo Break, wherein Milesey would put his feet up and tell us funny stories about growing up in Manchester or the B-movie production team at Christ College in Cambridge or his first job at a chip shop. You would have loved my high school….

  2. Myers of Keswick ROCKS! I shop there every few months. I always pick up a scotch egg while I”m there. I think I’m the only one who likes them.
    Also, two blocks away is Tea and Sympathy and A Salt and Battery. The tiny shop at Tea and Sympathy has more sweets than Myers at times.
    I”m babbling. Thinking of scotch eggs.

  3. Actually, Dave likes the scotch eggs too. I had no idea A Salt and Battery was so close — I totally would have stopped in there as well.

  4. This whole post and comments made me chuckle repeatedly. Brilliant.

    Oh, god. Valerie, an ex-girlfriend of mine used to love Marmite, and I hate it. She’d purposely eat it and then kiss me.

    Good fun.

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