Monday, February 18, 2013


I went to Stonehenge last year.  It’s run by English Heritage who are doing their best not to ruin the place, and perhaps in order to retain a sense of history, the catering facilities look like a throwback to 1960s England; an old fashioned wooden kiosk with a serving hatch at the front, although for that true historical flavor I think they ought to be serving Bovril and potted meat sandwiches, rather than espresso and baguettes, which is what they actually offer.

I didn’t buy anything from the kiosk, I waited till I was back in town and could explore the culinary joys of Salisbury.  I was a fool. I ended up in a branch of the West Cornwall Pasty Company: it didn’t seem such a terrible idea at the time, since Cornish pasties are a thing that I do occasionally crave and can’t get here in LA, and maybe the fact that the one I had in Salisbury was a bit dry and tasteless was all part of the English heritage too, but I think I could have eaten better.  

Afterwards I realized I should probably have gone to a pub, maybe this place, which if nothing else has a good sign outside.

At the time I obviously didn’t think the gourmet delights of Stonehenge and Salisbury were worth blogging about, but now I find the memories come flooding back since I went into my local supermarket here in Hollywood and found this:

Takes a while to realize it says Sconehenge rather than Stonehenge, doesn't it?  And they’re evidently playing up the Englishness – English monastery indeed - though as you see, they’re in fact made in Berkeley. 
             My mother made scones every Thursday, every week of the year, all the time I lived at home.  She always made them absolutely plain, without fruit or spices, served with a spread of butter, though nothing else.  It wasn’t a big hit with a kid, as you can imagine.  I’m sure she’d have thought blueberry scones were not just bizarre but positively sinful.

These Berkeley Sconehenge scones were pretty good, pleasantly doughy, not too sweet, no complaints at all.  Poking around online I find there’s quite a tradition of making models of Stonehenge from Twinkies, sometimes bacon-wrapped Twinkies.  I’ve been trying to think of some psychogourmet alternatives: Stonehenges made from blood sausages, or pigs’ trotters, or marrow bones; haven’t quite got there yet.  Sounds like a job for Bompas and Parr.  Meanwhile I'm rather taken by the good taste and clean lines of this version  - cheese and cracker henge, by "food artist" Prudence Staite.

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