I don’t know if the food of Los Angeles is getting more Anglicized – it seems unlikely I know - but I do find it easier to locate English things required for the festive season - such as mincement. (Admittedly this may be just because I now know where to look.)
The local Vons supermarket stocks Crosse and Blackwell mincemeat, “made with heirloom pippin apples,” though I’m not sure what’s so good about that - it also contains corn syrup and sodium benzoate. This stuff is a bit thinner than I’d like, and a bit bland, and of course there’s no suet in there, but it’s easy enough to zest it up a bit with brandy and whatnot, all essential stuff since Xmas without mince pies seems like no Xmas at all. Here are some I made earlier:
But it’s a funny thing about mince pies, however superior your homemade pies are, there’s still a place in the heart for a store-bought factory-made mince pie of the Mr. Kipling variety. Frankly I’m not sure I need them to be enforcedly merry, let alone exceedingly merry, but I suppose I have to live with that.
And of course, and I know this has been doing the rounds so many of you will have seen it already, there is in England the option of going along to Iceland and buying the Minge Pie.
I mean really, there’s no way in the world that says “mince,” is there? I blame the typographer, though frankly I don’t blame him (or her) a whole lot. I’m sure when you design packaging for Iceland you need all the subversive fun you can get.
But wait … just when you think the martini can’t get any more abused or bastardized, my English spies send me this from the old country:
The mince pie martini from Marks and Sparks, who say, “A delicious festive cocktail, creating all the delicious flavours of mince pie in a glass. A mixture of raisins, figs, apples, dried plums, cinnamon, lemon peel, dried orange peel, nutmeg and cloves was used to make this delicious celebratory. Country of origin: France.” We know the French aren’t always very keen on the English, but do they really hate us so much?