Imported Groceries?

Discussion in 'The Other Half' started by TankiesYank, Jun 2, 2005.

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  1. This seems to be the best place to post for this random question, so I'll try:

    Background: I like cooking, and Mexican food is my native cuisine, which the Tankie is fond of.

    Most UK visitors here seem to take to it like a duck to water, actually — my theory is that living on curry and heavy food prepares them for the spice and substance of it. I think that's lovely. If you go to any Mexican restaurant here on Sunday around 3 PM, you'll a crowd of the local soccer teams sucking down beer and tacos or birria (goat stew) with two or three English or Scotsmen comfortably ensconced in the group, drinking and shouting in half-Spanish. It's great.

    So I'd like to continue cooking Mexican food when I'm there; authentic Mexican cuisine seems like it's in short supply, and it might be a nice thing to serve guests or bring to a meet-and-greet.

    I am concerned about the availability of groceries, though. I've been warned that pinto beans, for instance [brown and black beans with a nice meaty flavor] are rarely found so restaurants substitute kidney beans. I CAN substitute a lot of stuff, but just...comes out strangely. :?

    So, are there any folks out there that have seen or heard of a market that imports Mexican groceries in the UK? (Tortillas, salsas, canned tomatoes, cheeses, etc.) Or where I might go to look for them? International markets that might be able to refer me along? We'll be living in the Blandford area but I will make a special trip to find what I need....

    My last resort is to have my friends send over care packages but I'd prefer to spend my money supporting local stores. Plus I'd hate to get in trouble with Customs. :)

    Just a shot in the dark....thanks so much for any suggestions.
  2. Hi Tankies yank,
    If you can find a large Sainsburys or Tescos nearby-try Poole for starters, you'll find they both sell the El Paso range- tacos, tortillas, chillis, refried beans, fajita "powder" etc. Dunno how authentic they are cos I've never been to Mexico but there's your starter for ten!
    If you ever fancy a change from Mexican, go for the Wing Yip Chinese brand in the UK. They've got a couple of amazing supermarkets on the outskirts of London, with restaurants, gift shops etc attached. Some of their most popular lines eg sweet and sour, black bean etc can be found in most large supermarkets but if you're ever in London for a few days, a couple of hours diversion is well worth it. I'm sitting here smug cos I can walk to my local one in 15 minutes!
    Enjoy Dorset, it's beautiful-Blandford excepted!!
  3. Oh, that's great to know....thank you! El Paso will do all right, I'm familiar with the brand and can modify most of to fit my specs.

    Thanks for Wing Yip pointer as well. I'll make it a point to go when we're in the area. Definitely hoping to add some Chinese to my repertoire, as well as taking a curry class at a nearby adult-education center. I'm in the right place for it, after all!

    Heh re: Blandford. :D
  4. Discovery do a really good range of US/Mexican stuff - available in most big supermarkets. Again not sure how authentic it is, though.
  5. Do you wear a sombrero when you're cooking?
  6. Or if you REALLY want to support local trade and are up for a bit of bartering, go to your local Deli and ask them how much to stock minimum order of the ranges you require...
    As long as the minimum isn't 500 boxes of Taco's they may well be up for it!

  7. One mention of food on the site and chubbies a rat up a drainpipe.
  8. You mean like a "fat rat" that can't fit up a drain pipe :lol:
  9. What did you do to deserve to go to Blandford after spam-land? 8O

    Testify in court that Michael Jackson is NOT a fiddler?
  10. El Paso fajitas (spell) for dinner the last 2 nights and very nice it was too. Courtesy of Tescos or Asda (Wallmart owned) I imagine as both frequented by Mrs M on regular basis.

    Large Tescos very close to Blandford camp.
  11. You really dont need to buy "El Paso" or any other pre-prepared products. If you are a "Cook" rather than just a re-heater, all the base ingredients are available at any supermarket. After all, pinto beans and tinned tomatoes are hardly haute cuisine.
  12. El Paso? bunch of f*cking chavs!

    You'll be recommending Home Pride Cook In Sauces next.

    How about some 'I feel like Chicken Tonight.........' recipes, you well travelled bunch of LIDL shopping Pikeys.
  13. That's better than some thought I was cordon bleu chef just because I cooked bolognaise sauce - which I was doing because I was too lazy to do anything better! I used fresh tomatos too but think that distinction would have been beyond him. once you are used to proper cooking very difficult to eat anything else :wink:
  14. Well, when your used to Pot Noodles Poopy, Spag Bol is positively the way to go!
  15. I cook 5 or 6 nights a week, and have done for years. Its hardly particle physics, but my friends and family seem to think I,m the frickin galloping gourmet (golden oldie). BTW guys, the ability to cook is a great leg-opener!