London used to get a bad rap for its cuisine but is now one of the world's hottest food destinations. You'll surely eat at some world-class restaurants while you're there, but what should you bring home to make your trip last even longer? These four food items are the best way to remember your vacay, bite for bite, long after you've returned home.
Tea and Biscuits
Is there anything more classically British than tea and biscuits? Though you can get many popular British tea brands like PG Tips and Twinings in bag form in the U.S., loose-leaf tea can be harder to find. Head to the historic Twinings shop or Drury Tea & Coffee for quality leaves. Tea2You in Borough Market, one of the world's best markets, specializes in loose-leaf teas and sources directly from growers in Darjeeling, India. And since you can't have tea without biscuits (British speak for cookies), toss a few packages of stalwart biscuit company McVitie's Chocolate Digestives, Hobnobs or Jaffa Cakes into your suitcase as well.
Good English cheddar is, of course, a classic, but the more elusive Stilton is a real treat for blue cheese lovers. Contrary to popular belief, you can bring cheese through U.S. customs, so buy a hunk of Stilton from Neal's Yard Dairy, throw it into a cooler on ice, and you'll be set. If blue's not your thing, try a Red Leicester or Wensleydale.
Yes, we have Cadbury chocolates in the U.S. No, they're not the same. The chocolate in the U.S. is actually made by Hershey's (which in 2015 sued importers for bringing in British Cadbury candy bars). Any British expat here will tell you that the American version is rubbish. Plus, Hershey's doesn't sell half the varieties that Cadbury offers in England, like Double Decker, Crunchie and Twirl. If your trip falls during summer, when the melt factor is high, try gummy candies instead, like Wine Gums or Percy Pigs, which is celebrating its 25th birthday this year at Marks & Spencer stores.
Known as The Gentleman's Relish, this salty spread is made from anchovies, butter, herbs and spices—but the exact recipe is a closely guarded secret. Traditionally eaten slathered on toast, this might be an acquired taste for some, but it's been beloved by Brits since 1828 (try it on a steak and you'll see why). Best of all, it comes in a small plastic tin: light and easy to toss into a suitcase.
Devorah Lev-Tov is a contributing writer for Tasting Table who travels the globe—and traverses NYC block by block—in search of her next amazing meal. See her latest adventures on her Instagram at @devoltv.
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