Expansion Opportunity

As S&W has haughtily turned its back on Texas, we look to our Cousins Across The Pond for future investment in the Lone Star State:

Greggs today warned supply issues were pushing up the cost it pays for food and labour – presenting the risk of future price rises – as it promised sausage rolls are safe despite the UK’s pork crisis…

The Newcastle-based chain is also looking into opening overseas locations for the first time.

For my Murkin Readers who may have forgotten about this fabulous company and its most excellent wares:

From the top:  sausage roll, steak bake, cheese & onion.

And there are more, oh so much more.

[takes moment to wipe up drool]

I know that you folks at Greggs have probably employed vast armies of Bainies and McKinzies to ascertain where your best opportunities lie here in Murka — and if their suggestions don’t include the US, fire them — but I can save you a ton of money simply by suggesting the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex.

  • Fourth-largest metro area in the U.S. (7.65 million)
  • One of the fastest-growing metro areas in the U.S.
  • We have a large expat community, including not only Brits and Aussies, but Seffricans as well, for whom sossies and steak pies are comfort foods like few others.
  • The DFW-London air travel route is always full, not just of the aforesaid, but Texans going there for vacations and business purposes.  They will know about Greggs.

Now I know that a bunch of Californians are going to say the same kind of thing about their state — but compare the time and cost in getting a food business operating license (hint:  months and thousands of dollars in CA vs. days and scores of dollars in TX) and we haven’t even talked about the tax benefits (TX: low vs. CA: astronomical) and cost of land/rents (TX: low vs. CA: don’t even ask).  And most Californians eat fucking salads more than pastries anyway, whereas we Texans loves us our fried pies and baked anything.

And by the way, I scored 7/11 on your quiz, and I haven’t been Over There in nearly four years.  If that’s not a Greggs fan, I don’t know what is.

So waddya say, Greggs?

Revolutionary Times

This from Britishland:

And if that isn’t enough to cause torches to be lit, pitchforks be taken out of sheds and mobs to form, try this:

…and this mere days after KFC suffered the same shortages.

Just wait till supplies of peanut sauce dry up, and chicken satay is no longer available.

There’ll be murders.

Past Sins

This one will resonate especially with my Brit and Colonial Readers.

It appears that the Rowntree company has discovered that O Woe their company depended on The Evil Slavery back in the days before steamships were built, and therefore they are prostrating themselves before the Gods Of Wokedom, rending their clothes, wearing hairshirts and putting out their corporate eyes in orgies of  self-abasement and atonement [some slight hyperbole there] :

Trusts created by British chocolate maker Rowntree have apologised after research into its own history revealed ‘shameful’ links to the slave trade.
The investigation into the company’s history was party prompted by the Black Lives Matter movement and revealed evidence that the famously philanthropic family business may have profited from the slave trade.

But it gets worse:

Research by the Rowntree Society, which promotes the history of the company, also uncovered allegations of racial discrimination and anti-union tactics at the firm’s South African subsidiary Wilson Rowntree during the apartheid era as recently as the early 1980s.

O noes!  Not the Evil Boers! 

Now I don’t wanna sound all uncaring and indifferent and stuff, but lest we forget, said horrors also enabled the following items of pure deliciousness to tickle our palates.

An aside:  alert Readers will note that many of the items below are labeled “Nestlé” because yea did Rowntree sell their chocolate business to the foul Swiss;  but thankfully, the cuckoo clockmakers have never used their own disgusting chocolate recipe, but stuck to the original Rowntree formulation (much like Hershey has done with Cadbury products Over Here).

Here they are:

Still one of the nicest chocolate bars ever made, the “bubbly” Aero is an automatic basket-filler when I go to World Market.

This is a staple in 7-11 and other convenience stores, and for good reason.  (The white-chocolate KitKat is even better.)

Beloved by small children (and by their parents, as bribe material), the tiny sugar-coated gelatin pellets are not only delicious, but addictive.  Not as addictive, however, as Rowntree’s

The Son&Heir is not a big candy consumer;  he doesn’t eat chocolate and hardly ever uses sugar with anything.  However, give him a tube (or large bag, it doesn’t seem to matter) of Fruit Pastilles when he comes a-calling, and the delicious things will have disappeared before he gets home.

These chocolate-filled sugar candies are what M&Ms are supposed to taste like, but don’t.  Unlike said Hershey horribles, Smarties give you a choice in the eating thereof:  you can crunch them up in your mouth and chew the thin candy slivers with the chocolate, or you can do what I do:  suck them slowly until the candy disintegrates, then be left with warm, melted chocolate that will coat the inside of your mouth with absolute indulgent pleasure.  (Yes, they do melt in your pocket;  which is why Smarties are typically sold in stiff cardboard tubes [see pic] so that they don’t.)

And then we come to the piéce-de-resistance (brace yourselves, this is going to cause mass convulsions among the Wokistas):

This cornucopia of delight was a staple among young men of my generation, serving as a fail-safe present for Mom on Mother’s Day / her birthday, and Valentine’s Day for the beloved girlfriend / wife.  (Yes, children, back in the day women actually ate chocolate without suffering agonies of conscience, and giving chocolate as a present did not engender [sic]  howls of accusation.)  You can get an idea from this wonderful launch ad:

Even better was that the inside of the lid gave a map to the contents:

Now I know that calling it “Black Magic” would nowadays be considered the Ultimate Rayyycism, but in those days — and yes, this is going to sound weird to the Youngins — black packaging gave products an air of class (see:  limousine colors, tuxedo suits, “black tie” dress etc.), so the brand name was that, and also gave the product a slightly “wicked” feel.  Because even back then, we knew that chocolate was an indulgence, and fattening, and so on.  (I know, I know:  we Whiteys appropriated Black people’s skin color for our own ends.  Talk about wicked.)

Delicious.

So, to return to my original thesis (after wiping the drool from my chin):  yes, the Rowntree company has behaved abominably in the past, etc. etc.

But I think I can safely say that out of the suffering of slaves did come some of the greatest snack candies of all time, and that should count for something.


Afterthought:  it’s probably a good thing I don’t do social media, as one can hardly imagine the response to a humorous post like the above on Twatter or Faecesbook.

Not That Kind

I’ve seen crap like this so often in the past that it just causes me a MEGO* nowadays:

This particular article, however, was accompanied by this pic:

…and I felt better about my chances immediately.

You see, I think the “sausages” to which they refer are the processed (“hot dog” or pork) kind such as made by Oscar Meyer, Ball Park, Armour et al., full of chemicals and preservatives and such.

My daily breakfast of a piece of boerewors doesn’t fall into this category at all.  Made by a butcher, it contains nothing but actual meats (exact point of origin, so to speak, anonymous), and no additional chemicals at all.  It’s a 6″-long piece of this stuff:

…plus a boiled egg, and that’s it.  (Maybe a couple of cheese curds, when we have them, for a little additional flavor.)

I actually can’t stomach processed sausages because after eating boerewors, they taste like nothing more than pulped sorta-meat.  Anyway, according to similar “studies” in the past, I should have croaked thirty years ago, as I eat a piece of boerewors almost every day;  and yet here I am.

Remember:  if you want to roll your own, there’s a Boerewors Prep link down the right-hand side of the page.  I accept no responsibility for any sudden addiction thereto.


*MEGO:  my eyes glaze over;  a sudden and acute attack of boredom.

Irresistible

I must confess that I’ve never understood the Brit obsession with “chip butties” (a.k.a. “chip baps”), which are simply whitebread-and-butter sandwiches with french fries inside them.  (A “bap” is a sandwich, either sliced bread or a bread roll — don’t ask, I don’t get it either.)

Carbohydrates squared.

There’s no reason why you couldn’t put fries into a sandwich, I guess, although I’ve always considered fries to be an accompaniment to a sandwich rather than its filling.  Put it down to Weird Shit That Brits Do.

However, there’s been this development:  the 1,000-calorie deep-fried chip butty, and apparently the Brits can’t get enough of it.  (No pics because… yikes.)

Even better, the deep-fried chip butty can be served with a side order of… fries.

Just when you think you’ve seen it all… although I have to tell you that I wouldn’t mind trying one, just out of academic interest.


Postscript:  In Scotland you can get deep-fried Mars Bars, but that’s just the Scots being Scottish.  And they taste just about as you’d think they’d taste:  bloody awful.

Boxing Day Cheer

As I may have said before, we don’t have Christmas Dinner on Christmas Day itself:  Christmas Day is devoted to a Full English Breakfast with the kids (this was ours yesterday;  bangers, beans, back bacon, mushrooms. eggs and tomato all  fried in boerewors drippings and hash browns, also — not pictured — French bread toast, and cinnamon rolls made by Daughter)

I should point out that this was my plate:  the others had portions essentially double that of mine, because I can’t take that much because of gastric surgery.  I made up for it by drinking more Mimosas than everyone else.

We save the roast beef dinner till the day after Christmas:  Boxing Day (a Du Toit family tradition):

I cook the roast, New Wife does the potatoes, parsnips, asparagus and other veg., and Daughter makes the Yorkshire pud.  Dessert is generally peach cobbler and / or fruit cake with icing, but this year there’s a Yule Log like this one, compliments of Daughter.

Mostly because nobody in our family can handle a Full English and Roast Beast on a single day, we’ve turned Christmas Day into a two-day family affair.  In American terms, it’s like having two Thanksgiving meals in a row.

We like it that way.