Small Differences: Chutney

When I encounter people and they hear my accent, one of the most frequent questions they ask as a complete stranger to me is what foods I miss from Scotland.  The fact is, however, that most of the foods I might miss I can actually obtain here in America.  The difference is that here I would have to sell at least one of my kidneys and perhaps another organ or two on the black market in order to fund having those foods stocked permanently in my larder cupboard.

I have stated before on this blog that I am a cheeseaholic and that extra mature cheddar and European cheese varieties are something I, therefore, miss.  I have found sources of at least the latter camp of cheeses but the price for just a small chunk means they never make it into my trolley.  Another thing I had been missing, however, was a really good curry.  Brits generally are pretty dedicated curry munchers and I am no exception.  I adore Indian food.  I enjoy making curry and the rest of the Pict family enjoys eating my curries.  The time had come to make a curry in Pennsylvania.  However, when I went to the supermarket I could not find all of the spices I needed.  Desperate for a good curry, however, and knowing that I will need to continue eating curry, I decided to buy certain spices – ones I use frequently – in bulk online.  So last week my parcel of spices turned up and I could embark on making curry.  

I did though return to the supermarket to buy some things to accompany the curry which is when I discovered that they don’t stock naan breads or poppadoms.  I am not a gifted baker.  I am a reasonably good cook but I don’t have the precision required to be a good baker.  Naan breads, especially the ones that at least seem like they have been cooked in a searing hot tandoor, are very much beyond my capabilities.  In future, therefore, I might make some chapatis and get the kids to accept those as a naan substitute.

But then I saw the price of mango chutney and I was staggered.  A tiny jar cost the same amount as I would have paid for at least three jars back in Scotland.  Leprechauns should be giving away chutney at the end of the rainbow.  I love chutney but confess to being a mango chutney addict in particular.  I actually cannot countenance living without it.  So, until I find a dependable and affordable supply of mango chutney, it looks as if I might have to make my own.