We went out to dinner with friends at Simply Delicious in Bognor Regis the other evening. Simply Delicious is a deli that holds a supper club on a semi-regular basis, and the food they serve is superb.
The menu this time offered a starter of pan-seared scallops and black pudding in a cauliflower velouté (velouté, I discovered when it arrived, is haute cuisine for “sauce”) followed by braised South Downs veal with wild rabbit and chorizo. Accompanying these delicacies were some very fine wines—a Chablis and a Bordeaux.
So, while we dined on these culinary delights, what else would our conversation turn to but our favourite dishes?
The top runner—among both the British contingent and the resident American—was a fish-finger sandwich. This, for the benefit of my American readers, if a sandwich made of fish sticks. I have to admit, while I lived in the States, it never occurred to me to put fish sticks in a sandwich, but this was, I am here to tell you, to my detriment.
Likewise, a chip butty which, if you can believe this, is simply a French fry sandwich. But this, too, is strangely satisfying.
If you, like I did at first, find these delicacies to be a bit, well, weird, consider that the notion of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich had the British shaking their heads in wonder. Once I had them baffled with this colonial delight, I told them that, in America, you can actually buy peanut butter and jelly mixed together in one jar.
The piéce de résistance, however, was the peanut butter and bacon sandwich. This had them thinking I was mad, or making it up, or both, even when I assured them that this, too, is so popular in the States that you can also buy jars of peanut butter mixed with bacon bits; they are right next to the jars of peanut butter mixed with jelly.
After that, mentioning the peanut butter and banana sandwich was a bit of an anti-climax.
But the rest of the meal was not; for the cheese course, we were treated to a wedge of (and I am not making this up) The Best Cheese in the World. Don’t believe me? Check this out – “Cornish blue reigns supreme at World Cheese Awards”
Where cheese is concerned it, literally, does not get any better than this.
Then we had pink spam for dessert. Go figure.
It wasn’t really pick spam, it was “New season Strawberry and Montezuma White Chocolate Parfait with Strawberry Sauce”
Today we’re back to the usual British fare—you know, beans on toast, faggots, spotted dick—but for lunch I made myself a special treat that left me moaning in gastronomic delight and nostalgic for all things American: a peanut butter and bacon sandwich.
Ahhh, a taste of America.