Saturday, 23 May 2009

On Pork Pies

Nelly gave me a small pork pie this afternoon. I don't often eat pork pies, perhaps one every 7 years or so, because I find them quite horrible. This has not always been so.

I spent all of the Eighties in Southern California, first in Los Angeles, then in Orange County. Southern California has many things to recommend it, but there were a few items of British culture I sorely missed.

Manchester United - the general manager of the outfit I worked for in L.A. liked to take the piss, especially when it came to the quaint customs of the English. Take soccer, for example. The fact that the outcome of a football match could result in a 0-0 just had him hooting with hilarity. Went to a few Dodgers games, and I enjoyed that, but it weren't no substitute for standing in the Stretford Paddock at Old Trafford with my mate Jud, watching Best, Law and Charlton.

Liverpool were winning everything during the time I spent in the U.S., but that situation has since been redressed I think.

Coronation Street - everyone in our gang avidly followed Correr. Jud and I even organised a Coronation Street Party, which apparently was a great success and the photos emphatically bear that out. I wound up not attending after a row with my date. Jud went as Alf.

Living in the U.S. back then with as yet no Internet, one relied on updates via phone conversations and letters from England. Returning to Blighty in the early nineties I persevered with Correr up until the plotline concerning Mavis and Derek and a missing garden gnome - I've watched just the one episode since then, the one in which Gail's serial killer husband met his end, predictably, in the canal.

Pork pies - pork pies, along with bacon and sausages, as we know them, don't exist in the U.S. I was tipped off by an English acquaintance to the existence of an English butcher in Chino, who did pork pies, and Topper and I would drive the 70-mile round trip to get our greedy gobs on them. Nowadays of course I realise that pork pies, at least the ones you get in the supermarket, are dry, tasteless and unpleasant, and perhaps they always were.

I ate Nelly's offering today and it was quite nice, an acceptably good pork pie. I notice there's jelly in it, and this definately helps. Has jelly in pork pies been outlawed, for our own good?

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