Sometimes my father used to ring me in the
evening when we were eating dinner. 'What are you having?' he'd ask, his voice travelling across the distance from London to Canberra, and whenever I told him we were having oysters, he would give a quiet groan of longing, for he loved Australian oysters. 'Were they very expensive?' he would ask, hoping to make himself feel better by finding out that they were, but when I told him the price he would let out another groan - this time of envy, I suspect.
The thing is you can, of course, eat well in Britain. However, usually it costs a lot - even in your own house, as good butchers are growing scarcer over there and, where they do still exist, they are rarely inexpensive (and really fresh vegetables unencumbered by plastic casings are equally hard to find - at least in my experience). Also the variety of things to eat is not as great as ours is - this is self-evident when you look at a map of our huge country, and see how it contains a number of climates, which means we can grow so many different things. And, then, as well, there is our extensive coastline.
An example of the kind of thing you could not possibly hope to find regularly in your local fishmonger in Britain - and certainly not at a cost of a mere $8.99 a kilo (enough for at least two meals) - are the lovely Queensland scallops I've been getting lately. Here they are after having been steamed and had poured over them a bit of olive oil made by friends, in which some garlic, lemongrass and chilli has been cooked and into which lime juice and coriander leaves have been mixed:
Pondering what may be …
17 minutes ago