Mavis Redman, the proprietress of The British Pantry in Redmond, is counting on "lots of cups of tea" to see her through royal-wedding coverage. But Redman concedes Seattle viewers--most of whom are likely to stay up for tomorrow's 3 a.m. ceremony, rather than hop out of their beds early--might need something heartier to sustain them.
Redman is advising viewers who want to keep their snacks authentic to stick with a savory diet.
"I'd have cheese and biscuits," says Redman, a native Brit. "Or a pork pie with some nice chutney and mustard on."
Or, she adds, perhaps a sausage roll, which she says is Prince Charles' personal favorite. "We made sausage rolls for him, many years ago," Redman recalls.
Redman's son Neville proposes a similar smorgasbord for a wedding screening session: "Little finger sandwiches would be yummy," he says.
For Neville Redman, menu planning is a theoretical exercise. Unlike his mother, who's planning to watch the pre-dawn wedding before her Friday shift at the store--"It doesn't happen very often, does it?," she says--Redman the Younger's waiting for the rebroadcast.
"I'm certainly not staying up," Redman says. "Our plan is to be showing it here all day."
While the Redmans' suggestions certainly sound delicious, crustless watercress sandwiches and steaming pork pies might be a tad ambitious after midnight. Here we present 10 iconic British snacks suitable for a night of television watching--and none of them require the eater to do anything more than open a bag.
Hula Hoops come in varieties including roast chicken and smoky bacon, but fans claim it's impossible to improve upon the golden potato rings' original, slightly oily flavor.
While semi-sweet biscuits have been popular in the U.K. since 19th-century advertisers linked them to good digestive health, it wasn't until 1925 that McVitie's thought to coat its cookies in chocolate. More than 80 years later, Prime Minister Gordon Brown declared chocolate biscuits his favorite treat.
The British arm of Frito-Lay issued 15 potato chip flavors in conjunction with the last World Cup. Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding crisps--which, according to online reviews, "taste like chicken"--beat out haggis-, barbecue kangaroo-, edam cheese-, cheeseburger-, and paella-themed chips.
Credited with creating the world's first seasoned potato chip, Ireland's leading crisp producer still makes the Cheese & Onion and Salt & Vinegar crisps that launched a junk-food revolution.
British retailer Marks & Spencer is the exclusive purveyor of Percy Pigs, strawberry-flavored fruit gels that draw on the nation's wine gum tradition.
Britishers have a fondness for chilled shrimp, same as Americans. And they swaddle their shrimp in a ketchup-based sauce, just as Americans do. But Brits also use prawn cocktail as a jumping-off point for snacks, including these wildly popular tapioca chips made with sunflower oil and milk.
Think Marmite for the skittish set: If the ad copy for these gnarled baked sticks of yeast extract can be trusted, Twiglets will "entertain your senses!"
In the U.S, malted milk balls are known as Whoppers. In the UK they're called Maltesers, and they're beloved--especially since the company began pitching the relatively low-calorie candy as a diet-friendly indulgence.
Many Brits consider a proper curry their national dish, a sentiment not lost on the ridged-chip wizards at McCoy's, which last year issued two Indian-inspired flavors. The Chicken Jalfrezi and Lamb Vindaloo crisps come with a 2-for-1 meal coupon redeemable at curry houses across the UK.
Something like a porked-up Frito, a Frazzle--designed to look like a bacon strip--is a salty meld of corn and bacon.