Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It's Baking Season - Time for Caster Sugar

Why Caster Sugar?
Surely regular granulated sugar will do eh? Well perhaps it will if all you want to do is stir it into your cuppa. But if you are using the sugar for baking you have to be careful.

That's Fine
Caster sugar is a finer-grained form of sugar than granulated. It is not as fine as "icing" or "confectioner's sugar" but its fine granules enable it to dissolve more quickly and more thoroughly than granulated sugar.

Wow, or ...
If you are making meringues, puddings, jellies or cakes, and you want the kind of taste and texture that makes the difference between ordinary and "wow", then it's the little details like this that make all the difference.

Get the Cane
We received a special shipment of Tate & Lyle caster sugar from the UK recently. Half kilo bags are just $3.99. This is not a regular item so, if you are a keen home baker, it's a good idea to grab hold of enough for your winter baking needs while stock lasts.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Porkies and the Truth About British Nuts

In the English Midlands, not far from the ancient city of Leicester, lie thousands of acres of rich, sun-baked soil upon which lie some of the largest peanut farms in the world.

Are You Nuts?
From these giant farms, whose fields stretch all the way from the hard shoulder of Britain's M1 motorway to the borders of the fenlands of eastern England, KP harvests the finest, plumpest, richest-flavoured peanuts to be found anywhere.

Yes, You Are Nuts! Bonkers! Cuckoo!
Humbug. What a load of old codswallop. But it was a nice story wasn't it? If Leicestershire ever gets the kind of semi-tropical conditions necessary for growing peanuts there will be palm trees growing in Orkney.

At Last, the Truth!
Anyway, wouldn't it be nice to have a nice big tin of peanuts prepared the British way to perch on the arm of the sofa while you enjoy the odd sip of Christmas cheer and nod off during the Queen's Christmas message to the Commonwealth on the goggle box after a honking great plate of turkey with all the trimmings and way too much Christmas pud with rum sauce followed by mince pies? Now that sounds good and ain't that the truth!

Real, Turkish Turkish Delight

236 Years Old
There is a reason Turkish Delight is called, well ... Turkish Delight. It originated in Turkey; in Istanbul actually, in 1776.

Actually, Lokum (as it is called in its home and native land) is thought to be much older than that, but the confectionery prepared in the manner in which we have come to know it was first produced by a Turk called Bekir Effendi at his shop in Istanbul in that year.

Choice of Flavours
Lokum, flavoured with Lemon or Rose is considered "common". Premium lokum is made with nuts - especially pistachios. It is a mixture of starch, sugar and flavourings. Which do you like best?

From the Orient to Britain to Canada
Blighty's has brought in a selection of Turkish Delight specially for Christmas. It was imported into the UK by a British company in Kingston-Upon-Hull directly from Istanbul and made its way to Canada for your pleasure.

Choose Rose, Lemon and Menthe, or Cherry Berry, Pistachio or Mixed Nuts. Just $6.99 for a 125g pack.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Walmart - Unacceptable and Unfair Competition

By now, many people will be aware that Walmart has started carrying a small selection of British groceries and candies in some of its stores. Walmart seems to have targeted locations in which there are independent British stores, like Blighty's. Furthermore, the giant American retail predator is offering some prices that are highly competitive.

I would like to apprise you of a few key facts about this situation.

  • Walmart has no real interest in British products; they are using them as a lure to get more people into their stores. 
  • Walmart staff have no expertise in British products. It has been reported to me that, in some stores, they are mixing Canadian and British chocolate on the same shelf!
  • Walmart has chosen not to use its own Asda operation in the UK as a supplier. Instead it has selected a British importer in Canada upon whom they dump large amounts of damaged and unsold product - thus eliminating any losses from selling British products here. That is a luxury that independents like Blighty's do not enjoy.

  • Walmart has cherry-picked a small selection of core products to sell. Blighty's carries hundreds of different lines, but if our core product sales suffer from unfair competition we may have to make difficult choices.

Ultimately, if Walmart forces the independents out of business there will be no more crisps, no Marks & Spencer, no British pies and meats, no potato scones, no British newspapers and magazines and probably no Christmas selection boxes or British Easter Eggs either.

If you choose to support Walmart's invasion of our business you may save a couple of bucks in the short term but lose out - big time - in the end.

I thank those of you who have already pledged your support to us and I hope others will do the same.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

New! British Heinz Chilli Ketchup

Ketchup with Kick
Heinz original and much loved recipe expertly blended with chilli for an extra kick. Choose regular or Fiery!

Tastes Great on ... Anything!
Blighty's product research department (aka John) highly recommends the fiery chilli!

Heinz recommends imported British Tomato Ketchup with Chilli on chicken, but Blighty's research has revealed that it is splendid on ham or cheese sandwiches too.

Squeeze Me
220ml squeezy plastic jars are just $3.49, but hurry, this is a special order shipment that will not be available on a regular basis.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Really Tasty Cockney Cakes - from London of course!

Maybe It's Because I'm a Londoner
If it comes from my home town (London) it's gotta be good. What flavour of Cockney Cake do you like best?

What's Your Favourite?
How about Cherry Madeira? Or Banana Flavoured Cream Cake (oooh!), or Farmhouse Cake (really moist and sweet). Or Ginger, Coconut & Cherry or Angel Cake?

They Must Have Wings
They are fresh and specially imported from London, England for Blighty's - and flying out the door already at just $3.99 each. Go on, treat yourself (even if you aren't a Cockney).

Saturday, November 24, 2012

New! "Totally British" Magazine

The much anticipated first issue of the brand new "Totally British" magazine has been published and copies are available at Blighty's.

"Totally British" is Canada's own British celebrity, television, music, lifestyle, fashion, UK entertainment and recipe magazine.

Totally British is produced by the publishers of the very popular "British Canadian" newspaper and is on newsstands everywhere for the very modest price of $4.99.

Let's get behind this new magazine and give it the support it deserves! Buy your copy on your next trip to Blighty's, or order it online for shipping direct to your home.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Real Lyons Coffee From Britain

Coffee Aroma
When I was a young schoolboy in London, I remember waiting for the big, red, #12 double decker bus to take me to school. Just down the road from the bus stop was a Lyons coffee house and every morning the delicious aroma of roasting coffee would waft down the street towards me.

That was in the good old days when coffee shops would roast their own coffee on the premises. The aroma did the selling. Why advertise? Just roast some beans and watch the crowds pack in to the shop.

The Lyons Legend
The legendary Lyons brand name goes all the way back to 1887 and all but disappeared by 1978 when it was acquired by a big brewery. Lyons brand coffee is now produced by United Coffee Company of Dartford in Kent, England.

Try it and Compare
Blighty's brought in a special shipment of Lyons British coffee this week. Why not try a pack and compare the flavour and aroma to your usual brand? A 150g vacuum sealed pack is just $3.99 while stocks last.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Krakatoa Foam is Here!

Scotland's Blast from the Past is Back! 
Krakatoa Foam is a fizzy fun drink the kids will love. Pop a teaspoonful in a glass, fill with water, stir it up and watch it erupt!

Tingly-Noses, Burps, Giggles and Laughs!
Available in four fun flavours: Strawberry, Raspberry, Lemon/Lime and Orange. These tiny-but-mighty tins make 25 big glasses of tingly-noses, burps, giggles and laughs for a cost of less than 20 cents a glass.

Perfect for birthdays, sleepovers, Christmas parties and for a treat whenever the kids or grandkids have been good. Available now at Blighty's.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Quality Street - How to Identify the Real Thing

But What's Inside?
Quality Street candies are made all over the world. The name is the same but the contents of the tin are made to local standards.

You're Gonna Flip
Tins of Quality Street appear in the big box stores around Christmas every year at very tempting prices, but are they the real thing? Flip the tin over and look at the information printed on the bottom.

75 Years and Counting
What does it say? Some will say "imported" - but from where? The real thing is made in Halifax, Yorkshire, England - and has been since 1936.

Save Over Eight Bucks!
Want to take a chance on imitations made elsewhere? You may even save a buck or two. Or you can come to Blighty's and pick up the genuine item for just $19.95 for a big 820g tin. The same item sells for $27.99 elsewhere.

Chop Chop
But hurry. Our stock was special ordered for Christmas and we cannot re-stock. When they are all gone you will still be able to buy the imitation Quality Street made in goodness-knows-where, but you'll have to wait 'til next Chrimbo for the real British stuff.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

British Isles Show Details Announced

New Date, New Venue
Returning for its 22nd year, Canada's British Isles Show returns on a new date and with a new location. Following a 2-year hiatus, the British Isles Show will be held March 8,9 and 10 at Hall 6 in the International Centre in Mississauga (near Toronto Pearson Airport).

New Team
Show organizer, Brian Martin, has teamed up with Premier Publications and Shows (a division of Metroland Media, wholly owned by Torstar Corporation) to make this the best ever British Isles Show.

The show will host a variety of exhibitors representing the British Isles, including food, specialty products, travel and more. Entertainment will also play a large part in the weekend event with celebrity guests and entertainers. "We also hope to add a few surprises as well" said Katherine Breeson, General Manager for Premier.

Easy Scotch Egg Recipe Idea

Scotch Eggs are a traditional snack food in the UK. Enjoy them for Halloween parties, at Christmas or any time you fancy a good, nutritious alternative to junk food snacks.


  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Beaten egg
  • Square sliced sausage meat
  • Ruskoline breadcrumb dressing
  • Seasoning
  • Flour


  • Coat moist hard-boiled eggs in flour
  • Wrap in a blanket of seasoned sausage meat
  • Coat thoroughly in beaten egg
  • Roll in a bed of Ruskoline until completely covered
  • Deep fry in very hot oil until the sausage meat is thoroughly cooked
  • Allow to cool before serving
The square sliced sausage is available in Blighty's meat freezer. We also carry Ruskoline breadcrumb dressing, but you will have to go disturb your chickens to get the eggs.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Good Clean Fairy Story

Old Softy
The old UK TV ad jingle used to say: "Hands that do dishes can be soft as your face, with mild, green Fairy Liquid". Do you remember the tune?

Time To Do The Washing Up
That was an old ad from many years ago. Back then the dishes would be hand-washed three times per day, everyday. No wonder people worried about the effect all that detergent would have on their skin!

Sod It, The Dishwasher's Full Already !
Many people have dishwashers now, but there are still occasions when hand-washing is preferable. Like when the dishwasher is full already, or we want to clean a delicate item that is not recommended for the dishwasher.

Soaking Action is Built-In! Wow!
That's where Fairy comes in handy (excuse the pun). Now, there is Fairy Platinum with "built-in soaking action". Cowabanga! I wash dishes, how did I ever live without that?

Upgrade to Platinum - And Nobody Gets Hurt
Look, if you don't buy the hype, just accept this from somebody who uses Fairy Liquid everyday: it is better value for money than generic detergents because it is more concentrated, and yes it is milder on your skin. And Fairy Platinum costs the same as the old Fairy at Blighty's. So upgrade to Platinum today; it won't cost you a cent more!

$3.99 for a snappy platinum-coloured 433ml bottle.

Mad Cow Takes Taxi to Canada

I Wanna Tell You A Story
The late, great Max Bygraves loved to tell us a story. He would have had a field day with all the ammo Canada Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) could have given him.

Bungling Bozos
CFIA failed to protect Canadians from contaminated meat from the XL Foods plant in Alberta.

But they did protect us all from the dangers of eating McVities Penguin biscuits - by banning them from Canada!

Absolutely Unbelievable - But Unfortunately True
In case you missed the Penguin biscuit story, CFIA banned them because they contain added calcium. And the calcium comes from milk. And milk comes from cows. And cows have mad cow disease. Ergo, by CFIA logic you are in danger of catching mad cow disease by eating biscuits. You really couldn't make up a story so hare-brained if you tried.

You Don't Know What You've Got 'til It's Gone
Anyway, until CFIA regains its senses, there isn't a Penguin to be had anywhere in Canada. So the upshot is, we have introduced McVitie's Taxi biscuits instead. Taxi biscuits are made in the UK with caramel wafers and rich chocolate cream covered in milk chocolate. Just $4.99 for a pack of nine. Enjoy.

A Little Less Filling & A Lot Less Expensive

We Brits love our biccies - especially cream biccies. And none taste quite so rich and fulfilling as a bourbon cream.

Bourbon creams are a sandwich of two chocolatey biscuits layers filled with chocolate cream.

They taste unbelievably good - especially when dripping with tea after a good dunking!

Less Filling? Eat More!
Sainsbury's claims these bourbon creams are a little less filling - great, so you can scoff a couple extra with your cuppa!

Here's The Deal
Regularly $3.49, Sainsbury's Bourbon Creams are on special - for a limited time - for just $1.99 for a big 400g pack at Blighty's.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Simple Bread Sauce Recipe

We ran out of Colmans Bread Sauce mix just before Thanksgiving and some folks got into a bit of a lather about it. But, as I explained to them, bread sauce is one of the simplest sauces you can make. And you can make it from scratch for a few pennies in about five minutes.


  • Flour
  • Margarine or butter
  • Milk
  • White bread
  • Seasoning


  • Melt a tablespoon of butter in a small saucepan
  • Remove from the heat and stir in a tablespoon of flour; mix into a smooth paste
  • Add one cup of cold milk very slowly while stirring vigorously
  • Add a vegetable or chicken stock cube for extra flavour (optional)
  • Return to the heat and cook until the sauce thickens
  • Lightly toast two or three slices of white bread then cut into small croutons
  • Stir the croutons into the sauce until dissolved; use a hand blender for a smoother sauce
  • Season with salt, pepper and garlic

John's Notes
I served thick-cut pork steaks instead of turkey for Thanksgiving this year. I created a special bread sauce for pork by peeling, coring and finely chopping an apple. I microwaved the apple for a couple of minutes then stirred it into the bread sauce - a very tasty variation on an old tradition.

New: Drumsticks Chew Bars

Old Favourite
Here is an old favourite that is new to Blighty's. Drumsticks original raspberry & milk flavour chew bars from the UK.

Go Ahead, Tell Porkies
Only 49 cents each ... and we will believe you without question when you tell us they are for the kids in your family.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Good News - British Isles Show is Back!

Get ready for a spring 2013 return of the popular British Isles Show in Toronto.

The British Isles Show ran for over 20 years before escalating costs caused it to be suspended.

Blighty's has been keeping its ear to the ground for updates and this week the good news arrived.

Show organizers told Blighty's the British Isles Show will be back in March 2013 at a new venue, the International Centre near Toronto's Pearson Airport.

More details will be published as soon as they are available!

New Scottish Butter Sultana Biscuits

A Scottish Classic
Take your taste buds on a trip down memory lane and remind yourself that some things in life cannot be improved upon.

Try these new classic British biscuits from Border Biscuits of Lanarkshire, Scotland.

What You See is What You Get
Border Butter Sultana biscuits are light and packed with exotically enticing sweet sultanas. They are packaged in Border's classic see-through packaging so you can see exactly what you are buying.

Chocolate Gingers Too!
Border's classic biscuit range is made using traditionally authentic recipes and good old fashioned ingredients. Try Border Chocolate Gingers too. Each is just $3.99 at Blighty's.

The Best Buttertarts You Ever Tasted

Ok, I was skeptical at first, but my doubts were swept away at the first bite.

I took one of the pecan tarts home and offered it to SWMBO (She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed). She agreed - with great enthusiasm.

Are buttertarts traditionally British? Not sure about that, but once people try these it will certainly become a British tradition even if it wasn't before.

Sure, you can buy a 6-pack of butter tarts in the supermarket for a lot less, but they don't measure up to these deep-shelled taste bud temptations.

Blighty's has them on trial for a limited time, at $2.99 each, in a variety of flavours. Try regular, currant, raisin or pecan and be prepared for ecstasy.

The Maids' Cottage buttertarts are handmade in a local bakery using all-natural ingredients with no additives or preservatives.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Corrie Fans: Meet Tyrone and Kirk!

No Couch Potato
There is a Coronation Street fan in Halifax, Nova Scotia who does a lot more than just crash on the sofa in front of the TV to watch the world's longest-running TV soap.

Stroll On
Andrew Stuckless is the principal behind Stroll Promotions, a company that has brought a lot of Coronation Street actors and actresses to Canada. Stroll Promotions brought Corrie's Ken Barlow (aka actor Bill Roache) to Canada earlier this year. In the past the company's star guests featured names like Roy and Hayley Cropper (David Neilson and Julie Hesmondhalgh).

Tyrone & Kirk - in Person
Now, actors Alan Halsall (Tyrone Dobbs) and Andy Whyment (Kirk Sutherland) will be crossing the pond to entertain fans.

GTA Shows
Local venues include Hamilton and Markham. Tickets for Hamilton on November 19th available at or by calling 905-546-4040. Tickets for Markham on November 20th available at or by calling 905-305-7469.

NB: Blighty's Tuck Store is not affiliated with, nor a ticket agent for Stroll Promotions.

It's Darts Season Again & We're Stocked

If there is one compensation for the end of summer it's the start of darts season. Feet behind the toe line, eyes and mind focussed firmly on treble top, concentration intense; ready to spin around and brag loudly: "one hundred and eighty!" as you throw your arms in the air in triumph.

I Shot the Sheriff
But of course, it doesn't always go that well. You throw a Robin Hood and have to replace mangled flights and shafts. Your "arrows" hit the wire and bounce back onto the mat. Points need re-sharpening. And maybe it's time to try a different weight. If you only had an extra two grams that shot would have grazed the wire and slipped into the double you needed to win the game.

New Blade 4 Boards
Blighty's has the new Winmau Blade 4 dartboard in stock. Featuring a 50% thinner, staple-free wire designed to deflect darts into the board; the Winmau Blade 4 is the world's most-televised championship dartboard. Is it time to replace your old board?

Genuine British Darts
Our all-brand-new 2012 stock of British Darts has arrived featuring steel tips, 80% tungsten/20% nickel knurled barrels ranging from 21g to 30g, nylon shafts, Metronic flights and a handy pocket dart case.

Parts for Darts
And if you are a good player you are going to need replacement flights - lots of replacement flights. We have a range of dimplex flights in patriotic British and Canadian designs as well as Jocky Wilson shafts in three lengths and a choice of colours ... and of course, point sharpeners.

Original Hand Baked Shetland Island Oatcakes

Healthy Goodness
Here's a tasty, healthy treat for anybody looking for a nutritious snack. Stockan's Orkney Oatcakes are made with the goodness of fine milled oats and no added sugar.

North, Way North!
Made in Stromness, Orkney. Pick up a pack for just $1.49 at Blighty's.

Rush, Dark Chocolate Gingers Are Back!

Wow, Taste!
A captivating taste collision takes place when you bite into a Dark Chocolate Ginger. The crunchy ginger tang that ignites your taste buds is curiously mellowed by the strength of the rich dark chocolate that surrounds it.

Don't Wait 'til Christmas
These incredibly tasty biscuits are made in Lanark, Scotland and have been a best seller in Britain for more than twenty years. Blighty's usually only brings Border Dark Chocolate Gingers in at Christmas but who can wait that long?

Get an early taste of Christmas this week for just $3.99

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wacky 5-Minute Recipe: Spicy Spud Soup

Wacky or Creative?
Actually, maybe this recipe isn't so wacky after all. Maybe it's just a creative, alternative use for Smash Instant mash potato.

Flakey Ideas
Smash Instant mash potato is for making mashed potato for your dinner isn't it? Well, yes, but instant mash potato is much more versatile than that. You can use it wherever a recipe calls for starch.

For example, Smash can be mixed with flaked fish to make fish cakes. It can be mixed 50/50 with all-purpose flour and a little water and salt to make potato scones. I used it to make soup.

Taking Stock
Nearly all soups are made by cooking meat, vegetables or other ingredients in a stock. And the simplest way to make stock at home is by using Oxo stock cubes. I use one stock cube per cup of water.

Spicy Spud Soup
To make my delicious spicy potato soup I made 2 cups of stock using one Oxo chicken cube and one Oxo curry cube and boiling water. I then added Smash Instant mash potato flakes to the stock, while stirring over gentle heat, until I obtained the thickness I wanted. And the result? Very tasty indeed. Try it for a nutritious quick lunch or as an appetizer before dinner.

How Do They Make Blackpool Rock?

Kiss Me Quick
Blackpool Rock is a legendary British candy. Along with donkeys on the beach, the famous tower and sleazy "Kiss Me Quick" hats, it is a recognized symbol of the famous northwest England seaside resort.

How The Heck Do They Do That?
Blackpool rock's most recognizable feature is the word "Blackpool" running all the way through the length of each stick.

The process starts with boiling a mixture of sugar and glucose at high temperature. The mixture is then poured onto a large flat sheet where it cools.

Chop Chop
Some of the mixture is cut away and dyed the characteristic pink colour for the casing, Another big chunk of the mixture is cut away and dyed red for the lettering. The remaining white mixture is flavoured with peppermint.

Each letter is formed by hand - about fist-sized - from the red-dyed sugar mixture and wrapped in white sugar mixture. The letters are assembled to form the complete word "Blackpool" then rolled into a thick cylindrical shape and wrapped in the pink casing mixture.

Cylinders of handmade rock candy are then rolled and stretched to a length of thirty feet before being cut to length and wrapped in cellophane for sale.

Order Blackpool Rock online for shipping anywhere in Canada

Diabetic Marmalade? Thick or Thin?

Blighty's is pleased to carry a choice or thin cut or thick cut marmalade specifically designed for diabetics and anybody who prefers a calorie-reduced spread.

Stute brand diabetic marmalades are made in Bristol, England from genuine, quality Seville oranges. They have a higher fruit content than other marmalades but contain 45% less calories. No sugar is added during the manufacture of Stute Diabetic Marmalades.

Also available: Stute Diabetic Blackcurrant and Diabetic Strawberry Jams.

Order Stute Diabetic jams and marmalades online for shipping anywhere in Canada