Here’s a tiny blurb about life in my new environment:
Tesco is down the street. They are the UK’s largest supermarket chain, think Safeway in the US. Generic, filled with irritating British mothers and their unruly children, with prepared food as far as the eye can see and bad produce. (Good arugula though, I have to admit). Tonight Marina and I had our hearts set on risotto. And Tesco, with 500 types of frozen pastys, has only one brand of arborio rice. And it is out of stock.
No problem, we’ll just stop at one of the other shops on the way home, there are loads.
But they are all SE-asian shops, with one Polish shop thrown in for good measure. Turns out that Poles apparently don’t eat risotto. But South Indians do!
In the south of India, they make something called idli, which near as I can tell is a fermented rice ball. Not something I’d order off the menu normally, but in the supermarket you can’t see the final product… just the ingredient. And I’d recognize arborio anywhere, even in an Indian grocery store. I bought it because I was 90% sure that idli rice is the same as arborio, and when I got home I Googled it: sure enough, if you are trying to make idli and you can’t find the right rice you can substitute arborio!
Or vice versa, in my case.
Excuse me, I have some risotto to stir.