I’m sure you’ve all read here in the blog if you’ve read for a while, that there are some things we love to get in the US and bring home to Italy. Things like spices and ethnic ingredients not available here. Although many things ARE available here and I’ve learned over the years how to find stuff, there are still a few things that MUST come from home.
Last week I used the last bit of my “Fish Fry” coating for fish. I looked it up, as I always do, on the internet and are there are many recipes for “do it yourself” fish fry. So OK maybe I can make it. We will try it and see. But I’d rather just have a new supply from the US 🙂.
Today, I opened my penultimate bag of Carolina Gold Rice, also called Charleston Gold. I keep it in the freezer until I need it. And there is one bag left. Italy, of course, has many very good rice varieties. Most notable are Carnaroli and Aborio rice. A short grain rice used in risotto. I also use it for regular rice. There are also readily available, basmati, brown and multi-grain rice. All good. But none are Carolina Gold.
I learned, years ago, about Carolina Gold rice from a Low Country cook book. Of course I ordered some to try. It was probably the original rice brought from Africa by the enslaved to America. These people also brought the knowledge to grow it. The labor it took to grow, was intense, and were it not for the enslaved, it would never have been possible to cultivate it. A hard life. So it wasn’t surprising when the rice died out after the Civil War. Until the 1960s, when a couple of people bought old plantations and slowly revived the rice. It is now cultivated and sold by these plantations.
What? you may ask, is so special about this rice? Rice is rice, right? But not this rice. It is nutty, and buttery, and has a distinctive aroma when cooking and when on the plate. It doesn’t need any gravy or enhancement to be enjoyed. Both Luther and I adore it and I never have to say “this is Carolina Gold” Luther always knows. It is the aroma.
Anyway. We really love it and bring back pounds of it in our suitcase (much to the amusement of the TSA). Just another casualty of the Corona virus. Unable to go home, and having no guests to bring some we will carefully nurse this rice and hope it can be replenished in 2021. Believe me, there are many other things that are going on my shopping list for when we can go home. 🙂
We rejoice there is now a vaccine, and it will protect our health care workers. And then, later, the rest of us. A light at the end of the long tunnel we’ve all been traveling this year. I have very high hopes for next year. I am itching to have some guests! My guest room has lain fallow for more than a year. It wants friends to come. And we are excited to also begin to plan travel. All in good time. First a quiet and lonely Christmas for most of us. It has to be. We will live to see NEXT Christmas…Stay COVID safe…live to see another year! 🌈
Really? you order from the US? I get my rice from the plantations. I have bags sent to my sister and she keeps it until I come. The fish fry comes from them too. There are numerous things on my list. Some stuff we got when we went to the UK. Like molasses. And you’re right, peanut butter is not the same here. I’m told they use African peanuts…they don’t taste the same as our peanuts. Merry Christmas to you and Mark too! 🌲🎁
Hey Rach!! I have, of course, been thinking of you. I figured (hoped) you’d be first on the list for the vaccine. I really can’t wait for you to come over. Soon soon…
Do you use Carolina rice? If yiu don’t you may want to try some…soooo good. 💕💕
I hear ya! We order our Carolina Gold rice from Anson Mills. We also love their Carolina Gold rice grits, their cornmeals and their pastry flour. We also hoard White Lily flour for Mark’s biscuits. Then there is American peanut butter which is just not the same in the UK or in France. Vlasic dill pickles. Grandma’s Molasses for my molasses ginger Christmas cookies. And don’t get me started on Mexican food ingredients. Old El Paso just doesn’t cut it!
Now that our parents have all died, we won’t be making semi-annual trips to the US anymore. So, like you, we ration ourselves, hoping the supplies last until we go “home” again.
Merry Christmas! Sandi and Mark
I loved this post! I just filled out my “survey” to receive the vaccine at work – I’ll keep you posted! Then, hopefully, sometime not too far away, I’ll be able to visit, maybe with some bags of Carolina Gold and other things! Love, Rach