The Guardian - Friday January 21 2000
The World's your oyster
Claire Phipps tracks down Briatin's top gourmet shopping sites
'Not so long ago, the fine food fanatic would view the hunt
for authentic but elusive foodstuffs such as truffles and Norwegian
goats cheese as proof of culinary dedication. He or she would
think nothing of driving miles up muddy farm tracks in search
of, say, Goucestershire Old Spot dry-cured bacon from a rare pigery.
For the rest of us, who only fancied the occasional nibble
of foie gras or wind-dried tuna, such a prospect was enough to
send us running for the supermarket and a ready-made lasagne.
But those were the days when finding anything more exciting than
a button mutton mushroom on the high street involved as much sweat
and toil as sniffing out truffles in the woods of Piedmont.
Today the internet can deliver the most exotic foods straight
to your doorstep. There is a downside, of course. unlike other
online shopping, you'll rarely find decent disounts*.
But at least you'll be paying handsomely for food you can't pick
up on the average high street.
www.teddingtoncheese.co.uk - A better classs of cheese - 130
varieties in fact - gathered from farms across britain and Europe.
Try Gjetost (a Norwegian goat's cheese with a fedgey apperance)
or French Epoisses.'
* Note from the Teddington Cheese
- 'The food retail business is very different from other forms
of retail shopping. The competitive nature of the food business
and the public's expectation means that the mark-up levels are
very low. Clothes and other goods, on the other hand, are able
to triple the prices they actually pay for there goods. Even when
a clothes retailer offers a 50% discount they are still making
a reasonable profit'.