British Connection offers authentic cuisine

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Delia Harper arrived in the United States in 1959, and for 28 years, operated a modeling agency. While she enjoys some of the foods we have here, she longed for the food she grew up on in her native England and started having some products shipped to her.

After discovering a large number of English citizens that now live in the area, and also wanting some native food items from Great Britain, she and her daughter opened up the British Connection.

"You miss it," Harper said. "It's like if there was an American store that opened in England, and if you lived there, you could be there in a heartbeat, because you miss your food. It isn't that American food isn't any good, I eat a lot of American food, but we miss our food because it is quite different."

She stocks a variety of beans and items like HP steak sauce produced in Great Britain on the store's shelves.

Harper says one of the differences in food items between the two countries is meat. Very few steaks are sold in England, but meat with vegetables enclosed in a pastry is common in Great Britain. Additionally, the sausages are not as spicy as American sausage.

Claudia Beidelman grew up overseas, married a member of the American military, and the two now live in the Wilmington area.

She says meat pies are always on her grocery list, meat stuffed into a pastry shell and filled with vegetables, and pastries like cream cakes, with real cream in them, not the American version filled with custard.

"And all of the other products too, the chips, which we call crisps, a variety of flavors - I think you can find 50 different flavors," Beidelman said. "The beans are different, they are not as sweet, baked beans, and the tea, you can buy tea is America, but it is just different."

Harper also says many of his customers are also from countries with ties to England, like Canada and Australia. She says more Americans are looking for English products, especially if they had spent time overseas.

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