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Zoe Mulford: Postcards (Blog)

Around Manchester: Weasel Coffee and Exotic Pancake Mix (Click Header for Full Entry)

Posted on March 8, 2010 with 0 comments

Every now and then, just for giggles, B and I stop into the basement of Selfridge's department store, possibly the singlemost surreal retail environment we have encountered outside Japan.

Things you can find there:

1) Service counters offering conveyer-belt sushi, Krispy Kreme donuts, high-end international and prepared foods, and British-raised buffalo jerky.

2) The unfortunately named Vomfass line of specialty oils and flavored vinegars, sold in bulk with fancy bottles to put them in. Usually there's a little tasting station where you can dip a chunk of bread into pistachio oil and mango balsamic vinaigrette.

3) An assortment of housewares so extensively designed it's impossible to tell what they are.

4) Novelty foodstuffs clearly meant to be given as gifts. Should you ever feel the need to give someone a marshmallow hamburger, coffee beans pre-digested by a civet (inaccurately marketed as “weasel coffee”), or an Easter egg costing as much as a train ticket to London, this is the place to look.

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We are particularly amused by the authentic imported foods from America. The price tags don’t show clearly in the photo, but by the exchange rate on the day it was taken, that packet of Aunt Jemima’s pancake mix is going for $7.89, with the accompanying syrup at $11.17. (Real maple syrup, further down the shelf, is for some reason cheaper.)

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The Lucky Charms (“America’s most famous breakfast cereal”) are on special offer - $11.17 each or two for $14.91.