Yesterday as part of my search for things both ancient (ancient in coming from my past life) and new, I went in search of Bombay Duck. I had already stocked up on the sweet chilli sauce. My Asian supermarket owner looked at me blankly. Bombay Duck? He asked his wife. I've heard of it, she said, but I don't know what it is. It's fish, I said, salted fish. It smells.
Sadly, I came home carrying my sweet chilli sauce, my sambal (very hard to get a reasonable variety of sambal in Australia now), my bamboo skewers, my Tom Yum paste, my Malaysian sate sauce, my Vietnamese vermicelli and my mild curry paste. I fear that I can no longer cope with the very hot. It's actually getting harder to get proper curry paste in the normal supermarkets - its all sort of a mock version. I used to make my own. but that was some time ago. I also wanted, blush, keens hot mustard powder. Do they still make it?
That eclectic mix is a sad sign of a mental retreat to a now distant past, a desire to cook again some of the things that I used too. Roast leg of lamb Swedish style? I actually have no idea whether or not it was Swedish at all, but in crude terms it's lamb cooked in coffee. I liked it because it was a little different.
While Bombay Duck is now apparently banned in the EU, sort of an Indian version of the British sausage for those who know their Yes Minister, I believe that we can still get it in Australia. So I live in hope.