Falling Pounds, Rising Maltesers

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What does the post-Brexit drop in the value of the pound mean? Well, to those living in the United Kingdom, it’s a bit of a worry to say the least. But to the contingent of British expats living in DollarWorld, it means something quite different … more Maltesers.

In my completely non-scientific study of several expat Facebook pages, nothing is as likely to get a love reaction as a photo of British sweeties. Next comes a “proper” Sunday lunch, followed by anything covered in custard. So, when the falling pound could have us turning to thoughts of a second home, sending money to Mum, or buying sterling to make the next trip home an upgraded dining experience (with admission to the expensive, but oh so worth it, Harry Potter Studio Tour!), why have we turned to extra-large deliveries of Maltesers to our US homes?

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Simple: a packet of Maltesers eaten in the deserts of Arizona or the blizzards of Wisconsin bathes the muncher in familiar comfort. That first bite into the little round ball of malted honeycomb wrapped in chocolate, or a taste of that Crunchie Bar or that Quality Street selection or that clotted cream or whatever your favorite British treat is, and you’re back home. You’re five years old and pulling a cardboard stocking full of Cadbury’s from under the Christmas tree. You’re nine years old and stopping at the sweet shop on the way home from school to spend your pocket money. You’re eating the two chocolate covered digestive biscuits your mum put on the side of your tea saucer when the hamster died. You’re a teenager, shoveling custard and Christmas pudding into your mouth, laughing with Grandma the last year she shared the festivities with the family. You’re wrapping that Crunchie bar in birthday paper because it was your dad’s favorite. The Battenberg cake takes you to that little tea shop; marmite takes you to toasting bread over the fireplace during the coal miners’ strike-induced power outages of the 1970s. And every bite takes you to the first time you shared these treasured, tasty memories with your own children while introducing them to the other half of their heritage. As you taught them to put the “T” in Battenberg instead of the American “D.” As you taught them to put clotted cream on first then the jam, depending on whether you were visiting Devon or Cornwall. As you taught them to experience the life you left behind, but the life that is still hardwired into their DNA. You hope.

So postings of the latest box-full of home goodies abound, along with the excited chatter of how much more we got for our money. Because a simple Malteser is edible proof that the falling pound can be a positive for some, and that in a native galaxy far, far away, you existed.

For a brief mouthful, the tigers of hireth are held at bay.

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