Blog: Chris Brook-CarterCalifornian Postcard #1

Chris Brook-Carter | 12 November 2004

By Olly Wehring

So as my first week in the US draws to a close, it must be time for my first postcard home.

Many things remind me of the UK here in California: Friends is on the TV almost all day, you can drink the water from the taps, and they even have Safeway supermarkets. What I didn’t expect, however, was for the weather in the so-called Golden State to be so positively England-like. You folks make wine in this? It’s chucking it down.

Another observation has been the important role food plays out here, both in quality and quantity. A jet-lagged visit to the nearest restaurant on the first evening began with the waiter introducing himself by writing his name on the table cloth in crayon, then proceeding to serve us with a bowl of pasta each that would have slayed a herd of marauding wildebeast … or two.

A quick trip to the supermarket to buy some peanut butter for breakfast throws up an interesting conundrum. In the UK you can choose between two types – smooth and crunchy. And you’ll be thankful. Over here, peanut butter took up almost an aisle of the (already huge) supermarket. Soy-based, dry-roasted peanuts, salt-free. Erm, help?

Finally, a quick thank you to those of you whose hospitality I have tasted and an advance hello to those I am due to visit. Putting faces to names has rarely been so enjoyable, exciting and filling.

This is Olly Wehring, news editor for just-drinks, San Francisco.

Olly will be in California until 3 December. If you would like to meet with him, please email He can provide his own doggy bag.


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