Time has come for Christmas teaFortnum & Mason's Christmas...

Tidbits

December 03, 1997|By Elizabeth Large

Time has come for Christmas tea

Fortnum & Mason's Christmas Tea is only sold this time of year. It's a fragrant blend flavored with orange peel, cinnamon and cloves that's become a holiday tradition at my house. Yes, at $10.66 for a 4.4-ounce tin, it's about double the price of other fine loose teas; but as holiday extravagances go, this is a relatively benign one. It can be found at the Baltimore Coffee & Tea Co. (9 W. Aylesbury Road, Timonium) and other stores that carry a full line of Fortnum & Mason teas. You expect the price of butter to go up around the holidays, but this is ridiculous: A few weeks ago, a pound of butter cost $2.89 at my local supermarket. Now it's jumped to $3.39. There are two reasons beyond the usual holiday demand, says Terry Nagle, spokesman for butter producer Land o' Lakes. "A lot more butter is being exported this year, and more milk is being made into cheese." The demand for cheese has increased tremendously, he says, both for eating out of hand and because Mexican and Italian food has become so popular.

Sticky as a fruitcake

For those of us who love fruitcake in spite of the jokes, the current issue of Consumer Reports rates these holiday treats in order of sticky, spicy goodness. The two best, according to the magazine: Harry & David Fruit Cake Confection (to order, call 800-547-3033) and Collin Street Bakery Deluxe Fruitcake (800-248-3366).

Tidbits welcomes food news and notes. Send to Tidbits, Attn.: Elizabeth Large, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278; fax to 410-783-2519; or e-mail to elizabeth.largaltsun.com

Pub Date: 12/03/97

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