On a recent trip to London to taste and test the artisan food on offer in the most happening city in Europe, we spent a morning at the wonderful Borough Market. Having visited the website beforehand, we arrived with comfortable shoes, plenty of bags and most importantly, an appetite!
The stalls at this market are amazing, ranging from Italian olive oil, to French patés, linseed from Sussex, Caribbean sauces, Indian flavours, goats milk ice-cream, traditional Spanish dishes, genuine Turkish delight, European meats to the finest English and French cheeses. Borough Market is a Mecca for any food lover. The sounds on entering the market is enough to excite anyone let alone the aromas wafting through London’s oldest fruit and veg market. The atmosphere here is vibrant, fun and the general appreciation and respect for good quality food is infectious!
Naturally, we tried a lot of food and fell in love with everything we tasted. The home made baklava from the traditional Turkish food stall was amazing, it was quite literally dripping with sweet honey and rosewater. I thought I had tasted good baklava in the past … I was wrong! This baklava was fresh from the oven and the recipe has been handed down through the generations of this Turkish family – genuine, real and authentic, it makes all the difference!
Next on the menu was some traditional Spanish seafood paella. Steaming grains of flavour infused rice with vegetables, prawn, calamari and mussels with a splash of lemon juice, simply divine! Having survived on a diet of paella (and rioja) when I lived in Madrid, I was delighted to taste real Spanish food again.
We noticed a queue winding around one stall in particular and of course curiosity dragged us to the very back of it – in today’s world, if people are willing to queue for something, you know it must be worthwhile. It was. A bread roll stuffed with pan fried pulled duck, hot off the griddle. With snow falling around us it was only right to couple the duck roll with a cup of mulled wine (mulled wine in March? I know – but snow does that to you).
The cheese, oh, the cheese….I tasted so many that my ‘cheese experience’ alone would warrant a separate post! Goats cheese, parmesan, well matured cheddar, mozzarella, the smelliest blues and the purest feta. As if we hadn’t had our fill, we ventured over to Neal’s Yard Dairy, a store that has deservedly become an institution in its own right. Entering this store we found ourselves surrounded by the largest range of cheeses we have ever come across! Brilliantly displayed, one cannot help but be in awe of the arrangement and range of cheeses available. You will also find some great Irish products on the shelves here, Sheridan’s Irish Brown Bread Crackers, Macroom Oatmeal and of course, Barry’s Tea. Cheese lovers, check out www.nealsyarddairy.co.uk
Borough Market is a fantastic experience for anyone who appreciates good food, understands the importance of artisan food producers and will go to any lengths for quality ingredients.
Visit the Borough Market website, www.boroughmarket.org.uk.