Tag Archives: markets

more highlights from borough market and reasons why london is great: the second saturday

in what is quickly becoming a weekly tradition, i followed up last week’s vaguely hungover borough market trip with an even more hungover borough market trip the next saturday.  i already mentioned the enlightening food tour and the toasted cheese of the gods from this visit already, but wanted to share a few more photos because the market is just that awesome.

here are the highlights of this lovely saturday market trip, plus a few reasons why i am falling in love with london.

highlight# 1: the biggest vat of thai green curry with mussels ever seen.

biggest vat of green curry ever

if this isn’t a category in the guinness book of world records, it should be. then i could compete to be the person who consumed the most thai green curry with mussels ever. super stardom, here i come.

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eat my pies! i mean andy’s pies. and his scotch eggs and pud baps…

hellooo scotch eggs

if you’re seeing this photo back in the States, you’re probably thinking, GOOD LORD mei, what in god’s name are you eating over there? well, my dear friends, welcome to the wonderful world of the scotch egg.  the traditional scotch egg, as shown above, is a hard-boiled egg removed from the shell, surrounded by minced sausage, rolled in breadcrumbs, and deep-fried. if you’re still recoiling in horror from that photo, come over here and try one, because it’s  really seriously delicious.

i should stop here and say that the traditional scotch egg is not always delicious and is quite often pretty nasty. as andy, the maker of this delicious scotch egg told me, they’re usually sold at service stations (gas stations) and overcooked, mushy, and full of scary meat. thank god someone is addressing this important issue and that someone is andy.  as the chef/creator behind eat my pies, andy is bringing back the retro british delicacies with an impressive attention to ingredients, an innovative fusion of food cultures, and an emphasis on the thoughtful preparation of well-loved but often poorly manufactured classics. he also referred to a slow food-like philosophy on making simple food with good ingredients, an idea that he says lost traction during the war when fresh ingredients were scarce and led to the overprocessing of ingredients and glorification of fast food. i’m hoping to chat more about this with him when i’m not staring distractedly at a bountiful array of deep-fried things i can put in my mouth.

andy of eat my pies

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a fascinating, gag-inducing yet hunger-stimulating food walk of london

i just spent the most fantastically fun and educational food day wandering around london on a food walk and then exploring the mindblowingly incredible borough market. we’ll get to the borough market food porn in a later post, but for now be prepared to be inundated with a history of london eating, from the filthy and disgusting to the sublimely delicious, thanks to today’s food walk.

what’s a food walk, you ask? my absolutely cracking british friend michelle, who i met at sxsw, invited me on this guided tour where you walk around the city with someone versed in a subject like shakespeare’s london or hidden pubs in the city and other topics of that sort. she did a beatles walk with her mum, which is actually something i would like to with my own mum when she comes to visit in june. the point of this walk was to talk about the role of food in london’s history and then end up at the famous borough market just south of london bridge. our guide, ann, was a lovely and knowledgable woman who was very funny and full of random tidbits of history and food trivia. she reminded us of someone’s very british aunt who would welcome you into her home and serve you tea. and as michelle pointed out, it would most certainly be from a proper cup and saucer and not a mug.over the course of two hours, ann dropped mad science on the edible history of the city. here are some of my favorite gems of information to pass on to you, dear readers.

ann the tour guide in vinopolis

here’s our wonderful guide explaining a bit about london’s highly alcoholic history.

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street food art and flowers galore from the columbia road market

dutch-tulips-at-the-market

i’m trying to entice everyone i know to come visit me, so here are some photos from the spectacularly beautiful columbia road flower market that takes place every sunday about five minutes from my house.  i happened to wake up at the ungodly hour of 6am last sunday and so i got to experience the market setting up. the food graffiti was spied along the way.

how happy does this picture make you? dude’s got his own banana tree! that’s definitely a reason to smile.

dude-with-the-awesome-banana-tree

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this little piggy got roasted at the market (with fresh homemade applesauce)

people-enjoying-the-market-scene

i absolutely love markets. farmers markets, flea markets, even supermarkets in countries other than my own always bring a smile to my face no matter what kind of mood i’m in. things have been a teeny bit frustrating here in london what with the backwords hurdling werewolf chase of setting up a business. it’s been quite exciting but a bit exhausting, and going to the market is a great way to slow down and clear my mind.  we are sloooooowly moving towards signing our lease, but as non-citizens with no proof of UK employment, this process moves at about the brisk pace of the yearly expansion of finland‘s land mass thanks to post-glacial rebound. yes, post-ice-age isostatic recovery always provides me with an endless source of entertainment.

post-glacial rebound aside, i am here to talk about the endless excitement of markets. to tantalize your tastebuds and stimulate your imagination as to how ridiculously wonderful our apartment will be once we actually get it, i’ll show you some photos from last week’s broadway market. our hopeful new place is sandwiched right in between this phenomenal saturday market, chock full of independent food retailers and fashion stalls, and the famous sunday morning columbia road flower market. my first visit there will be to stock our new flat floor-to-ceiling with bouquets and plants and loveliness in bloom.

thus, we will have a one-two punch of back-to-back weekend marketing within a five minutes walk radius of our place. this idea makes me happy as a pig in sh*t.  or,  happy as me with a roasted bit of pig in bun in hand. miraculously, this exact item happened to be on sale at the first stall of the market. this poster, and the accompanying smell, called to me with  caressing words of love and promises of porky perfection.
roast-hog-menu-at-broadway-market

yeah. for reals. i’m obsessed with this stand. they have a huge metal grill with a slowly rotating hog on a spit. when you order, they grab a ciabatta from a stacked pyramid of rolls in a cute wicker basket and slather it with homemade applesauce. it’s soft on the inside, but hardy enough to contain an massive helping of sandwich innards. then goes in a handful of roquette (which i assume =  rocket, which also = arugula…where are we, europe or something?) and then a generous serving of succulent moist pork. the crowning detail that swiftly buys my adoration? a few carefully selected pieces of crackly pork skin, artfully placed on top of this work of art.

roast-hog-with-arugula-and-applesauce-on-ciabatta

HELLOOOOOOOOOOO BEAUTIFUL.

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