So it appears that Mimi and I are in competition with each other to see who can produce the most / best posts until we are reunited at Christmas. Let the games begin, because I have a good one right here.
The Borough Market, located near Southwark (pronounced Suth-erk”), London, may be the greatest market experience I will have in my lifetime. It takes place underneath a series of railway viaducts, so it truly is a borough by definition. The website also expands:
“Borough has long been synonymous with food markets and as far back as 1014, and probably much earlier, London Bridge attracted traders selling grain, fish, vegetables and livestock. In the 13th century traders were relocated to what is now Borough High Street and a market has existed there ever since.
In 1755, the market was closed by Parliament, but a group of Southwark residents raised £6,000 to buy a patch of land known locally as The Triangle, once the churchyard of St Margaret’s, and reopened the market. The Triangle, where you’ll find Northfield Farm and Furness Fish and Game, is still at the heart of the market today.”
What an amazing little patch of history. The Borough Market comprises three smaller markets, some of which operate only certain days of the week. I went on Saturday, however, which is one of the days the full market operates, spanning over three blocks.
The market offers fruit & vegetables, bread & cheese, fish & meat, and supplies other goods from hundreds of different vendors. These were my favorites.
This is called raclette.
Raclette is both the type of cheese and the method of the dish, coming from the french verb racler, which means “to scrape.” A wedge of cheese is heated upside-down in a hot iron until the top begins to melt and bubble. Then, the cheese was scraped off, onto a pile of potatoes and roasted vegetables. Godly.
These are some artisan sausages that I ALMOST broke a 4-year vegetarianism for.
This is a variety of gourmet salts which you could try with tomatoes they were sampling. My palette couldn’t quite taste the differences between a few of them, but I did enjoy “The Caviar of Salts.” Note the label.
This is every type of Turkish Delight known to man.
The ones that I tried were pistachio, cocoa, rose petals, cinnamon, orange, lemon, pomegranate, toasted almond, strawberry, and coconut? I think there were others I’m forgetting.
Then there were the mushroom ladies. They were expensive! Though the chantarelles were cheap compared to what I’d pay for at Kroger.
Then the lettuce people.
The tomato people.
The seafood aficionados. Note the blowfish.
The prosciutto carvers, fresh from the leg.
Every kind of bread you would ever want.
My favorite favorite, the GIANT vats of paella. This particular one was thai green curry, though the most popular was grilled chorizo with fresh clams. The line was loooooong.
And this guy did dried fruits and nuts. Pineapples, dates, figs, apricots, mangos, cherries, honeyed macadamia nuts, cocoa-dusted almonds, spicy cashews, and chocolate-covered basically everything.
Sarah Jo, Molly, and I got pies! One was a red-wine spinach & mushroom pie. The other was chicken, bacon, & vermouth. My fave though, was called “The Pietanic,” which was a fish pie.
If you’re wondering what I purchased, the answer is:
1 striped aubergine
1 banana shallot
4 purple potatoes
an aged belper knolle
2 ears of corn
2 weird-looking heirloom tomatoes
a french olive oil rosemary loaf
1 brogdale apple
a quarter of a giant pumpkin (prewrapped)
1 brandy raspberry truffle (which I ate immediately)
crème caramel that came in a jar!
and a farcelette! Which are wraps of various other spices to put in stews and whatnot. Apparently its a Spanish version of bouqet garni, but I have no idea whats in there other than bay leaves, because the woman spoke mostly French.
Also, I made friends with this guy from Rennes who ran a pastry stand outside my school, and he told me to come to Borough Market and visit him! I did, and he remembered me, and he gave me a huge brownie for free!
And thats my Borough Market adventure.