Saturday, 16 February 2013
London is pretty famous for all its markets.
Coming from a place like Hull, I'm pretty much used to shopping in Tescos, ASDA, LIDL, Aldi and the occassional Sainsbury's, Morrisons or what else.
Having a choice to buy food from a market is an amazing experience. Not only is it cheaper, fresher, more exciting....BUT....it's another place to take photos!! Ha ha!! So far, in London, I have been to the market near my work (Tachbrook Street Market), breifly walked through the one in Brixton during closing time, Borough Market (of course) and North End Road Market. LOVE them all!!
There is a 'crazy' Egyptian guy called Ali who practically lives in Tachbrook Market. He's funny. That market is great for street food. At lunchtime, there is always a queue of workers lining up in true British style to wait for their kebab or falafel wrap, or their Japanese noodle bowl or hot Jamacian jerk chicken. There's the option of a Thai Pad Thai or Mexican taco. It's great. It smells great and the food is great (I think!).
I've only really tried the falafel wraps. The stall is so busy. There is literally one choice! The one variation is whether you want chilli or not. Everyone just queues, and thats how they know who's wrap is who's! You also get to munch on a free falafel as you wait!....The wraps move along the production line and makes its way on the sandwich presser, briefly grills and warms the bread, it's wrapped in paper and its ready to enjoy!
You can also buy 4 for £1....
Borough Market is way too busy and full of tourists, especially by a Saturday lunchtime when things are in full swing. The market is cramped to the brim with people from all walks of life,...hungry to try the food, photograph the exciting environment and to possibly buy some groceries to bring back home. Actually there is no need to spend any money to get a meal!
There's always the paella guys who lets everyone have a little taster from their huge pan of smoking hot yellow Spanish rice, or the tons of bread/crackers that you can try, dipped in various oils or dips.
You can observe the facinating cheese stall where they sell a potato cheese dish that seems like it a bowl of melted cheese....it's very popular, but I personally think that it looks a little disgusting.
These people are busy preparing the most expensive cheese toastie that I have ever seen: £5!
There are small independent shops everywhere selling ethnic groceries, and most with baskets of fruit and veg outside; each bowl is usually £1. Totally reminds me of Spring Bank...especially of the shop next to KD Burger that I bought things from occassionally when I worked nearby.
Today I saw these small cucmbers....haven't seen any for a long time. These were the cucumbers that set me off on my cucumber obsession; tastes fabulous when chilled and sprinkled with a little salt, sumac and citric acid....totally amazing. I'm sure that it was Kadir who ot me hooked onto these!
There are still a load more markets to visit and photograph. Plenty more things to occupy my Saturdays if I want. For me, nothing will EVER beat the markets in Hong Kong. So so fresh....so much choice. In the vegetable section, the leafy greens are piled high. You can even smell the freshness. You never need to buy spring onions as you get given them free. In the meat section of the market it stinks....of meat....there is every cut of meat possible; hanging up on the rack, live chickens or frogs. The fish area is either occupied by swimming sea creatures or barely dead fish that have to be bought before they're not 'fresh' anymore. Blocks of fresh tofu, fishballs, wonton, eggs, freshly made noodle can also be bought, as well as the famous Cantonese prepared meats that go so well as part of a meal; crispy roast pork, sweet savoury char siu, soy sauce chicken....
Mmmm.....I'm hungry. And definately hungry for home; in every sense of the word.