Jul 112011
 
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Over the last few years, London has developed the reputation of being one of the best food cities in the world, with celebrity chefs such as Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsey and Marcus Wareing opening restaurants all over town. But another sign of how London has created a new food culture is the gourmet food markets that have sprung up to cater for the increasingly sophisticated palates of Londoners (who are, of course, a tremendous cultural mix in themselves).

The most famous of these gourmet markets is Borough Market, squeezed under the railway arches of London Bridge Station on the unfashionable south side of the Thames (which technically wasn’t London but the separate city of Southwark, whose medieval cathedral lies right next to the market). London Bridge attracted traders selling grain, fish, vegetables and livestock from as far back as the 11th century. In the 13th century traders relocated to what is now Borough High Street, and a market has existed there ever since.

It  is one of London’s oldest wholesale fruit and vegetable markets, established by Act of Parliament in 1756 and administered by 21 trustees who have to live in the local community. It covers an area of 4.5 acres. Borough Market, as we know it today, began over 10 years ago.

Borough Market Sign

Borough’s gourmet food market has about 70 stalls and stands. The traders come from all over the country bringing a range of fresh produce, fish, meats, vegetables, ciders, cheeses, breads, coffees, cakes and produce imported from abroad. It is open Thursday to Sunday.

This first post is dedicated to the British food stalls in the market.

Best_British_Cheese

Trethowan’s Gorwydd (pronounced Gor-with) Caerphilly is a mature Caerphilly made to a traditional recipe using raw (unpasteurised) milk. The Trethowen family — owners of Gorwydd Farm in the village of Llanddewi Brefi (say that 10 times fast) in Ceredigion, West Wales — is one of the only Caerphilly producers left in Wales.

Welsh Cheese

This semi-firm cheese is aged from nine to twenty weeks, during which time the cheese develops a thick, velvety, natural rind. It is a lovely sharp cheese that is a must for those who like a nice, crumbly yet creamy, tangy, slightly lemony cheese. A very versatile cheese to use either in cooking, crumbled over vegetables, or as part of a cheese board.

Gluten_Dairy_Free_Victorian_Sponge

Sugargrain makes beautiful gluten-free, dairy-free and wheat-free goodies that taste as good as they look.

Gluten_Free_Parsnip_Pear_Cake

Their parsnip, pear and sea-salted caramel cake is as moist as a carrot cake. The sign says “Just think white carrot cake”.

Hot Ginger Boys

I really like the clever remarks under each sign: their Hot Ginger Boy cookies say, “Girls go weak at the knees”.

Pietanic

Pieminister is a family owned business from Bristol that was started by brothers-in-law: one is a classically-trained chef and the other managed successful pubs in London. They now sell their savoury and sweet pies all over England. The Pietanic is a new arrival that is made with smoked haddock, salmon and pollock in a rich, creamy parsley sauce topped with a cheddar crumb pastry.

Irish_Soda_Bread

A Rick Stein Food Hero, Aston’s Organic Bakery of London has been baking  hand made breads, cakes and pastries since 1985.

Jumbo_English_Muffins

The Flour Station stall takes your breath away with its beautiful array of monster size English muffins, croissants…

Chelsea_Buns

and fragrant Chelsea buns. This bakery started in the kitchen of Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant.

Note: According to a recent article in the Guardian, Flour Station has been asked to leave the market because they are now too big. I think this is a real shame for the market.

Flower_Pot_Bread

The Honest Carrot stall sells vegetarian and vegan baked goods such as the flowerpot bread shown above.

Fish

Furness Fish and Game has beautiful fresh fish and game on offer. They also sell freshly made paella and Thai stir fry.  The Sussex Smoothhound in the photo above is a member of the shark family.

Whiting

They also sell plenty of other fresh fish as well as potted shrimps, smoked fish and much, much more.

Large_Scallops

Shellseekers Fish & Game is famous for their large selection of scallops, but food bloggers and photographers beware, they will chase you out of the shop if you try to take a photo.

My_Favorites_Rasp_Straw

Finally, there were a few stalls that were selling picture perfect British raspberries and strawberries. I couldn’t leave the market without buying a pint of beautifully, sweet raspberries. They were worth every penny.

Stay tuned for Part 2: The International Stalls.

 

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Baroness Tapuzina

avatarMichelle Nordell (aka Baroness Tapuzina) was a foodie from the womb growing up in the House of Weird Vegetables, so named by a family friend because all of the unusual and exotic food cooked and eaten there. She loves to change recipes using herbs from her garden and spices from the spice shops she enjoys visiting.

  2 Responses to “Borough Market Part 1- A Feast for the Eyes and the Mouth”

  1. delightful piece Michelle.

    Makes one want to fly off to Lon + ther borough market for a gastronomic “shuk” weekend break.

    btw what are their prices like ion the cheeses and other specialities in relation to our local stuff .

    cheers
    D

  2. avatar

    Thanks for the lovely write up and pictures on Astons Bakery, Sugargrain & Honest Carrot – all producer/stallholders in The City & Country Farmers’ Markets section at Borough Market – these lovely local producers were hand picked by us and attended Borough Market since December 2010!

    Could we use some of pictures please?

    Best wishes
    Chris

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