In London we visited the Borough Market situated by the London Bridge. I believe this is the most renowned food market in London. It's open Thursday, Friday and Saturday and is well worth a visit.
If bakeries are your thing, you will usually find at least one bakery selling their breads and pastries. In many cases you will find 3,4, or even 5 bakeries at a farmers market. This will save you time from having to travel all around a city to check them out.
Markets often have prepared food, too, so they're a great place to have lunch, dinner or perhaps something sweet with a coffee. The people watching can be very interesting too!
On our trip to London and Paris we always made sure we were carrying 3 forks in our pockets, so we could share a dish with each other. That way we could try many different dishes without getting full.
The range of food available at this market was astounding. The amazing colors that dazzle the eyes, like multi colored heirloom tomatoes, eggplants that come in different shapes sizes, fresh berries, and mouth watering watermelons are all displayed here at the peak of freshness. The only way to get fresher food is to grow it yourself.
The seafood is crazy here! You can find it all from razor clams, halibut, prawns, red snapper, lobster and octopus just to name a few things. It all looked like they just came out of the sea that morning. Freshness is the key word at any good Farmers market.
You will find meat pies that are filled with just about anything from Stilton Cheese to wild boar here, some filled with stuffing and fruits. They are delicious and very convenient for a quick dinner. Local farmers were selling their beef here too. Well aged and grain fed, I'm sure they would be the star on any dinner table.
The cheeses, sausages, breads and pastries are everywhere in the market and you can usually taste them and talk to the person who made or grew them. It is a real treat to actually be able to ask questions and taste before buying. If you are like me, you want to buy something different but are afraid to spend the money only to find out you don't like it and end up throwing it away. At the market, the vendors are more than happy to let you give it a try before buying. They take pride in their craft and the products that they sell.
The prepared food at the market is simply to die for. One of the vendors we stopped at was selling Ogleshield Raclettes, a traditional swiss dish. Ogleshield cheese is created using cows milk and is a semi-hard pungent cheese, full of flavor, with an incredible aroma that fills the air when melting. A half a wheel of the Ogleshield cheese is roasted under a hot iron till it becomes soft and bubbly with slight browning on top. Then a plate is prepared with some cooked new potatoes, gherkins and pickled onions. The melting cheese is removed from the hot iron and a knife is used to scrap the melted cheese onto of the potatoes. Simply amazing and delicious. At first I thought the gherkins and pickled onions would be strange but the flavor of the melted aromatic cheese went perfectly with the vinegary, sourness of the pickled onions and the sweetness of the gherkins. This dish made the top 3 list of the great foods I had in London.
While we were waiting for our Raclette, a media team arrived to do a piece on this incredible dish. I was surprised to see it was Thomas Keller a restauranteur, chef and cookbook writer were there to do a piece for a show. I wrote about a visit I had at Thomas Keller's restaurant in New York ( the Bouchon Bakery ). I see I wasn't the only one who loved the Ogleshield Raclettes!!
Some of the other notable stalls at the Borough Market was the shucked oysters, just a few stalls down. You can't get any fresher than these. I'm not a big fan of oysters but these looked really good and then topped with a red wine and shallot vinaigrette. Very tasty!
Then you had the sweet, sugary and savory Lebanese pastries and other pastries of the middle east. These pastries and desserts had an amazing smell that filled the air as you walked by.
These are pictures of the freshly ground spices and olives in wooden buckets. The homemade granolas were delicious and filled with fruits and nuts. Freshly squeezed fruit drinks, like watermellon, mango and peach just to name a few. You could spend hours just looking and tasting.
Many of the stalls have these huge Paelleras pans filled with all sorts of delicious foods. Again a top 3 dish was the Caribbean Chicken with rice. Filled with aromatic spices, tender chicken and covered with a spicy sightly hot sauce that was really fabulous. You could also get a Duck sandwich, rice and Mussels, Curried rice and prawns and many other dishes that I could share with you, but would take too much room in this article.
One of the things my wife Donna loved at the Borough Market were these giant sized Meringues, that were bigger than the palm of your hand. They came in several flavors including chocolate, berry and vanilla. Not too sweet and they melt in your mouth ..... so good!
Embebbed vidoe from Youtube:
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