Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Market Cravings

I want to go back to Spitalfields Markets, the one near Liverpool Street Station.

It's not because there's a chocolate shop there; there is and it has some rather nice truffles, even if I do say so myself.
But it's because of one of the stalls there, a baked goodies stall piled high with a delectable array of sugary goods. However there is one thing in particular that stands out; the pyramid of Loukoumades, deep fried doughnut balls drenched in a honey syrup.
With a paper bag of six, I'd wander around the remains of the market nibbling on each one in turn, savouring the crunchiness and the contrast with the eruption of the syrup into your mouth when each one was bitten into.
They never did last long enough for me to get a photo.

The other market I miss is Borough.

It is the foody market in south London, providing tables of fruit and vegies, fresh seafood, baked goodies, olives, lollies, meat (fresh and preserved), cheeses, bags of assorted chocolate truffles... all clustered near Southwark Cathedral under the tracks leading north from London Bridge Station.

It also possessed a tangle of alleys lined with stalls from which one could procure the most delicious food, provided one was willing to join the end of each queue. It felt as though there was everything under the sun, including exotic hamburgers, melted cheesey potatoes, paella, fresh oysters...

However my absolute favourite was the caramelised duck and rocket with hot mustard on ciabatta roll. It was from one of the many stalls with a lengthy queue, but the moist sticky flesh, full of flavour, teamed with the bitterness and heat of the rocket and mustard are amazing; one of those dishes that others see and wish they'd bought themselves.

Always a fan of duck, I discovered it on my first trip to Borough Markets and must admit to buying it again and again on each subsequent trip.

When the crowds inevitably became too much, we would gather together our purchases and begin the leisurely stroll upstream towards the Tate Modern and St Paul's, or cross the Thames to wander in search of a sunny bench where we could sit to enjoy the rest of our treats.

Caramel about to devour a Portuguese Custard Tart 

... provided the ravens don't steal them from you.

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