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To Market, To Market: The Borough Market London
So there I was, at a business plan competition at London Business School, giving my final pitch on a butter product we have developed (press release)… In the back of my head I thought: I could advance to the next round tomorrow (Saturday) and get invaluable feedback and perhaps fame for my product or I could jump ship so I can go to the infamous Saturday Borough Market that has been around since the 13th century. Hard core? I know… sounds a bit like the kind of person a Brit might call a “Market monger”, if monger means what I have quickly assumed it does… except that actually sounds a little scary to the rest of us, which is also just as accurate, since my market fetish can seem a bit scary to the common unbeliever… I go to market; you go to temple, we both exercise demons. (On second thought, I defiantly sound nuts).
Turns out I got both my wishes, I advanced (as a person, despite not making it to the next round ☺) and the next day I rallied up my convictions and proceeded to the Borough Market! I love going to markets around the globe more then anything, and I type my nextstatement with a slight air of defeat (the American in me may be to blame): The Borough Market was the best market experience I have had to date. Of course there was a plethora of food stuffs and other indulgences, but also the energy and exchange was enthralling, not to mention the size…
I was charging my culinary enthusiasm at every turn just overhearing a vendor calling out what goods he had on offer and even a “3 pound in your hand, 12 pound on my belly” joke at a fresh buffalo mozzarella stall. My travels have yet to bring me to every major market of the world, so I can not call it, but I have a feeling the Borough market is going to be the ultimate competitor. (Sorry, Ferry Building in San Francisco, I still love you though… and you definitely win over the Borough for fruit and vegetables.)
You can tell the growing number of tourists has had an influence… as time went on in the day we noticed vendors of delights a tourist could actually carry back with them: candies, fudge, etc. were the main offerings for tasting. One suspect that may have also been placed front a center for the same reason, yet possibly overlooked, is the Scotch egg, a popular picnic food in the UK. I found the pictured version (done in grand style with boar meat) at Sillfield Farm.
A ‘Scotch egg’ is a hard-boiled egg, wrapped in sausage meat, then breadcrumbs and fried golden. I was going to write up a recipe, but I think I’ve committed enough sins this year. This interesting treat is starting to also popping up across the pond at pubs as well. This stall was right up my alley (Borough market humor?). They had a firm hold on going big on flavor in their sausages and other products on offer.
Another particularly interesting, and very British find at the market was ‘potted’ varieties of game, at the stall: “The Potted Game Company”. Basically they preserve game in a bath of butter and other flavoring. This is of course interesting to me as I am all about using butter in unconventional ways, However I did not get to try any “potted wood pigeon”, as I was whisked away (moved on) in a wash of a couple Russian tourists, while I was waiting for someone to come forward and help me (I don’t blame them for not jumping at every person who stops, but I was standing long enough to speculate and snap a picture) but do wish I had made time to come around once more to check out the product, next time.