I like diversions and distractions, so some days after my walk across Tower Bridge, I found myself passing through London Bridge Station and it dawned on me that I was quite close to Borough Market. I don’t remember what I read about Borough Market but somehow it grabbed my attention as another stop and smell the roses mmoment.
I diverted out of the station and headed down the street and through the narrow alleyway that opened into the vibrant artsy food space.
I spent a good part of the afternoon—I remember it was a Thursday because one of the stall holders who I was chatting with told me I had come on a good day when the market wasn’t too crowded and that Saturdays was not the best day to come because it was too crowded on Saturdays to enjoy—browsing the stalls and sampling the ‘street’ food.
There was an amazing array of cheeses, straight from the cheese makers. It reminded me in some ways of Wales. Nothing like your typical supermarket cheeses. What concerned me, though, was how many of them had their cheeses displayed unwrapped—just totally exposed to the elements. I asked one man if it was okay to have the cheese exposed like that. He said yes. Thinking he hadn’t understood my question—because the only rational answer to that could be no—I asked him again, to which he smiled vaguely, nodded his head gently, and ever so matter of factly broke off a tiny bit of the huge chunk that sat on the counter in front of me, tossed a bit into his mouth and handed me a piece as well.
I don’t want that out of your dirty hands I thought but somehow I took it, hoped for the best, and tossed it into my mouth. I’d been tasting cheeses and other things from other stalls, so I told myself that if I got a belly ache by the end of the day I’d know that having the cheeses out like that was certainly not a good idea. If nothing else, the cheese certainly tasted good, though. It was from grass fed cows that weren’t treated with antibiotics, and your now the usual organic talk.
I found a stall too that did wild venison burgers. I don’t eat burgers but the blood type diet I’m following allows me to eat venison so I indulged in the samples. I passed that stall several times and helped myself each time, possibly to the tune of at least half a burger! It was absolutely delicious!
I came across a Jamaican stall as well that did pimento based condiments. It was good to see a Jamaican presence there, so I stopped by even though my blood type diet regime precludes pimento. I tasted some of her range and they were beautiful. So next time you’re in Borough Market, look out for Pimento Hill—they’re really cool with some great products on hand.
I tasted some fermented vegetables at another stall, and though they were great, the one I had in Wales was better. To be fair, though, everywhere has its own tradition for making fermented vegetables so you’ll find a wide variety of tastes and preferences depending on who has made it.
And then the highlight of my wanderigs was when I came upon Hook and Son, an organic dairy farm that sells raw milk, raw butter, raw ghee and some other goodies! I’d been reading the stuff on their website but had not yet managed to order any because their delivery schedule didn’t fit into my immediate schedule. I was so happy to see them. I went over and got myself a jar of ghee, a bottle of raw milk and a slab of raw butter. It’s now a few days hence and I can say the products are delicious! And healthy too. Ghee is better to cook with than olive oil as it has a higher smoke point, and it’s one of the allowed things for my blood type diet.
I also got some licorice to make tea, another blood type allowable; and I didn’t get a belly ache from sampling the cheeses and everything else. So altogether, I had a great time at Borough Market, and if I do go there again, which I’m sure I will do, I might treat myself to some of those venison burgers—I can’t remember the name of the stall but I’m sure my nose will lead me right there.
I’m looking forward to visiting some of the other great markets and sights around London—you know, stop and smell the roses…