Borough Market

No trip to London is complete without a visit to Southwark's Borough Market. The venue is a foodie heaven. Peter Gray reports.

You really have to hate food not to love Borough Market. The venue has something for absolutely everyone, with a dazzling variety of meats, cheeses, chocolates, cakes and street foods for the visitor to enjoy.

Infinite Variety

Every palate, however niche, is catered for. For example, there is a stall (the Wiltshire Chilli Farm) which sells nothing but chilli sauce. The sauces have wonderful names like Trinidad Scorpion and Cranberry Kick, but it still seems quite a tiny market. “Do you actually make any money from this?” I ask a friendly looking woman working on the stall. “Oh yeah” says Andrea, cheerily. “Our most popular sauce is the Trinidad Scorpion” she smiles. “that sells incredibly well”.

Another stall (Whirld) sells nothing but fudge. The manager of the stall, John, tells me that his most popular flavour is “Sea Salted Caramel”. “And the most challenging?” I quiz. “Ah, that would probably be the Salted Liquorice” he says, smiling. He clearly notes my pained reaction as he quickly attempts an explanation. “It’s (Salted liquorice) a traditional sweet in Holland and salt and sweet foods just tend to be moreish” he says.

Free From Foods

Borough Market has a fantastic range of free from foods too. There’s a gluten free cake shop called The Free From Bakehouse. The stall makes such delicious cakes that I begin to wonder why other producers have so much trouble making gluten free food.

Borough Market’s vendors are uniformly friendly and welcoming, and the traders are only too happy to explain where their food comes from and how it is produced. Many of the stall holders have been working in the market for decades.

Borough Market Pop Ups

On the day I visit the market, there’s a pop up in the glass covered Market Hall. It’s called British Characturie Live. The top dogs (or should that be pigs?) of the British Characturie World have gathered together for the event which has attracted a large crowd to the market. The organisers of the even are encouraging visitors to sample each vendor’s products and they are handing out scorecards so that visitors can rate each sample.

World Foods at Borough Market

Today’s market is incredibly cosmopolitan, with food from almost every corner of the world. There’s Eat Chay, a pan Asian mixture, L’ail Olive, which specialises in Malaysian Curry Noodle, there’s Indian street food from Horn Ok Please (don’t ask) and German deli from the German Deli Company. If that were not enough, there’s Pad Thai from Khanom Krok and a traditional British pie and Mash shop called Pieminister. Oh, there’s also a stall (Pochi) selling Japanese Rice bowls. There are so many stalls that I could not possibly list them here. More information on the vendors at Borough Market can be found here.

Despite the hype, Borough Market more than lives up to its reputation. The range of foods is dazzling and the atmosphere is incomparable. The market is truly a foodie’s dream and no visit to London could possibly be considered complete without a visit to this incredible corner of South London.

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