Friday, 22 May 2009

borough-ing thru food

a rather sunny friday afternoon found me at borough market
and that too after a long time - i and i had spent a fair amount of time here the year before when we were still at university and had enough time for leisure. i had forgotten how crowded and how delightful borough is. my timing didn't help as it coincided with lunch time and the market was full of suited booted men and women in a rush to grab the tempting array of sandwiches, burgers and wraps that can be found around this teeming food market. 

borough smells of grilled and cured meat, brine, fresh fruit, grilling onions, fish and chocolate simultanesouly. every food stall leaves its mark. at the veg shop i am wrapped in the smell of shiny oranges that are being juiced. i walk through brindisa with its smell of cured meats, the olive stalls smell briny and the olive oil ones of fruity virgin oils - outside the chartucurie i pause to take a picture of a pig shaped board displaying the menu. 

deciding what to eat is hard. i see people walking past with all manner of tempting wraps, juicy burgers and what not. at degustibus one of the servers is busy carving salt beef stuffing it into bread that has been slit around the middle to open its face. some one walks along with a steak sandwich. a man in corporate garb holds his burger at arms length in a bid to avoid the juices from ruining his clothes. i see a girl bite into steaming hot falafel that smells delicious. there is fresh pasta and gnocchi and bean burgers all in a row one after the other. i am getting hungrier and hungrier and more and more confused. 

in narrowing down my options there were two camps - if it was veggie then there was veggie burgers or falafel wraps with tahini. if it was meat then it could be a fish stew with open faced clams, a smoked prawn wrap, venison burgers or a chicken wrap. i vetoed the veggie option against the backdrop of the rich meaty smell that surrounded me. the chicken wrap option got elimated because it was going to take a twenty minute wait. the smoked prawn wrap was out on account of too much mayo [not a big mayo fan], fish stew was too messy and too big a serving - so it had to be a venison burger. what i got was a soft white bun with a really succulent venison patty accompanied by some really strong peppery mustard, grilled onions and ruby red cranberry sauce. i sat on the curb side almost infront of neal's yard diary and monmouth coffee. straying strands of sunlight fell on me as i ate my burger while breathing the smell of neal's yard cheese and whiffs of freshly ground coffee.

this is my idea of perfection and bliss.