Monday, April 08, 2013

Real Food

London has a good number of outdoor food markets, the most famous of course is Borough Market in Bermondsey.  Borough Market is big.  It has everything a foodie could ever want and more, but we recently discovered the Real Food Market on the Southbank and I'm a complete convert.  I have to confess that there's nothing I love more than street food.  This passion for eating on the run has got me into serious trouble in the past - food bought through a train window in then Yugoslavia which tasted divine, but left me unable to leave a loo for 48 hours! Anyway, back to the Real Food Market.  It's a very simple premise:  they deliver food that tastes great, is sustainable and ethically sourced and you buy direct from the producers.  The people behind the food are as entertaining and knowledgeable as their food is delicious.  We rocked up at about noon on Sunday and things were just getting going so there was room to walk between all the stalls and deliberate with watering mouths what we wanted to eat.  In the end we all had something different - sharing is non-negotiable..

The girls had Arancini wraps (stuffed risotto balls) from the Arancini Brothers station; Some of us went for the burger from Jacobs Ladder Butchery and Farm (legendary burger!) and some of us went for the pork bap from 'Love me Tender' with homemade apple sauce.  The hog had been roasting for over ten hours and was succulent and sweet with fennel seeds.  I really can't praise it enough.  There are a myriad of stalls selling a huge variety of food that caters to every tastebud.  I think we will be making it a regular Sunday outing, at least until we've tasted everything on offer!
 Comte cheese is sold by the Borough Cheese Company.  The Borough Cheese Company sells only one cheese: the French mountain cheese, Comte. In order to get the best Comte they travel to the Franche-Comte in Eastern France every five to six weeks, where they visit Fort St. Antoine home of Marcel Petite, affineurs of Comte cheese. There they select cheese for sale back in the UK.
 This delicious bread comes from The Flour Station which began life in the restaurant Fifteen in London.  Their aim is to bring new standards of baking to London and a wider availability of their handmade artisan breads.  All of their products are hand-made using truly authentic baking methods and they use top-quality, natural ingredients. The dough spends up to 24 hours fermenting and developing before being baked, resulting in bread with improved depth of flavour and a wonderful texture.
 Terry catches his fish daily and brings it straight to the market.  It doesn't get much fresher than that! He operates an artisan, small scale day boat with all fish being sustainably caught. Offering Grade A Native Oysters, lobsters, crab and whatever else he manages to catch, the local fish could include sole, skate, bass, whiting, herrings, cod and huss.
 'Popina' -  “All our products are made daily from scratch. The ingredients we use are sourced for their quality from the UK and around the world. Organic stone ground English flour, English free range and organic eggs, organic British butter and organic raw cane sugar are components that in various combinations comprise the basis of all Popina creations.”
I don't know the name of this producer (sorry!) but I do know that their hot tomato crostini's were flying out.  They serve them with a variety of toppings and this is first on my hit list when I return.

 The Arancini Brothers make their own arancini - traditional Sicilian risotto balls which they serve in wraps with cucumber, tomato, sliced apple, deep-fried crispy shreds of onions, chilli tomato chutney and homemade garlic mayonnaise.  Truly heaven in a wrap...
 Freshly made juices, Mango and Cranberry, Orange and Cranberry, Apple...
The Real Food Market is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Southbank Centre,
 Opening hours:
Friday                                 12.00 - 20.00
         Saturday                             11.00 - 20.00          
Sunday                              12.00 - 18.00

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