This weekend, after having missed many opportunities, I finally made the trek to see the wonderful gem that is Borough Market. Everyone told me that it was an amazing place, full of food and drink and (at least on the Saturday that I attended) people.
Borough Market is one of the must-see markets in London, for it is among the largest and the oldest. Unlike the other markets that I have visited, this market is all food. Meats, cheeses, fruits, spices, teas, jams… If you can name it, it is probably at Borough Market.
Because it is more of a wholesale grocer than the other markets that I have visited, my primary objective was to eat as much as I could, mainly in the form of samples. That could not stop me, however, from trying the foods that are made to order.
To be clear, I do not eat a lot of meat. Actually, it would be more accurate to say that I hardly ever eat meat (I am a carb girl myself), but I decided to throw that out the window in order to commemorate this special day. If you ever venture to Borough Market, the first place you have to stop is at the Duck Confit stand. For a sandwich, it is only £5, and for an extra £3, you get mulled wine. I do not claim to be a food critic, but the duck confit sandwich was exceedingly savory. My only complaint was that I did not get the type of bun I wanted for my sandwich. They had either round buns or baguettes and I had the pleasant misfortune of having the latter.
After trying the duck confit, my friends and I wandered around the market, weaving through the sea of people in search of more food. As my friend Jordan pointed out, it was impossible to get through Borough Market and not want to eat everything. In truth, he quoted Lois C.K. and his famous, “the meal is not over when I’m full. It’s over when I hate myself,” which I had only deemed appropriate for Thanksgiving until this past Saturday. Usually, I consider the meal over once I have dessert, so naturally I though the tiramisu chocolate cupcake that I had after eating duck confit was enough.
After wandering towards the front of the market again, we walked to the organic food section, where we found quite possibly the most interesting booth of food I have ever seen. We found The Exotic Meat Company.
Here, I tried the most interesting food I think I will have ever tried in my entire life- kangaroo meat. I could not even believe that kangaroo meat was something that was legal to sell, let alone eat at a commercial market. I wish I could say I was too freaked out to try it, or that I was that much of an animal lover that I thought it was gross. I wish I could say I hated it, but then I would be lying. It had the same texture as beef, but there was something about the taste that was oddly satisfying. To be honest, it would probably be possible to make beef and spice it carefully until it tasted like kangaroo, but it would not be the same.
There were other exotic meats at the booth as well. There were ostrich patties if you desired to eat some exotic poultry, but at this point, I think I was proud enough of my courage. To be honest, I have never added and checked off an item on my bucket list simultaneously, but I am glad that I did. Maybe I will go back and try some more exotic meats? I mean, four exotic meat patties for £10? Not a bad deal at all. If I am ever feeling ambitious, I’ll go back and try the zebra or python or something.
I should have capitalized on my location. I could have easily trekked to Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, and even to the Globe Theatre because I have not yet seen them, but alas, I did not.
I probably won’t go back on such a busy day like Saturday afternoon. I hear that if I go close to closing, I can get a weeks worth of groceries for almost nothing. Besides, there are more foods to try at Borough Market, like the doughnuts or the oyster diner thing, and of course pies because there is no better English food. I mean, I did not even get to try any of the booths that Borough Market is famous for! Even though I say it all the time, I have to will go back to Borough Market.
Borough Market is nothing less than a foodie’s dream.
- Imani Parker-Robinson (London Undergraduate Program, Spring 2015)
Images © Imani Parker-Robinson. All rights reserved.
To view this blog post, visit Imani’s blog Adventure is Out There.