© 2009-2011 Quality Eating and Drinking London Ltd

 

© 2009-2011 Quality Eating and Drinking London Ltd

Articles in Markets and purchases category

Charcuterie & Co: the line-up

OK: here's the list of runners and riders in the event tent schedule. Keep checking for updates and expansions on these brief headlines.

We now have a coalescing list of exhibitors: again, return here for updates.

All public tastings are free and unbooked. Places are limited, so first come, first served.

Campus markets

We've mentioned the Farmers' Markets on campus before (Queen Mary, Mile End and University of London in Bloomsbury, both on Thursdays), but that doesn't account for other offerings springing up at universities around London and beyond. In the past two weeks, for example, the established Tuesday fruit and veg market facilitated by the Union of Brunel Students on their Uxbridge campus has expanded this term, and one of the newcomer traders is Carlin Seafood from Poole. Real wet fish! First indications are very good indeed: we have enjoyed mussels, scallops, dabs and red mullet, all at the peak of freshness. The simple price structure (such as £1 per fish for red mullet) makes it very clear to budget-conscious students (and staff and campus visitors) just how much dinner is going to cost. Also, the buy-and-collect-later facility (available until 5pm) stops the potential for olfactory friction in offices and lecture theatres as pollock might overcome PowerPoint.

Let's hear it, then, for other university and college markets: where and when are they, and what should one select there?

Caught in Bloomsbury

Thanks to a hitch at SOAS last Tuesday, I had to attend during office hours. What better time than 9am Thursday when, just by chance, the second week of the Bloomsbury FM was taking place? Amongst other goodies around the market, I was delighted to find a single pack of picanha steaks (600g for two) at Woodwards. They lasted out the weekend, of course, in their vacpac, and I opened them up this evening. With beef of this quality, less mucking about is more. Taking a bearing from the Portuguese, I covered the steaks in paper-thin slices of garlic (about a third of a head for the two steaks: after all, when the people of the Açores breathe out, the aroma will be dissipated by the time it hits Lisbon) and added about 100ml white wine, then left it for an hour. OK, four hours would have been better, but some of us have to work during the day. Scraped the gubbins off the meat, separating garlic from wine. Cooked the steaks, then the garlic and a chopped onion in the same pan while the meat rested awhile; meat back in to complete; meat out to rest again, and some cannellini beans in, with chopped peeled tomato and some more white wine, till the beans are heated through and you have a thick soupy sauce.

The meat was perfect, the inside coloured like a ripe fig. Magnificently tender, and very tasty. Another triumph for Will.

A perfect foil, in fact, to a stunning piece of cod (yes, that passeth all understanding) with very good chips, taken in the Hole in the Wall in Torquay at the weekend. This pub (pass Debenhams on your left, take the corner, cross the road, and follow the brown "Inns" sign, and it's tucked in on your left where hill gives way to steps) is worth a hat-tip for its food, its beer (Torbay Topsail and Otter Ale imbibed with great pleasure), and the fact that it appears to be a perfect local in a tourist hotspot, but which lets tourists be themselves, welcomed but not bothered. It's been there for almost 500 years, so they've had time to get it right, and the wit to avoid spoiling it.

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