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Covent Garden Night Market

All August long on Thursdays and Fridays, starting from around 4 pm, Covent Garden is hosting its annual night market of food purveyors. There are perhaps 30 or 40 vendors there, many focusing on food for eating immediately, dinner and snacks for workers and tourists, everything from pork-and-stilton burgers to pasta with rabbit sauce. A large handful of the stalls were Borough Market regulars - such as the Olive Oil Co., De Gustibus, Neil's Yard Dairy - and at least one, Carluccio's, is high street deli. This meant I could skip all the brands I knew and all the stalls selling nothing but food to eat immediately and concentrate on what was left.

Simply Special ice cream was handing out samples of their honeycomb ice cream. It was amazingly rich and creamy, but the honeycomb a little too sweet for my taste. (Much like the company's name, unfortunately.) I bought a container of their mango, lime, and passionfruit ice cream, figuirng it would be more tart. Smooth, rich creaminess was, again, its highlight. The mango, lime, and passionfruit were all present, but with a delicacy that didn't match the robustness of its cream.

There were at least three bakeries present specializing in cupcakes. I tried one chocolate mini-cupcake from the Primrose Bakery stand, an elegant little confection sprinkled with purple-tinted sugar. I was rather tempted by the green tea shortbread cookies at another stall, but resisted - I had to save some appetite for imminent dinner! (The Lavender Bakery was also there - what is it about cupcakes and flower names for bakeries?)

I had a pleasant chat about cheeses with a woman from Norbiton Fine Cheese Co., but determined that nothing I was interested in buying would necessarily still be at its best 6-8 hours later when it could be finally fridged. I also ended up with wild boar and walnut (two different flavors) sausages from a specialist who usually retails at the Broadway and Dulwich markets. The sausages were nicely balanced, good texture with delicate spicing to bring out the flavors of the meats.

The market's on today, and next Thursday and Friday. It should be back again next year.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
kukla_red
Aug. 22nd, 2008 02:13 pm (UTC)
Whimper. I would SO love to be there.

However as a consolation, this is where I will be Sunday morning:

http://www.stowefarmersmarket.com/

Can't wait!!
owlfish
Aug. 23rd, 2008 07:42 pm (UTC)
That sounds wonderful! None of the markets I've been to in the Greater London Area feel like the amazing farmers' markets I grew up with. They're wonderful for prepared foods, and occasionally interesting and exotic ingredients; less good on just plain good produce. The one you're going to looks like a "real" one.
noncalorsedumor
Aug. 25th, 2008 04:28 am (UTC)
I love Covent Garden. Sigh.


Also, I had a food question that you may be able to help me with: is there a British equivalent of cobbler?
owlfish
Aug. 25th, 2008 03:29 pm (UTC)
Off the top of my head, no. Out of curiosity, I then went off and read about it - and there seems so little consensus even within the US that I'm even less sure now:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/536486
http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=24234&st=0

So which type of cobbler did you have in mind in the first place?
noncalorsedumor
Aug. 25th, 2008 11:18 pm (UTC)
Either one. I too have no idea which order (fruit-biscuit or biscuit-fruit) is the "real" cobbler. But generally, a baked dessert with fruit and either biscuit topping or a biscuit bottom. Personally, I prefer the biscuit-type stuff on top.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )