Eating (not out) in London


So, many people reading this blog know me better than just some guy spewing crap onto a computer screen. If this is the case, you might know that, during my time in Chicago, I was not exactly a gourmet cook. It’s not that I’m a bad cook. But, with the ability to eat out cheaply in Chicago, I didn’t spend a lot of time cooking. Now that I’d moved to a place which was a tad (ok, a shitload) more expensive, I vowed to try my hand at cooking again. It’s been a mixed bag so far. I lack some basic implements to cook that I’m holding out for when I move my things over and I’ve been working very hard so I’ve not cooked as much or as well as I’d hoped. This isn’t to say I’ve made vast improvements in my eating compared to Chicago though.

Anyway, this being a foreign country, things are set up a little differently here. While it’s possible and not unheard of to be near the UK equivalent of a Wal-mart or Dominicks, I have the good fortune to be near no such thing. So I’ve decided to make the most of it. I have a Fruit and Veg shop about 2 minutes from my flat. They literally only sell fruit and vegetables. I’m surrounded by small grocery/liquor stores which is where I can get the basics (in my case, things like juice, crackers, cheese, chocolate, beer, coffee, ETC).

Which just leaves things like meat and poultry. Alas, this appears to be a little harder as there’s no butcher around (there is a fish monger, but I’m not a big fish person). Fortunately, the UK seems to have a much better tradition of healthy foods and supporting the small farmers (even the big stores like Tesco and Sainsbury have large amounts of organic — and not the crap they try to pass off as organic in the big US stores — foods. So I decided to discover my local famer’s market. A quick search online showed that not only was there one nearby, it was only 10 minutes away and occurred every Sunday. It was really nicely attended and there where multiple stalls selling fruit and veg as well as poultry, meats, eggs and breads. Of course, with any of these smaller scale operations, you’ll pay more. I’ll certainly be making a Sunday trip there, however, as it’s some really good tasting stuff. I had some bacon, eggs, chicken and tomatoes from there and I was not disappointed. Anyhoo, here’s a shot from the market:


Hopefully, with this and my other local resources (and a great cookbook courtesy of Carolyn), I’ll be eating nice and healthy for the near future 🙂

5 Responses to “Eating (not out) in London”

  1. dina Says:

    yes yes yes! i love eating out in the states, but buying and cooking your own food here is a much better experience all around. oh, america, when will you learn? that being said, whole foods has just started air freighting over its oversized fruit to london… evil.

  2. matt Says:

    It’s odd that people seemed to be reaaaaally excited about Whole Foods coming here. I thought part of the reason Whole Foods in the US is successful is the lack of organic-type foods there. Here, every store has it. I know a lot of the stores in the US now have their own private label organic now too, but it seemed to coincide a little too neatly with the FDA relaxing the standards on what is organic. Maybe organic in the UK is weak as well?
    Anyway, I like the fact that I have a nice farmer’s market very nearby and regularly. My next making food entry needs to be a trip to the Borough Market (and a stop at the cool ass pub across from it we went to a long while back!). 🙂

  3. Melissa T. Says:

    I swear by this site- you can look up anything you want to make and then read people’s comments on how they tweaked the recipes.

  4. anne Says:

    You can tell it’s another country b/c the sign is actually punctuated correctly. Nice.

  5. dina Says:

    you got lucky with that sign- this place is full of ‘apple’s, pear’s and orange’s’. also lots of sentences like, “We need your details, complete the form below.” and this on official documents… it drives me batty. they may talk real purty, but the average person don’t learn no grammar here (except for lynne truss).

    there is only one body providing organic certification here- the soil association. if it ain’t got the mark, it’s not ‘officially’ organic. that being said, it’s really expensive and a big pain to get certified, which is good and bad… there are a lot of small farms and providers who are not officially organic, but are still producing stuff in an organic fashion. that’s where it becomes about talking to the people at the markets and finding out where their farms are and what they do and everything. local is the new organic, which is why i find the idea of whole foods here so bizarre.

    oh, i want to go to borough market someday…!