Wednesday, March 28, 2012

comida y cultura: londres

one of the highlights of my trip to london was without a doubt the food. my plan was to try to find the right balance between serious ethnic food and native english food. i think that i succeeded.

the first morning i had the pleasure of stumbling upon a visually stunning outdoor food market along the river. it was there that i was faced with the daunting task of deciding what to get.

after enjoying a shockingly good piece of aubergine stuffed kibbeh, i decided to indulge and procure a small piece of baklava. the guys making it were actually syrian, after all (the unibrows confirmed). although it was only the first of 3 pieces that i tried that day (i was on vacation, shush!), it was definitely the best of them all. i am currently drooling over the recipes on their website. it is worth a glance.

from there, i was deposited into the capable hands of my friend´s friend, who as it turns out is from chicago, and just as big of a foodie as i am. por eso, he took me to borough market, and i think that i just about died. 

i had heard it described as a foodie heaven before, but alas, my skepticism prevailed right up until we walked up to the first stand. from there, it was destiny.

everything was delicious.

the fact that anthony goes almost every week and knows all of the stands by heart undoubtedly augmented my experience. guided by a voice of foodie reason, i tried everything under the sun. spicy curry, fragrant olive oils, chewy sausages,  tart jams, intriguing compotes, roasted nuts and stinky cheese abounded. and then there was the goat milk ice cream. what? yes, goat milk ice cream. i honestly do not know what i was more happy about, the fact that i was able to thwart my lactose aversion while enjoying one of my favorite foods, or the fact that it was absurdly good and PISTACHIO flavored. (in my opinion pistachio and chocolate are by far the most complex flavors to master in ice cream form. now imagine executing either one of them superbly, in GOATS MILK). i am trying to exercise restraint with the use of capitalization here, but want you to know that i am really struggling.    

after an afternoon of absolute bliss then, i felt as though there was nowhere to go but up. oh london, though. unfortunately, the beer there is terrible! after meeting up with my friend craig, the three of us went to a pub in an attempt to recreate what i had envisioned as the quintessential london experience - drinking in a pub. well, that we did, just not happily. 

leaving the liquid dissatisfaction behind though, let us return to the focus at hand - comida y cultura.

the next day i went on a whirlwind tour of the city. i took on the:
  • tate modern
  • london eye (the big ferris wheel)
  • churchill war rooms museum
  • westminster
  • parliament
  • big ben
  • the national gallery
  • trafalgar square
  • buckingham palace
  • hyde park
and more. but phew, right! along the way i managed to pick up more surprisingly well done middle eastern food, and then FISH AND CHIPS. i was resolved to eat it, and damnit, it was actually quite good. the batter on the fish was light, the chips were good and crispy, and i was happy.

though i have much more to report on espaƱa, i am off to morocco in a few days and need to get my ducks in a row before i go. hasta luego!

No comments:

Post a Comment