Last Saturday I finally visited Lörrach food market in Germany which happens every Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. I was never keen to go to the food market across the German border but since I have had some German lessons since January, I am more excited to explore more in Germany. I am not even close to fluent yet, still a long long way to go but the big difference in the exchange rate between Euros and Swiss Francs. We can really save a lot from shopping in Germany. Previously I preferred to go across the French border (St. Louis and Mulhouse) because I can communicate better in French. Now it’s time to explore the German side.
Last Thursday I have spent a long lunch at London’s Borough market. It’s opened on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Saturday would be the best day to go but Thursday was the only day I could go. Nevertheless, I enjoyed very much that day, it was still busy, not overly crowded there.
That day I was very lucky as there was no rain, not even a drop for all 5 days while we were there. Very unusual for British weather!
To get there, the easiest way is probably by tube (underground) and get off at London Bridge Station which you will see the Borough Market just in front of you.
This food market is kind of semi-covered, when you are inside, you can hear the trains rumbling above you.
Can you see the London bridge there?
Before I decided which stall I should visit, I quickly had a look around. Since it was lunch hours, there were long queues everywhere so I thought I could make use of this time for a brief investigation & take some pictures first.
Eventually, I have decided to have the Heavenly Halloumi Burger from The Veggie Table as my first course. This stall had the longest queue, so it must be good! And ? Even as a non-vegan like me, I had to put my thumb up, hahaha! It was so yummy, I chose the one without bun (so I could try more food from other stalls) but served on a cabbage leaf with some hummus and salsa on top! You can also buy them and cook them at home!
Here comes my yummy Veggie Burger!
I think it’s very cute and enviromental friendly to serve on a cabbage leaf!
My second course was Stir Fried Hand Dived Scallops with bean sprouts and bacon served on the scallop shell from Shell Seekers, they were like the Japanese teppanyaki. The scallops tasted very fresh and went very well with bacon pieces.
After the two courses, time for a little dessert, it was pretty hard to choose, there was this stall called Sweet Boulangerie & Patisserie which has two shops located in King’s Cross. That day they had these huge meringues, Lamingtons and Portuguese egg custard tarts, canelé and other cookies. The French guy was making a joke on me saying: “Oh Mademoiselle, the lovely meringues are for your stomach and not for your camera : ) “ I have then chosen a Lamington as I have not had one for a long long time and a few canelés to take back.
I took my Lamington to Monmouth Coffee Company which is just opposite round the corner, and enjoyed it there with a very nice cup of cappuccino. I like this coffee place, rustic and cozy! I am not aware that this coffee company was founded since 1978 in Covent Garden, they like sourcing interesting coffee from all over the world.
I like this self-service Bread, Butter and Jam station, a big wooden table in the middle!
I like the London cab parking just outside the entrance, make it more British feel!
Apart from all kinds of chocolates you will find in the market, one hidden gem I found was the Turkish Delight counter, they have so many flavors and they are really fresh and yummy! I am not a big fan of Turkish delight myself because those I tried in the past had a perfume taste but I changed my mind after trying these ones. I had to buy some home before I left!
So that was my satisfying 4-courses lunch! Until next time and hopefully on a Saturday!
Want more? Please feel free to visit my full album of Borough Market in flickr.
And if you are a food market lover, I have four other posts featuring food markets which you may be interested too:
Peterplatz, from the outside
Basel Herbstmesse or Herbschtmäss in Swiss German (Autumn Fair) is the oldest and largest fair in Switzerland (this is the 485th times this year). It is an event which not only kids look forward to but also for those who are young at heart who wants to have a bit of fun, go for a few rides, scream when coming down from the Power Tower; and for those who like street foods and local produce.
Being a non-Swiss, I am curious to know all kinds of food selling in the market stalls. This year I got to taste a few more things that I have not tried before. Thanks to Carmen for showing me all these goodies. So apart from just having sausages, raclette, Gebrannte Mandeln (almonds roasted in sugar), glühwein (mulled wine), Apfel most (Freshly non-filtered apple juice, warm or cold) and Magenbrot (spicy sweet bread), I have discovered a few more things this year.
Fresh Magenbrot (Fresh Stomach Bread) contains stomach-friendly spices, such as cloves, cinnamon, star anise and nutmeg flowers, it is said this is good for your body after having the heavy food from the food stalls and help your digestion.
Gebrannete Mandeln (Almond roasted in Sugar)
Beckeschmütz, these are the softest marshmallow in the world and my favorite. They are softer than you imagine. There is one stall where you can get white chocolate coated. They have to be consumed within 2 days maximum. I like buying a few home and eat as desserts.
Frisch Wacker Rosenkiechli, these traditional cakes are in the shape of roses, they are very light in texture and sprinkled with icing sugar. I tried it 2 years ago but not this year, it’s not even possible to try a round of everything. Too heavy!
Kokosmakrönli (Coconut Macaroon)
Schoki Bananen, these are chocolate coated bananas, you can choose milk chocolate or white chocolate coated. This stall uses Lindt chocolate. The base of these bananas are coated with a layer sesames, they are simply lovely.
A cheese stall, small production not mass production cheese
Kartoffelpuffer (Potato pancakes), this is a traditional snack originated by the Germans, Czechs and Austrians. I found several recipes in the internet which you can replicate at home. A portion comes with 2 big pieces, make sure share with friends. There are 2 sauces you can choose to go with them: apple sauce or garlic sauce. I chose apple sauce. They were really crispy, tasted like a bit of my mom’s potato cakes (chinese version) that was the smell which had attracted me to try.
This is how the Kartoffelpuffer look like.
Kääskiechli (Swiss quiche), I was told this one is very good, the size per piece is not too big so you can save up some space in your stomach to try other things
Schùnggegipfeli (Left) & Èpfel im Schloofrògg (Right), more pastries, these are for next year to try out.
If you want to try more different types of food, you will have to visit the fair several times as one or two food items can fill you up very quickly. My excolleagues always get together at least one lunch gathering in the fair each year and have some fun together. It’s very refreshing to get some fresh air before getting your heads down again.
There are 6 places where the fair is happening at the same time but the one in Peterplatz has the longest history and I found the foodstuff there are better than the other sites. If you want to go for a few rides, then Messeplatz will fulfill your appetite. One thing I have noticed here is that most of the market stalls get the same spot each year, this makes it very convenient for us as we would know where to find our favorite stalls the following year.
There are just a few more days until the Herbstmesse ends this year, however, by the time you read this post I should have arrived Hong Kong and will stay for 2 weeks seeing my family and friends . So will have to wait until next year to discover more things …..
I have recently travelled to Venice, I was lucky to visit this beautiful place again for the third time. I wanted to focus this trip in taking photos, explore around food but not shopping. Although it was already October but it was just as crowded as in the Summer. The weather was not that warm, sunny with clear blue sky but I managed to take some nice photos, good enough to retain some good memories.
You would know Murano, Burano and Lido but probably not San Servolo. We stayed there for the first 2 nights because of the conference that we had to attend which was held there. This lagoon is being restored and very popular to be used for conferences and cultural events. Although there is a Waterbus Nr 20 going back and forth from San Zaccaria (near San Marco Square) regularly but it is still not that convenient especially when there was a transportation strike during our stay. So for the last two night, we moved back and stayed in the mainland of Venice.
Unfortunately the Bridge of Signs is undercontruction, so I could not get a good picture of it.
Palazzo Ducale in Piazza San Marco
A quiet canal in San Polo on Sunday morning
Grand Canal, looking from Rialto bridge
Do you know which building was collapsed and filmed in the Bond movie: Casino Royal
Fish market near Rialto in San Polo
Ponte dei Pugni
My initial plan that day was to see the barge by the bridge: Ponte dei Pugni (Bridge of Fists) in Campo San Barnaba which is said to be one of the few floating vegetable markets remaining in Venice. However, I did not see any floating market, but only found THE ONLY ONE vegetable stall and a boat with some vegetable in it. I thought I was too late so I went back the second day and still I saw nothing special. Rather my next stop in Campo San Margherita was much more interesting and rewarding.
Campo Santa Margherita, focal point of the Dorsoduro
I have to say the part I enjoyed most during my stay in Venice was in Campo Santa Margherita. Here you find fresh fish, fruit and vegetable stalls where local Venetians come to do their shopping. I was lucky that the weather permitted to sit outside, I went to Café Causin, Nr 2996, sat down for lunch. I ordered a panini sandwich, a cappuccino and a typical Venetian aperitif, Spritz: white wine with sparkling water and a dash of Select, Bitter or Aperol. I highly recommend this Café, the waiters there were all very friendly and the price there were much more favorable as this area is much further away from San Marco Square.
Spritz and complimentary chips from Café Causin
Gelato is one thing you cannot miss, the Italian gelato is just so good, I had gelato for my late breakfast one day and I even tried from 3 different gelato shops to try out the difference. Being subjective, I feel those gelato I tried in Dorsoduro seemed to taste nicer. There is this one called GROM which also has shops in New York and Paris, the way they scoop the gelato is very different. I would not say, I like the gelato more from than the others, GROM is more pricey than the others. I just like them all. Bacio and lemon sorbets are my favorite flavors.
This post is getting too long, I will write the restaurants review in Part II.
You can find more pictures of my food experience in Venice in flickr.
Visiting the food markets in France reminds me the food markets in my home town….
Food markets in Hong Kong
Being a Chinese, food markets is nothing new to me. In Asia, outdoor food markets are very common. When I was little, I never like going to these markets with my mom because the floors are wet and you can be splashed with some water from the vegetable stalls when they spray water to keep the vegetable fresh or even blood from the fish stalls. It’s also very hot in summers. Nowadays, a lot of improvements done, most of them are now covered markets and much cleaner. These markets are not replaceble by supermarkets even in metropolitan cities like Hong Kong, this is because the food is guaranteed to be fresher and you get more choices there.
Food market in Sarlat
There were many farms when we were driving pass the Dordogne area, I wish we could stay longer to visit the walnut oil mill and buy some local produce directly from the farms. Nevertheless, I was still lucky to be able to experience the Sunday Market in Sarlat and another market just outside Sarlat.
We have bought some fish from the supermarket and I thought of just simply panfried it and accompanied with the local vegetables but then I realised that I have forgotten the lemon. Luckily, from the French biweekly food magazine (Vie Pratique Gourmand) I bought, I was inspired to make a red gooseberries sauce to go with it. I was wondering how to eat these berries as they are a bit too sour for me. In the end, the result of this dish was very appetizing and satisfying. I was very pleased with this food magazine because there were many more things I discovered here which hopefully could widen my horizons in cooking and ideas of take food photos.
3 white fish fillets (see notes)
1 pack of red gooseberries
‘Ratte’ new potatoes (see notes)
3 cloves violet garlic cut in slices
Walnut oil or Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
3 tbsp Brown sugar
- Season the fish fillets with salt, coarsed black pepper and sprinkled some provencal herbs on top.
- Wash the new potatoes by rubbing any soil around them.
- Cut the onions and courgettes into slices.
- Wash the red gooseberries, marcerate them by adding the brown sugar to them, leave for 15 mins or so. Cook the berries in a saucepan in medium high heat, squash the berries until it becomes a sauce and set aside.
- Boil the new potatoes for about 20 mins.
- Panfry the fish with walnut or olive oil, cook each side for about 3 mins or when they turn golden brown.
- Heat some oil in another pan, put the garlic in, when it turns slightly golden brown, add in the onions, stir fry for 1 mins and then add in the courgettes. Season with some salt and pepper and a little herbs if you like. Stir fry until they are cooked.
- When everything is ready, reheat the sauce and ready to serve.
- Any white fish would be suitable, I have in fact cooked this dish again immediately after the holiday as I have lost the pictures accidentally by deleting them (see comment in Part II), the first time I used Pangasius and the second time at home, I have used a fish we bought in France called Filet de Fletan which the lady from the supermarket claimed that this fish was fresher but strangely I still preferred pangasius fish more as it smelt less fishy.
- The Ratte new potatoes you see in the picture are very tiny and young ones, if you can get hold of these potatoes, do try them out as they are not always available. I am normally not so fond of potatoes but these ones are so cute and tasted the best which made them irresistable. Add some butter when serving the potatoes.
For more gooseberries recipes, please click here.
Last week when I was in Toronto, I have a few good hours in St Lawrence Market. It was good that I have picked Saturday as this day you see most people and the atmosphere is just great. On Saturdays, starting from 5am, there is a farmers’ market which sell fresh food directly from their farms. As a food lover, I was just fascinated to see all kinds of specialty food stores. Rube’s is one of my most favorite stores, they have all types of flours and rice. Click for full photo album
I would like to highlight the peameal bacon sandwich from Carousel Bakery which I had for lunch that day. I read from the internet that you must visit this bakery and I was wondering what so special about it. When I passed by I saw many people just sat at the bench eating the sandwiches. Normally I don’t like bacon very much but seeing so many people trying and with curiosity I bought one and sat on the bench and ate it there. Surprisingly, it really tasted delicious, the peameal bacon was tender, not salty nor oily at all and the warm soft bun tasted unique. The portion was just right, didn’t feel stuffed. Since normal hamburger does not contain ham but beef, at least the peameal bacon is from pork and its color looks like ham. Therefore in my opinion, I would think the peameal bacon sandwich should be considered to be the closest to hamburger. If you visit Toronto, this is surely a MUST-TRY food item!!!