Meets writer Ed Smith, au­thor of a new cook­book de­voted to Bor­ough Mar­ket

Belfast Telegraph - Weekend - - FOOD -

Bor­ough Mar­ket is ar­guably the most fa­mous food mar­ket in Bri­tain. It sits in the belly of Lon­don Bridge, a net­work of rail­way arches and over­hangs, full of wind­ing path­ways, with nar­row roads to cross — hope­fully with­out be­ing squashed by de­liv­ery vans and crates of cheese — and the smell of bak­ing bread and spices in the air.

Yes, it’s the old­est mar­ket in Lon­don — peo­ple have sold pro­duce in one form or an­other there since the 12th cen­tury — but in a sense it is rep­re­sen­ta­tive of any mar­ket you’d find in any town in Bri­tain: there is food, lots of it, and the pro­duc­ers re­ally know their stuff.

Most re­cently, Bor­ough was in the news less for its mul­ti­coloured cauliflow­ers and ar­ti­san cof­fee, and more be­cause of a ter­ror at­tack on the area on June 3, 2017. A ve­hi­cle-ram­ming on Lon­don Bridge and a se­ries of stab­bings in nearby bars and restau­rants in Bor­ough saw eight peo­ple killed and al­most 50 in­jured.

But food writer Ed Smith, au­thor of the new Bor­ough Mar­ket Cook­book, a cel­e­bra­tion of the pro­duc­ers, stall hold­ers and soul of the mar­ket, is clear that more than a year on it’s busi­ness as usual.

The book it­self charts a year of shop­ping and cook­ing us­ing Bor­ough pro­duce, but its core prin­ci­ples re­ally re­volve around sea­sonal eat­ing, so you can ap­ply the logic — and recipes — to what you find at your own lo­cal Sun­day farmer’s mar­ket.

Trained chef and foodie Smith (36), who writes the blog Rocket & Squash, is a for­mer lawyer turned food writer and trained chef.

Now, he’s some­thing of a Bor­ough Mar­ket ex­pert and can of­ten be spot­ted on-site do­ing cook­ing demos.

We sip on lat­tes and black cof­fee from The Colom­bian Cof­fee Com­pany and wind our way be­tween traders, nib­bling as we go. Su­per­mar­kets are “so sani­tised”, Smith ex­plains. “You miss out on knowl­edge, care, ex­per­tise.”

Take Lizzie Vines, who runs Wild Beef with her hus­band, Richard, an or­ganic Dart­moor farmer. They have a cou­ple of their na­tive Devon cat­tle and Welsh Blacks butchered every week, hang them for at least an­other three, and sell the whole an­i­mals — nose-to-tail — at Bor­ough. “We’ve been here since the be­gin­ning,” ex­plains Lizzie, who re­mem­bers set­ting up in 1998 when only the orig­i­nal gi­ants of Bor­ough in its cur­rent in­car­na­tion, Neal’s Yard Dairy and Spanish food importers Brindisa, were trad­ing. “There was nowhere to buy cof­fee af­ter the dawn drive up from Dart­moor,” she says — un­less you count McDon­ald’s. For­tu­nately, that’s no longer the case. The prac­tice

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