Posts Tagged ‘groceries’

Taste East at Spitalfields Market

Saturday, we went to check out Spitalfields Market‘s “Taste East” event. Unfortunately, we ate breakfast before we went to the market — I wish we had been hungrier because there were quite a few tempting food stands.The market was a neat, modern space, with shops and restaurants creating its outer walls and a large, covered courtyard to house the stands. There were bands, acrobats, people on stilts dressed up as chefs and cooking demonstrations, making for a lively event. And there were also some artists with work on display. Some were clearly more talented than others, and I almost bought something from one artist. I may check out her work again.

What did we buy? I spent 40 pence on a delicious piece of watermelon licorice, which seemed to actually be a piece of green licorice around a pink taffy center. Whatever it was, I wish I had bought more to take home. I don’t even remember what the vendor’s name was… something to research.

We also got some white tea, which ended up being weaker than expected when we brewed some this morning, and some chocolate truffles (delicious) and spiced drinking chocolate (haven’t tried it yet). I was hoping to buy some cheese, too, but there wasn’t a very large selection.

When the stands started closing up, we went to Canteen to get some tea and biscuits. A much needed rest. And before we left, we made sure to take a picture of the most shocking booth, which was still open — which just had an array of whole animals, including fish, rabbits and pigeons. Question: Who is eating pigeons?

Dead Animals at Spitalfields Market

The Lactose-Free Milk Hunt Is Over

LactofreeAfter spending the past month scouring the dairy section of every Tesco and Sainsbury I’ve come across, in addition to many other independent markets, my quest for lactose-free milk is finally over. They carry it at a Waitrose not too far from our place. Lovely supermarket, too.

I still can’t believe lactose-free milk is so hard to find — we didn’t have any trouble in Budapest, and most smaller markets here even carry goat’s milk. I guess the product hasn’t caught on.

When we first got here, I picked up an InStyle magazine, and there was a multipage advertorial for Lactofree, apparently the big lactose free milk product here, so I went onto their website looking to find out where I could buy the product. It had Sainsbury and Tesco along with some other markets I’d never heard of on their client list, but every time I went into one of the stores, I came out empty-handed. After a few emails with a Lactofree rep, though, I found out that the milk is only carried in their full supermarkets, which don’t even exist in Central London.

Anyway, all is well with the world again. We don’t have to eat our cereal with soy milk anymore. Unless we want to, of course.

Veggie-Friendly London

suitable for vegetariansOne of my favorite things about London so far is the abundance of vegetarian food. And not just an obligatory veggie meal at a restaurant, but an array of options everywhere I go. From the sandwich selections at Pret a Manger and Benugo to the best veggie burger of my life (Evan went back and had one today for lunch) to the veggie-friendly labels on supermarket items, I feel completely spoiled.

Check out the label for some butter we bought. A nice green leaf assuring me it’s veggie-friendly (not that I was worried about butter, it was just one of the only packaged things labeled like that that I had handy for photographing). Anyway, I think it’s a great idea, and know that I read about some similar labeling simplification efforts in the U.S. and hope that they’ll be put into practice sometime soon.

Not all the food here is labeled like this yet — I think it’s a pretty new program and it has a ways to go before standardization — but I think it’s a great start.

Friday at Borough Market

Friday I went to Borough Market to have some coffee with a new London friend I met on Twitter. It’s finally good to start meeting some people in this city and it was great to explore a new neighborhood.

Borough Market was lots of fun — lots of food, flowers and people — and there are lots of interesting sights nearby that I’ll have to go back to see again, including a replica of Sir Francis Drake’s pirate ship and a nice old church. The market is also right by London Bridge, which is probably the least remarkable bridge in the whole city, but apparently it’s the first site where there was a bridge across the Thames. It also has a view of St. Paul’s Cathedral, which is on the list of things to see — especially after Laura told me how scary going up to the top can be!

Friday was just a start to a fun weekend of sightseeing, so lots more posts and pictures to come.

Britishism: Bits

OJ with BitsI think the drawing says it all. Bits = Pulp.

Now the question is, which is the more appetizing word? Pulp, for me, at least, is more clear about what it entails and is a much more specific word than bits. I feel like bits can be sort of anything, though it is a cuter sounding word.

Your thoughts?

First Impressions: London Food

So far, I haven’t had all that much to write about since I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to adjust to the time difference, unpack and start feeling settled. I have, of course, staked out my local grocery stores — there’s a Marks and Spencer nearby as well as a Sainsbury’s and a small Tesco. There are also a few mini markets.

The food selection here is absolutely amazing. Especially compared with Budapest. The options, the availability of fresh everything and the streets lined with restaurants and cafes are very exciting. And there are a ton of gourmet chocolate places — we already bought a box from one.

Saturday, we met a friend of a friend for lunch at Waterloo Brasserie, which was very nice. The restaurant was modern and warm, with lots of deep red paint and dark wood. There was a fireplace with couches and a bar with hanging clear glass ornaments above it, and our tall table was decorated with small vases of vibrant orange and pink two-tone roses.

I had a fig and cheese tartine and some delicious blackcurrant hibiscus tea and Evan had a two-course meal with lentil soup and duck. We split the hot chocolate fondant dessert, which came with salted caramel sorbet and was warm, gooey and a delicious end to our meal.

Sunday, Bernat and Peter got into town, so we all had dinner at Sofra, which was also good, though my vegetarian moussaka could have been a bit hotter (I suppose I am my mother’s daugher). The restaurant was nice and cozy, but we got there a bit late, so our meal felt rushed since they were trying to get us out of there quickly.

Monday I ran some errands, started unpacking, had a job interview (we’ll see how that turns out–I forgot how stressful interviewing can be), and we just ate some pasta and salad at home. Today, I nearly finished unpacking, figured out how to use our washing machine and just worked on some things from the apartment. I’m also making some soup. It’s simmering as I’m typing.

Thursday Night Latke Party

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Thursday night, we decided to have a latke party for a few of Evan’s friends from work. I made latkes with homemade applesauce, a zucchini salad, which was better than I even expected (thanks Martha Stewart!), and bruschetta. We also had baguettes and cheese and wine.

It all turned out well, and I had a fun day in the kitchen, though the apartment still smells like oil 2 days later. Also, we learned that Hungarians don’t use canola or vegetable oil, just sunflower and olive oil. We used olive oil.

I usually don’t cook foods that involve that much peeling and grating, but it was worth it. And the applesauce was surprisingly easy to make. Let me know if you want any recipes.