Saturday, 23 July 2011
Irish Food Heaven in London
East St. Market on Saturday morning. It's a proper London market in a narrow, inner-city street. The pavement's lined with stalls. The road's crowded with shoppers. And the air's full of traders' shouts and loud Gospel music. Fruit and veg. pot plants and second-hand clothing. Watches. Barbie dolls. Salt fish and biscuits. Fresh flowers, cow's feet and cheap electric razors.
On each side of the street, behind the market stalls, are shops. Furniture, stationary, boots and shoes and luggage. Fishmongers, phone shops and bolts of cloth for curtains. There's dragon fruit, coconuts, popcorn and watermelon. Sacks of rice and spices and Chinese herbal remedies.
And then there's Dave's Family Butchers. Rashers and sausages and proper cuts of bacon ....
... but, hang on, Dave's isn't just a butcher's. It's more like a treasure-trove for nostalgic Irish emigrants.
Remember Boland's Fig Rolls and Clonakilty Black Pudding? Galtee Cheese and Erin soups and Nash's Red Lemonade? Remember Old Time Irish Marmalade? And Silvermints? And real tea brack full of raisins, sultanas and mixed peel? Dave's got them.
But of course he has. The Granny was from Cork.