Keep Me Away From Those Pies

Published on 12 April 2005 in , , ,

It’s coming up to two months working in West London, and it can be a bit of a desolate place for shopping unless you want to traipse down to Shepherds Bush.

Except today because today as we were treated to a farmers market.

There have been markets down in a courtyard at Television Centre in the past – indeed there was one a few weeks ago, but I forgot. This time I couldn’t forget as the market was outside our office buildings, and thus also accessible to the general public.

For me, such markets are a dangerous place as I scour the place sampling, tasting, and thinking about how nice it would be to buy some of that stuff there, before hastily pulling myself back and saying, well yes, but what would you actually do with it?

Unfortunately if you ask that question with beer, the answer is a resounding "drink it!" so I ended up with a pack of four ales from Ballard’s Brewery of Sussex. And when it comes to bread, well you can freeze it so I’ve got a small cottage loaf and a Olive and Mushroom loaf.

And then there was a stall labelled "I can’t believe it’s not parmasan" or something, who had some very nice tasting hard cheese – great for salads and pasta I reckon. And that’s always good to have in stock.

And the rest, well I resisted temptation as much as possible. And it was hard believe me. There were some lovely looking tomatoes and other veg, but we get our veg delivered by the Organic Delivery Company once a fortnight and their next

shipment is this week. Given our fridge is overflowing after they’ve been, and we have enough to last until they arrive, the toms stayed out of my shopping.

I never used to be hugely fussy about what I buy foodwise – and in many ways, still am not – but after my first trip to Borough Market a few years ago, I’ve been slowly taking a bit more care and seeking out the good stuff as much as possible. It reminds you of how bland some supermarket food is, if nothing else.

Take for example, the pie stand. Their wares tasted fantastic (neigh, divine) although I’m not sure Catherine would appreciate one of their chicken and wine pies (confound those vegetarians!) – just trying one of those tasters gave a taste explosion on the tongue that doesn’t even come close to most of the supermarket stuff I’ve had in my life. Good quality ingredients, made with love and care.

And the veg we get from the Organic Delivery Company – well on average it lasts double the time of some of the stuff I used to buy in Sainsbury’s. One of their carrots stands a far greater chance of still being edible after a fortnight than the Sainsbury’s ones which seemed to go soft and mushy in days.

Slowly I’m being converted – as are many. The UK seems to be slowly waking up to the fact that cheap is often nasty, that transporting your veg from Israel and leaving it in a warehouse for ages before putting on the shelves, isn’t the best thing. And that veg out of season doesn’t tend to taste as good.

Long live the food revolution. And please, keep me away from those pies.