Friday, May 7, 2004

Borough Market

In London there is a market called Borough Market where well-off farmers sell fresh foods to well-off customers. While there are always some gawking visitors, most people are there to purchase cheese, tarts and pastries, fresh fruit and vegetables, foie gras, gourmet meat and seafood, and bread, or perhaps a fancy sandwich from one of the increasingly numerous cooked-food stands.

The cooked-food stands appear to be quite successful as during every lunchtime the lines ("queues") snake through the market. Many of the butchers have now established a small adjunct table from which they all appear to sell a variant of the same three things: meat with sauce and arugula in a wrap, or hamburger or sausage on a bun. The smells of sizzling pork and beef - and the smoke - are highly intrusive, and mar attempts to smell the delicate tomatoes or yeasty bread. The lines block up already-narrow passageways, and the yuppies in the cooked-food lines (a highly different class of people than those who are there to shop) are usually there to grab a quick bite and rush back to work. Such patrons begin to eat while walking out of the market - most declasse - so that everywhere I go, the appalling sight of a person stuffing their maw is sure to be in my line of vision.

- Special Gourmand J.

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