|Der Räucherlachshändler vom Borough Market|
Dear friend Mikaelovic Muller ran a very successful stall in Borough Market. Aside from selling from his pitch in Borough Market Mike supplied a number of top notch restaurants with fabulously tasty smoked salmon.
Mike begins his view across the counter with some introductory words from Mark Riddaway, editor and publisher of Market Life, about the purpose of Borough Market.
And goes on to add some observations of his own..
" Borough is London's most famous market, it's a wonderfully chaotic place populated by a kaleidoscope cast of traders bound by a common thread - the ability to shine a light into the deep canyon that too often separates us from the source of our food.
In recent decades, the increasingly monolithic, impersonal nature of the British food industry has cut us off from the world of farmers, fishermen and cheesemakers......it's all too easy to presume that you're eating something pure and wholesome when really it's fifty percent ultra-processed rubbish and fifty percent marketing.
You can be gulled into thinking that all salmon is a bit slimy, that cheddar cheese is a dull, plasticised mass and that carrots don't taste of very much. And in extreme circumstances, as history has shown, you can be led to believe that you're eating British beef when you're actually eating Romanian horse."
Nowadays in the UK we tend to taste as much with our eyes as with our mouths.
An interesting experiment is to conduct a blind tasting of a variety of big supermarket "own label" products, say cheeses, and try to determine what they are through taste and texture alone. Is it cheese and if so what type, or is it actually ham?! Everything tastes pretty much the same and that's even before COVID.
Eat less, eat better and pay more for quality is where we should all be headed - a cultural shift in line with the priorities of our friends in Europe. Great food should not just happen in expensive restaurants, it can and should be a daily event at home.