The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Aug 3, 2007

Cooking? Or Tesco?

I've only been once to Borough Market and since then have missed it something fierce. Much as I'd like to visit again, though, I'm a bit put off by the fact that the place is awfully crowded during weekends, and anyway, there's other stuff that needs doing. Perhaps I ought to persuade Kid and Rahul and the other Osiris luminaries to partake of lunch there once in a while, on a slow Friday, say.

As it happens, far too many lunches are spent sitting at the desk and eating a sandwich. Lately, I've been making sandwiches in the mornings before heading to work, but these are unexciting affairs, unambitious and possibly unappealing to anyone but myself. Tried a smoked salmon with Gorgonzola combination on wholemeal bread. It tasted all right, with the strong flavours of each combining in a pleasing way, and I flatter myself that I saved a buck or two by not buying an overpriced and not always tasty Pret or Subway product.

A cursory investigation on the web reveals several people passionate about good cooking, and many of them tout Borough Market as a relatively inexpensive place for weekly supplies. Check out Bron's blog here. There is quite a world of difference between the Anglo-Saxons, I find, and the continentals, especially the Mediterraneans, for whom the idea of shopping for food in a supermarket, ready meals and TV dinners are a horror straight from hell. In Paris, it looks like every neighbourhood has its own bakery and delicatessen, fine produce stores and fromageries. In London, we have Tesco Metro with its cheap and standardised and flat-tasting offer. Hell, even in India, vegetables bought from a street vendor taste better than anything I've had from a supermarket in this country. But convenience rules, and the Brits love their conveniences more than anything else. So it is that we find that most young people cook less and less, and eat out more and more, or live off packaged foods, and when they do find a gem like Borough Market, they go home convinced that it is far too expensive for them to frequent.


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