My lovely cousin, who will be sharing her love for kale this Friday, is in London for the Thanksgiving holiday. She’s visiting a friend so I figured it was the perfect time for my husband (who I’ve decided I’m going to refer to from now on as P) and I to pop over and celebrate with our friends.
I was actually just in London and Oxford visiting P’s family and friends and was able to explore the amazing Borough Market for the first time. I’d heard so much about it but never had the chance to spend an afternoon there. What a great way to spend a day surrounded by the produce, food, ciders and excitement.
There even is a section called “Real France.”
While there I naturally was on the hunt for kale. While I already knew it was easy to find and buy kale in England, I still enjoy seeing how many vendors are selling it, what they call it, what varieties they have and how it’s displayed.
At Borough Market, the main vegetable distributor, Turnips showcased their kale in various ways. It was not at the forefront but mixed in amongst the cornucopia of other vegetables. Given that it was almost November the true shining starts of the displays were the pumpkins and other autumn squashes.
As usual, people were staring, as I was the random woman photographing a common cabbage and of course the other abundant offerings.
As the other visitors, whether English or not, waited in line for the duck confit sandwich, I bee lined it to the stands offering vegetarian choices that are near impossible to find in France. Quinoa patties, vegetarian burgers bulging with sprouts and tahini sauces, lentil fajitas with yogurt dressing to name a few. The vegetarian prepared food options were endless and I had a hard time deciding what to order. The easiest decision was the pint of cider to accompany my lunch.
I think the most comical moment was at the juice bar. Set-up like it was straight out of Venice Beach, California, the one biggest thing missing was that there were no juice options that included kale. It’s always odd when an Anglo juice place does not offer kale. They were in fact very obsessed with wheat grass and it seemed to be their “thing.”
Where I gathered the courage from to ask the woman whether she ever considered using kale in her juices, I do not know. But the question did not go down well. She stared at me with an English puss on her face, rolling her eyes at my American accent and just replied, “No, never bothered.” And that was that. I sheepishly walked away. The power of kale does not always win everyone over.
As the notorius London rain poured into the streets, I ended my day of wandering the market with a cup of the famous Monmouth coffee.
In the end my day at Borough Market was full of lovely food and being surrounded by merry people, which is how I hope your Thanksgiving – if celebrating – goes as well.