Book review: Borough Market The Knowledge

04 January 2023 by
Book review: Borough Market The Knowledge

The Knowledge takes the reader around the stalls of Borough Market

It's not much of a risk to assert that every UK chef has heard of London's Borough Market, whether they first visited the small, almost hidden market of 20 years ago, where only foodies, locals and chefs did their shopping, to the sprawling, multi-supplier mega-market it is now, rammed with weekend tourists and slow-moving hungry hordes.

The Knowledge takes the reader around the stalls, stopping off for some specialist knowledge and recipes on the way. Angela Clutton is the host, who also runs the Borough Market Cookbook Club and Borough Talk events and podcasts. She introduces each stallholder, such as Esther Crouch of the Parma Ham and Mozzarella Stand, who explains when to choose prosciutto San Daniele over prosciutto Mailia Nero di Parma, or Charles Tebbut of Food & Forest, who enthuses about walnut varieties, such as the bright pink Red Danube or the "nuclear warhead"-like size of the Garmisare. Samantha Wallace of Field and Flower has a passion for honey, explaining that pasteurised honey is essentially dead – just sugar without flavour – so it's important to splash out on the raw version with its flower-specific varietals.

These are followed by pictorial advice, in how to fillet fish, identify different clams, use unusual ingredients such as finger limes, or create a spice mix. The recipes obviously focus on products sold in the market, so there's a guide to cooking a pork tomahawk; stuffed hogget leg with spelt and chard; or partridges in sloe gin with creamed Jerusalem artichokes. Desserts include pineapple and rum upside-down cake; pear and ginger treacle tart; and Borough queen of puddings, an orange and cinnamon version of the classic with a caramel-coloured Italian meringue topping.

This is an unashamedly cheffy book, with a plethora of information and obscure facts about how to use lesser-known ingredients that will take dishes from so-so to surprising. One to have at your elbow while making your fantasy shopping list, and just the thing to brighten the dreary days of January.

The Knowledge by Angela Clutton (Hodder & Staughton, £27)

The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking