London Study Abroad: Camden Town Cuisine

food1Note: This is a special column from a London Study Abroad student.

By Melina Nuzum

Imagine a food market surrounded by all sorts of kiosks selling items ranging from string dolls to paintings. Imagine that this food market has its own kiosks that offer cookery from all sorts of different countries and with all sorts of different styles.

Imagine eating this food next to a canal where interesting boats float by with the “captain” sitting in the back. This market has many friendly people trying to sell their food and offer free samples. They are always interested in where people are from and what they’re doing in town. They welcome everyone with open arms. Welcome to Camden Town, London, England.

Camden Town has many shops that sell London keepsakes, Gothic dresses, and oodles of shoes. But where do people go to eat and rest? Not McDonald’s or Burger King; people can get that at home any time. However, the multi-cultural food market by the canal in Camden Town is an excellent place to eat. A few examples of the different styles of food are Jamaican, Peruvian, Sushi, “cowboy”—which is basically chili and cornbread—and Indian.

One stall that is worth checking out is called “Game On” with a kangaroo on the sign. Believe it or not, this stall is run by an Australian man. He sells interesting burgers that can’t be found anywhere else; these burgers include kangaroo, crocodile, camel, and zebra.

When asked what he would recommend, he will say that his favorite is the camel, which has a distinct taste that is hard to describe. It tastes vaguely of beef, but it is a little gamier. He offers fried potatoes and a can of soda with the burger for eight British pounds (which converts to $12.14). This may seem like a lot of money but it is well worth the experience. It’s not every day that a person gets the chance to eat a camel or kangaroo burger.

Another man sells macaroni and cheese that he makes right in front of his customers so they can see what he puts into each dish. He melts the cheese himself and slowly mixes it with the noodles until they are perfectly blended. Then he will add in other ingredients such as broccoli, bacon, onions, or peppers. The macaroni with the bacon is very creamy from the cheese and salty from the bacon.

food2When the food has been purchased, people can sit at a table in the middle of this food market, or they can sit by the canal. On a mild day, one can rest in the sun and enjoy a slight breeze.

It’s also nice when the weather is chilly because there is usually a stand that sells warm apple cider and mulled wine that will warm anyone at the first sip. The apple cider has a touch of cinnamon in it that may remind one of a warm apple pie.

While sitting next to the canal, brightly painted houseboats and tour boats sometimes drift by on the gentle current while the sun shimmers in the water. Occasionally, a street performer playing pop songs on a guitar can be heard. People can find a place to sit on the ground or there is a long table with a row of motor scooter seats to sit on for comfort.

Camden Town is one of the best places to go for shopping in London because of the unique fashions in the shops. It’s impossible to explore all of Camden in a day—or even a week. So while exploring all the shops and kiosks, have a rest at the food market. Everyone is sure to find something they will like.

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