It has been quiet on the blog recently so I thought the best way to come back was talking about food, my true love.
As you might know from a previous post, I am a massive fan of Mercato Metropolitano, the new Italian market that opened in Elephant and Castle/Borough area. When I was claiming it was “the closest place to Italian paradise” I wasn’t joking, it is a foodie paradise for sure!
The actual market area has everything you could imagine and for us Italians it also has those products that you usually have to buy in Italy and put in your suitcase before returning to London (lievito Pane degli Angeli, anyone?).
This week Mercato Metropolitano was celebrating Parma Ham and Parmigiano Reggiano. I was lucky enough to be asked to check some of the dishes out, so last night I headed there and I have to say that when I left I almost had to roll home!
The menu created for the special occasion had as main ingredients, of course, Parma Ham and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese:
– Neapolitan Pizza with Parmigiano Reggiano flakes and Parma Ham
Il Riso del Mercato
– Risotto alla “Parmigiana” and crispy Parma Ham
Tortellino & Co
– Tortellini with Parmigiano Reggiano fondue & crispy Parma Ham
Vino & Cucina
– Parma Ham & Parmigiano Reggiano taglierini
I headed to “Il Riso del Mercato” first, where I actually had a variation and tasted a lovely Risotto alla Carbonara, cooked in front of me by the nice Cesare, a guy from Sardinia, living in London for the past 3 years. I also got to try a supplì which is like a rice ball, deep fried. And who doesn’t love deep fried food? Come on…
What I found out later was that the rice comes from an Italian producer who happened to be there doing a cooking demonstration, explaining the techniques for a “proper risotto”.
I could write a separate post on how to make proper risotto, all you need though is the right ingredients and 15min (+2) of your time. Most important thing: do not over cook it!
I also tasted the the pasta dish “Cavatelli with black cabbage & Parmigiano Reggiano”. The special type of pasta was handmade by the owner of Vino e Cucina, a lovely gentleman from Tuscany.
I haven’t had the pleasure of trying the pasta dish at Tortellino & co, mostly because I am not sure I could finish it. I will make sure, though, to go back to give it a try because an homemade tortellino is a very special thing.
Lastly, how can you say no to a pizza? Impossible. So here I am, ordering the pizza of the day with parmesan and Parma Ham. Did I already say how much I love Parma Ham? It’s SO good.
If someone asks me where to get the best pizza in London I instinctively reply: Franco Manca, also cause I’ve been going there since I moved here, when it wasn’t that popular yet. Well, I can now say that I will include this pizza in my suggestions to whoever asks! Doesn’t it make you hungry just to look at it? Perfectly cooked and with a beautiful smell.
This summer, when Mercato Metropolitano just opened, I thought that the potential was huge: I am very happy to see how the place has developed and changed over the months, offering now a heated area for the cold months. I am looking forward to see how the place is going to be next summer…
One last note, I read some reviews on the fact that Mercato Metropolitano is a bit pricey. I would personally say that prices here are average. I would also say that I do prefer this place to Borough market, not just because it is Italian but also because it’s not that commercial yet. And also, I do feel a bit like at home when there.
If you’re having a bad day and need some comfort, do go to MM maybe just for some food or maybe to have a chat with this or the other vendor. Ask them where they are from, what’s the speciality in their region, what food they would recommend.
London needs a more “human side” and I do believe this could be achieved with good food and people that care about what they are doing.
Thanks to Mercato Metropolitano and The Tom Sawyer Effect agency for having me.
MM London 42 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6DR
Opening times: Tue-Sat 11am-11pm, Sun 10am-9pm
Make sure to follow them on Twitter: @mercatometropol and on Facebook.