Sunday, 4 July 2010


Sometimes I forget how wonderful it is on a sunny Saturday to wonder up to Broadway Market and grab a few bits from the stalls and eat them in the sunshine, and that's exactly what I did yesterday.

There's a wide number of stalls selling baked goods that make appearances at all of London's food markets but when I'm there browsing for the sweet stuff I keep getting pulled back to Popina. I think maybe because they have less artisanal bread and more cakes.

Unfortunately my camera situation is still leaving a little something to be desired with regards readily available digital photography so I've had to rely on some images from their website to show their delicious range of savoury bits and bobs and fruit tarts.

I picked one of the spinach and cheese Bureks which is a kind of Turkish savoury with a filling of spinach, cheese and potato layered between a very fine pastry and served sliced into triangles. The filling is rich, tasty, moist and most importantly on a hot summer day, surprisingly cooking. A great grab-and-go snack.

I also picked up a brownie and a lemon drizzle cake, to split and share with my friend, the lovely Kathy from 5678 Vintage. Brownies are a good measure of baking prowess, as I know exactly how I like them to be, in fact the Ottolenghi book waxes lyrical about the way one should be cooked to be just so. Popina's brownie was extremely chocolatey and moist in the middle, but maybe could have had a slightly more 'mousse-y' centre. It had the added addition of cranberry, well at least according to the labelling on the stall. Although I found no chunks of cranberry as I think it was pureed, it offset the richness of the cocoa in a surprising and delicious way. The sun's rays on the top of the miniature picnic we had assembled actually brought out the flavouring, which suggests that if you were going to buy one of these at a market somewhere round town, take it home and heat it up and serve with some cream, then you might be in for a hell of a treat.

The lemon drizzle was just like you wish you could make them yourself. Tangy but not sticky with the fruit syrup, a good crunch on the icing and a splattering of ground pistachio on the top. It's a simple classic.

all gone...

Eating these in the sunshine reminds me how one should never buy cakes from a service station, or why those tubs of 'brownie' square from the cake counter in the supermarket are just junk. Real baking rocks.

Popina has won a load of taste awards, and they have quite an interesting story behind them... Their founder describes it thus :
"it was food for art's sake that was so inspiring it strengthened my desire to set up a food business that was about art for food's sake"
so if that has you intrigued you can read all about it here.

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