Street food are a hit anywhere in the world. The mouthwatering and delicious-looking foods served hot is a quick fix for a hungry stomach or a craving. Just as all major cities are flooded with the options for a quick grab while being outdoors, London is no different. With food carts selling hotdogs, sandwiches, ice creams, etc., every food item is a best-seller among Foodies.
Tracking the history of street foods takes us back to ancient Greece where small fried fish were sold by the street vendors as street food. From Greece to Rome to China, every country has there share of stories associated with street food. However, looking back at history street food appears to be a cheap and delicious food alternative, which was heavily perceived by the urban poor who didn’t have access to decorous cooking tools and enough finances to cook up a succulent dish. T
he food vendors sold fried fish, chickpea soup, meat, etc and manage to gain popularity among people from all sections of society. From the economically subdued to the rich everyone tried the meals from these carts. Cut to 2022, the popularity of street food has only increased with time. Now when we look at the roadside carts selling hot and considerably cheaper foods, we are introduced to a variety of street foods that represent different cuisines from around the world. The Street Food in London has also come a long way from baked apples and hot pies to burgers and vegan biriyani that reflects modern-day London with refined tastes and choices.
Although the street food culture in London is nothing new and dates back to around 14th century Roman London which saw the selling of Oysters across the street. The street vendors of that era were predominately feeding the urban poor of London with cheap food who did not have access to the kitchen. Medieval London was dominated by the bourgeois who incorporated some new additions to the street food menu of London like hot peas code and ripe strawberries with oysters still in the seen.
Georgian London saw a street market selling cakes and pastries along with Cherries that were the most popular. However, this was the time when the street food market was heavily unhygienic with foods exposed to pollution and different other unhealthy substances as the vendors would now carry the uncovered wares to different places selling food.
With the coming of the victorian era
The population of London saw a sudden boost and this also extended the variety and amount of street vendors. This was the time when the street food of London saw the carts selling both savoury and sweet dishes like pea soups, hot eels, pickled whelks, fried fish, and sweet delicacies like pie. Two world wars later, the world was a changed place and so was London in the 20th century.
With a surge in the population because of immigration and also as a result of the Victorian colonial period, London became a melting pot of cultures. The street food of London, too, saw a significant development as apart from the popular baked chestnut, ice cream, and sandwiches, the street food culture was influenced by the multi-culture cuisines and introduced Indian, West Indian, Asian, African and other such food carts.
When considering contemporary life in London
It is hectic and people are always in a rush. And so the street food which is both cheaper and time-saving has managed to grab more attention than a sit-down meal, more so on a weekday. In an everyday busy schedule, man does not have the luxury of spending long hours waiting at a restaurant and having a grand feast, and that is where street food has found the space to fit in. Today, an average Londoner feast on burgers, kebabs, tacos, or soups wandering on the streets of London. While on the one hand, these street foods are a respite for people who are running late for work. On the other hand, these street foods are a haven for Foodies, who love trying cuisines that are mouth-watering and delicious.
London has happily embraced cuisines from around the world and it could be well understood while taking a stroll at the markets selling the street foods. Taking a walk along the Borough market, you can pretty much expect both fresh produce and cooked meals that could be devoured at the same time. If you are looking for a variety of cooked foods then the Leather lane market is just your place to be. Filled with vendors selling delicious food options, this place is perfect for a food outing. And finally, the Partridges food market, which sells fancier food options and is a must-visit place as the food here is good enough for the queen, so it is obvious that the quality and taste are that good. These markets have of late been quite popular among Londoners and tourists who prefer looking for good food options.
Lately, the popularization of street foods and the vendors in London can be marked as a revolution in the street food culture in London. With the adaptation of multi-culture and cuisine Street Food in London has emerged to be one giant market. From savoury delicacies to sweet contentment, they serve you all that can give your appetite a delicious blow. So, the next time you are in London, do not miss out on the chance to grab some delicious bites.