February 7, 2022 by Bahija Nwaji
Updated February 7, 2022
Does London have a street food history?
Street food began in Asia, then in America, and now in Europe particularly in the UK. We will take London, the capital of Britain and the largest city as an example of the spread of the culture of street food.
London Street food history
London has a tradition of street food that began mainly in the 12th century.
In a 15th century poem, London Lickpenny described the sales :
"Into London, I gan me why; Of all the land it beareth the prise. "Hot periods!" one gan cry, "Strawberry type, and chery in the rise!" One bad me come here and by some spice; Pepar and saffron they gan me bede, Clove, grains, and flower of rising. For lack of money, I might not speed.|"
Most street sellers carried their wares on their heads, the food was exposed to birds and pollution. With all that the street food was welcomed. Street vendors paid no taxes and they could move around towns and go to the houses of customers.
The Victorian era:
During the Victorian period, London witnessed a growth in both populations and the necessity of street food. The Industrial Revolution took place, the population was high so people left the countryside to the cities in masses. The new London was crowded; the number of industrial workers was increasing. They need to be fed became urgent, thus road vendors increased rapidly. In 1801 Richard Johnson said: " by the end of the Victorian era, eating in public was considered suitable only for the working classes".
The Dictionary of Victorian London estimates that " over 6000 vendors were working in the city, serving up a veritable feast of pea soup, hot eels, pickled whelks, and fried fish, alongside familiar offerings like pies".So the circumstances of the Victorian era had an impact on the increase of population and this brought about the obligation of new buildings and industries which elevated the demand of feeding workers and the street food bloomed.
20th century London:
Street food grew unexpectedly. After the World Wars, London rebuilt itself. Immigration reached its highest levels and London began to be a multicultural city. This multiculturalism brought about multicultural street food. So the fish and chips were heavily served by sellers of cheerful spiced West Indian, African Indian, and Asian cuisine. The number of street vendors soared and this was because of immigration. Immigrants settling in the city started selling their goods; they brought their cuisine to London.
Street food today:
In 2008 when the Financial Crisis hit the world, the restaurants closed, so chefs took it to the streets and started selling fast food. London road food witnessed a revival and started with the farmer's markets. According to Richard Johnson, ,"it took the burgeoning Farmer's Market movement to make street food popular again. Thanks to the markets, it became acceptable to eat a sausage in bun-if the sausage was hand-drawn sourdough. A new generation considered street food ". So street food was flourishing again.
The best street food in London:
Because London is a mixture of different cultures, the food will be different. We will name some of these foods:
1- BBQ Dream: is a Filipino backyard barbecue
2-Lovely Burch of coconuts: purveyors of Mauritian.
3- Burger Boy
4- Savage salads
5-Bian Dang: itis a Taiwanese
6-Tongue'n cheek: is a nomadic meat
7-Eat Chay: Chay means vegetarian in Vietnamese
8 Laffa: the Middle Eastflatbreads
So if you go to London enjoy your meals with fast food in the street.
Top spots to check:
The street food in London has been developing quickly over the past 10 years. Currently, it is so easy to find cheap, high-quality food from all over the world in London. Everything is allowed from a light snack to a full meal. Here are some of London's best street food markets:
Borough Market: London's most popular food market has a combination of fresh produce, street food, and specialty food.
Maltby, active market with a good range of quality street food stalls, food producers, and cafes.
Camden Market: it is a good place to eat world food near to the canal, in the west yard of London.
South bank Centre food market: this market provides a good mix of food from all over the world and plenty of cakes.
Partridge's food market: if you want the best place for lunch, Patridge's food market is your favorite. It buys a variety of food and plenty of cakes if you want something sweet and tasty.