Monday, November 2, 2009
London Calling: Kappacasein at Borough Market
I've been doing a lot of traveling lately, which is why I have been doing less cooking (and less blogging!). In fact, I just returned from a big trip -- across the pond to London. I first visited London as a recent high school grad and have been back several times since. It was great to visit old favorites as well as make new discoveries. And for me, no trip to London is complete without a stop at Borough Market. Tucked under London Bridge, on the South Bank, Borough Market is foodie paradise. With a 50-50 mix of whole and prepared foods, even tourists without access to cooking facilities can eat their way through the market. But for me, there's only one stand to hit -- the "Raclette Guy." Originally affiliated with Neal's Yard Dairy, this visit, I noticed a new name on the stand -- Kappacasein (which Google tells me is a protein that is key to the cheese-making process). A recent Serious Eats post makes it sound like Kappacasein is still associated with the famous cheese shop, which is a relief. Despite the new name (and new prices), the stand still sells two dishes, both featuring gooey, melted cheese: raclette (which I have attempted to make before) and luscious cheese toasties, otherwise know as THE BEST TOASTED CHEESE SANDWICH IN THE WORLD. In my opinion, the key to their success is not the sourdough bread (although I think that is really the only kind of bread one should use for toasted cheese). Nor is it the nice mix of scallion, red onion and garlic sandwiched between the bread. No, it's the cheese. This time, I am pretty sure the cheese was a cows milk variety called Ogleshield and it was delicious, mild and melty. I must find some here in the States. If you visit, once you're done with your sandwich, resist the urge to go back for seconds, and instead wander west along the Thames River and hit the Tate Modern or cool home design stores (including Joseph Joseph and Black + Blum) at the Oxo Tower. Then, retrace your steps back to the market for seconds! After all, you'll have walked off the first sandwich no problem. Look for Kappacasein near the London Bridge side of the green market, directly opposite Southwark Cathedral (which has some stone walls and benches for you to sit and enjoy your sandwich).