Celia Brooks takes us on a guided tour of Borough’s best gluten-free and vegan offerings
Words: Celia Brooks
Our food choices in the last decade have become increasingly motivated by getting healthy, feeling better and minimising our environmental impact. For those with a gluten intolerance or coeliac disease, getting healthy and feeling better means going gluten-free, while others have turned to veganism in response to increasing environmental concerns. While foods that fit those bills have become increasingly mainstream, shopping for gluten-free and vegan foods can still be cause for headache—luckily, Borough Market is on hand to help.
Since virtually all of the products at the Market are produced on a small scale, you can be absolutely certain of what you are getting—and if you ask whether or not something is gluten-free or vegan, you are guaranteed a safe answer from the savvy and knowledgeable traders, who really know their products and the provenance of them.
Borough Market is blessed with The Free From Bakehouse, where everything is made in a dedicated gluten-free bakery and vegan options abound, so if it’s cakes, bakes and pastries you’re after, you can really spoil yourself. Try a bakewell slice, a thick slice of coffee and walnut cake, generously frosted cupcakes, or how about a lusciously moist chocolate avocado cake with mint frosting?
Tang and texture
Pâté Moi has developed a vegan and gluten-free version of its famous mushroom pâté which is indistinguishable from the delectable original, while Market newbie Palace Culture makes extraordinarily creamy nut-based cheeses, fermented with probiotics for tang and texture. Both the mushroom pâté and the jarred cream cheeses are wickedly delicious scooped up on vegetable crudités. Both can also be stirred into pasta for an instantaneous creamy sauce or baked in the oven as a filling for mushroom caps. Of course, they’re also gorgeous slathered over gluten-free crackers.
If you fancy getting your bake on at home, From Field and Flower and Brindisa stock alternative flours aplenty, such as Galician chestnut flour. Brindisa also carries the hands-down best cooked beans and pulses in a jar and a wonderful range of sauces, such as piquant salsa brava. For a perky five-minute supper, stir-fry some fresh veggies, tip in a jar of drained butter beans and a jar of the salsa brava and heat until bubbling—¡Olé! Perhaps add a mound of Eaten Alive kimchi on the side for extra punch and crunch.
Spoiled for choice
If it’s a ready-to-eat hot meal you’re after, fruit and veg supplier Turnips always has a yummy vegan and gluten-free curry simmering in a giant paella pan—currently a Thai coconut curry. You’ll be spoiled for choice in the brand spanking new Borough Market Kitchen, a fabulous food court that opened in November, with plentiful seating and ample vegan and gluten free options. Padre serves sassy Mexican street food and the whole menu is gluten free, with vegan options including cauliflower al pastor tacos and mushroom quesadillas (just ask to omit the cheese).
For something sweet, hit up Khanom Krok for some authentic Thai mango and sticky rice or crisp coconut pancakes (their namesake), then wash it all down with some scrumpy from The Cider House or a golden milk chai from Organic Life (in the Green Market). Avoiding wheat, meat and dairy has never been easier or tastier! Here’s to a healthy and happy 2020.