Food & DrinkLifestyle

Discover delicious Scandanavian food and Borough Market’s great cheeses with Paloma Lacy

How much do people know about Scandinavian food? Not a lot. I waited too long to discover.

Danish delights, Norwegian nibbles and Swedish smorgasbord.

Thanks to Etke, just off Cannon Street, for the introduction but especially to chef Gavin Gordon for cooking up a storm.

The deal here was open sandwiches, which suited me greatly. I love sandwiches anytime, not just lunchtime.

The Scandinavians take smoked fish to a whole new level. They are world-class smokers.

Fish is smoked slow and low to a sweet finish.

Egg and prawn, crispy onion and mayonnaise, and curried herring were probably the favourites.

Great Scandinavian food from Etke. Picture: Paloma Lacy

The biggest surprise came from the wickedly named, Jansson’s Temptation – a dauphinoise-style potato dish, studded with anchovies.

For those with a salt-led palate, this is heaven on a plate. Rich, unctuous and wonderfully memorable.

It is last-meal-on earth territory.

It arrived as an accompaniment to a knock-out rib-eye steak and beetroot, baked in hay.

If you’re new to Scandinavian food and unsure of what to order, the autumn set lunch menu is a good route to take.

Just £25 for two courses and £30 for three.

Smoked cod’s roe on sourdough toast and pickled fennel, and breaded Cornish plaice, remoulade, seasonal salad are just two of the highlights.

Borough Market has a fine selection of cheeses. Here are the team from Parma Ham and Mozzarella Pictures: Borough Market

Borough Market’s annual cheese evening had the punters queuing around the block.

Nowhere in London shines quite like the market at this time of year.

Perhaps the vantage point to soak up market life is wine bar and restaurant, Beadles.

Decked out to ultimate Christmas effect, it’s the star on the market’s tree.

If you’ve drawn the cheeseboard straw this year, Borough Market is the place to visit, shop and wow the family.

My favourite is L’Ubriaco/ Drunk Cheese. A discovery made long ago.

It’s a family favourite and our go-to at this time of year.

Think truly delicious Italian cheese steeped in dessert wine, including fruit on top. It’s a bucket list cheese.

Pictures: Borough Market

Borough Market boasts 20 cheese traders. I asked them for their top tips for creating a seasonal cheese board.

Karen Beardsmore, Trethowan Brothers, said: “My tip for a Christmas cheeseboard is very simple but something that’s often forgotten.

Take your cheese out of the fridge for an hour or two before you serve it to get it to room temperature (but keep it in the wax paper while doing so to prevent drying).

“All the flavours and aromas held in the cheese are more easily released, the texture will become softer and creamier and you’ll get much more from your purchase.

“My top pick is our 16-month aged Pitchfork Cheddar which we make in Somerset, served with The Kitchen Garden’s Christmas chutney, handmade in The Cotswolds, which tastes like spreadable mince pies; the perfect combination.”

Thomas Cary from Mons Cheese, said: “I’ll be having the Vacherin Mont d’Or from Sancey Richard on my cheeseboard this Christmas.

Pictures: Borough Market

“They are the only remaining independent, family-run producer of Vacherin, making longer maturing cheeses which are equally delicious at room temperature or baked in the oven. I love serving it with Cracker Kitchen Seeded Flatbreads – crisp, seeded crackers that are the perfect foil to soft, strongly-flavoured cheeses.”

Richard Cartwright from Cartwright Brothers Vintners Ltd, said: “When it comes to pairing with cheese, there are three great wines that I always to turn to.

“My red wine of choice would be Trustullo Organic Primitivo, which is made from 100 per cent Primitivo organic grapes in Puglia and has soft tannins and a velvety texture. The aromas and flavours of blackberry, cherry, jam and fig compote make it an ideal accompaniment to any cheeseboard.

“My sweet wine go-to is Real Rubio Moscatel. It’s a light wine that offers aromas and flavours of orange blossom, peach, honey and vanilla. Or, for the classic festive port and cheese pairing, Fonseca 10-year-old Tawny Port is delightfully smooth and rich with aromas and flavours of dried fruits, fig and plum.”


Picture: Great Scandinavian food from Etke, (right) Borough Market has a fine selection of cheeses. Pictures: Borough Market/Paloma Lacy 

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