Ann is leading the first Foodie Walk on 2014 this Saturday, and she’s keen to help you het your Five A Day…
If you were eating a traditional Victorian breakfast you would expect eggs, bacon, sausage, kidney, toast. But you would not be expecting watercress. Yet a bunch of watercress was the most popular breakfast time snack for labourers on their way to work in London.
Sellers, often young girls, turned up at the markets before dawn to buy the cress, which they then separated into bunches to sell in penny bundles to their customers.
Pip in Great Expectations is offered a watercress when he is eating breakfast at the Blue Boar– he declines saying he doesn’t eat them. But lots of people did – enough to keep a whole army of street sellers in business.
If you don’t want a bunch of watercress for breakfast, you could still keep to Victorian tastes by trying Mrs. Beeton’s recipe for watercress butter:
Remove the stalks, wash, dry, chop the cress very fine and work into butter – 2 or 3 bunches to 4 oz. As she says, ‘As great improvement to sandwiches made of simple substances such as chicken or egg.’
For more foodie titbits join Ann’s walk in the West End this Saturday January 4, 10.45 am at Green Park – meet by the fountain in the park.
A London Walk costs £9 – £7 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.