TUBBY ISSACS: WHELK OME TO MY WORLD
Let it never be said that I am not a man of the people. Admittedly, my people are the literati and glitterati of London’s fashionable society but, I still like think that I am credible, if not on a street level, at least on a leafy avenue in Surbiton level.
Today, after splendid lunch of pork loin with greens wilted in goose fat, I was all set to sit back, read the papers and do a little work on my EAT MY GLOBE trip.
I had forgotten, of course, that I was, as part of my community service order, due to take my annoying Australian friend, Chelsea for a walk.
As we strolled down towards Tower Bridge, she began whining about being hungry. At least that’s what I think she was on about. With her broad, almost incomprehensible Melbourne accent, she could have been on about anything. But, she usually only gets in touch when she wants free food, so I made an educated guess.
Fortunately, we were just coming down towards Aldgate East so it was the perfect opportunity to introduce her to the world of Tubby Issacs, one of the few remaining Eel stalls in London. There used to be hundreds of these in London and, with a handful of exceptions they have all but died out. A great shame if, like me, you are a fan of jellied eels, cockles, pints of prawns and, best of all, whelks
We ordered a tub and shared them as we strolled along. The meaty whelks went well with large amounts of vinegar I sloshed on them. Like a taste from ages past and unfortunately, unlikely to be a taste for ages future as these places reach their natural end. Shame really.
Chelsea seemed to quite like them and there was the added benefit that the slight chewiness of the whelks stopped her talking if only for an all too brief time.
Only an other 200 hours to go. Mind you, it will remind me never to try and take a surreptitious leak in the Turner Room at The Tate Britain again.