Esoteric London

No. 508: St. Ann’s Road, N15

Posted in Food, London Types, Markets by esotericlondon on February 8, 2012

St. Ann’s Road, London, N15. Photo © Roger Dean 2011

The Criminal Prisons of London and Scenes of Prison Life – Henry Mayhew and John Binny, 1862: 

A little higher up, the [Petticoat] Lane appears to be devoted chiefly to the preparation and sale of such eatables as the Israelites generally delight in. Almost every other shop is an “establishment” for the cooking and distribution of fried fish, the air around being redolent of the vapours of hot oil; and, as you pass on your way, you hear the flounders and soles frizzing in the back parlours, whilst hot-looking hook-nosed women rush out with smoking frying-pans in their hands, their aprons stained with grease almost as if they were water-proofed with it, and their cheeks red and shiny as tinsel-foil with the fire. The sloping shop-boards here are covered with the dishes filled with the fresh-cooked fish, looking brown as the bottom of a newly-sanded bird-cage; by the side of these are ranged oyster-tubs filled with pickled cucumbers, the soft, swollen vegetables floating in the vinegar like huge fat caterpillars.

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