Posts Tagged ‘london

07
Jul
08

Sunfest 2008

I spent Saturday with the family at Sunfest 2008.

Sunfest is Canada’s Largest World Music Festival and it takes place in London, Ontario. 

I love world music, and any festival that has world music is a great spot for sampling “world food.”

I had a Columbian areppa (I hope I’m spelling it right), a gyro, and a Mexican churro. I was awefully tempted by the jerk chicken and pad thai, but I was too full and too hot to eat any more. My wife stuck to mainly Vietnamese food, but had an elephant ear for dessert.

We got to do a lot of walking. There are more than 225 vendors and more than 35 professional musicians from all over the world. 

My daughter surprised us by dancing up a storm (she’s 3 months old). She Loves Reggae. I liked the Japanese Taiko Drumming. You could hear it clear across the park.

http://www.sunfest.on.ca/

31
May
08

The Pieman

Simple Simon met a pieman

Going to the fair;

Says Simple Simon to the pieman,

“Let me taste your ware.”

Says the pieman to Simple Simon,

“Show me first your penny.”

Says Simple Simon to the pieman,

“Indeed I have not any.”

I recently came across a write up in a publication from the mid-1800’s about the sellers of street foods in Victorian London, England.

Apparently the street pie trade had been one of the oldest of the street callings in London. By the mid-nineteenth century the trade had been almost destroyed by “pie shops.” Summer fairs and other large outdoor gatherings seem to have been one of the few places a pie-man could make a go of it.

The piemen would wander the streets with a portable tin oven getting business wherever they could. This often meant stopping in at the local public houses. Apparently business was pretty poor, and street piemen didn’t have the best reputation for quality goods. According to one meat pieman:

“People, when I go into houses…often begin crying ‘mee-yow’, or ‘bow-wow-wow!’ at me, but there’s nothing of that kind, now.”

Piemen bought their meat from the same places as sausage makers. They wouldn’t care about the flavour because they would use pepper to mask the taste of the meat. You could tell the quality of the meat by how little or how much pepper was in the pies.

Often a pieman would drum up business by calling out “Toss or buy! Up and win ’em.” Which basically turned the sale of the pies into a coin toss. You win the toss, you get a free pie. Loose a toss, and you’d better be able to pay for one.

That certainly sheds a new light on the old nursery rhyme.

And this…