Think of Caribbean food, and pictures of rice and peas, jerk chicken & curry mutton may well spring to mind. However, a new company that has just launched in Lewisham is turning this concept on its head, by specialising in pickled foods, and offering a contemporary twist to one of Barbados’ national dishes.
The South London owners of In a Pikkle met whilst working in Barbados and since coming back to the capital last year, decided to bring the tastes and culture of the island back with them.
Pudding and Souse is well known throughout the island and the traditional recipe, which is delicately cooked pork, pickled with a blend of onions, cucumbers, scotch bonnet peppers and lime is a Saturday staple for many. However after years of enjoying the traditional recipe, Mark Quinton and Karen Alleyne decided to get creative and innovative with their contemporary menu.
“It all started by accident really, when I came back to the UK, I was desperate for souse” said Mark, “and really struggled to find any that tasted like it did back home. So I started to make it and decided not to stop at pork and developed a fish, chicken and even superfood version that consists of Quinoa, Freekeh and other ancient grains. I thought that as a pork lover myself, if I longed for some variation, then other must also, and after a while the word began to spread amongst friends and family and I was getting orders for my different recipes, as far as Reading!”
Whilst the taste of the Caribbean is nothing new to London, this style of cooking really will challenge your perception about the cuisine. As a light and refreshing dish, the lime, herbs and spices used are not only full of flavour but offer a healthy option to diners, and deliver a breath of fresh air from the usually heavy and calorie laden side of Caribbean cooking.
Working well as a starter, each meat, fish or grain can also be combined with a succulent blend of potatoes, yams, green bananas or breadfruit to offer a full mealtime solution.
Taking up residence in Deptford Market on Saturdays from the 23rd March, Quinton spoke about what people can expect on the day.
“As a company we are extremely conscious about providing quality ingredients, and understand that now, more than ever, the provenance of the food and the story of how it appears on your plate is critical. That’s why all of our pikkles are made from 100% natural ingredients and are free from any artificial preservatives. It will be a lot of fun on Saturday, and it’s going to be a momentous day in the history of street food! For many it will open a whole new food experience which I am certain will be enjoyable. If you like South American Ceviche, you’re gonna absolutely love our Pikkle – it’s that simple! So come down to the market and meat the team, it’s a family run business so we are always very welcoming and really will appreciate your feedback. There will be some samples going around so try it – as our strapline says we are – delicious, healthy and simple!”
Whilst food critics predict that pickling will be big for 2013, this South East London based company is proving that there are no limitations to what you can pickle – or should that be Pikkle?
If you are intrigued, In a Pikkle will be launching their stall in Douglas Square, Deptford Market on Saturday 23rd March 2013 from 9am! Until then you can find us on facebook!