Entering the Indoor Market adjacent to Seven Sisters Station, you’d be forgiven for thinking you had slipped through the wardrobe into Narnia. You’d be equally excused if you didn’t even know it was there.
Seeking out shelter from the wind and rain, and looking for some foodie inspiration, I stumbled through the door on the corner of Tottenham High Road and Seven Sisters Road – into the sights and sounds of Latin America.
Teeming with food stalls, hairdressers and shops, this little corner of London has thus far evaded redevelopment, remaining a warm and welcoming multicultural community hub.
It was lunchtime on a Saturday, and there was a flurry of activity at the cafes and food stalls. Bocadillos, arepas and empanadas abounded, as did steaming bowls of soup.
I settled on a stool at Unit 54 (otherwise known as the Quentinha Portuguesa) and was served up a bowl of hearty simplicity: plantain, cassava, potato and chicken, snug in a flavourful broth.
Soups (or perhaps more accurately, stews) are a central part of Latin American cuisine. This ‘sancocho’ doesn’t follow a single recipe but varies according to country and region.
I slowly devoured the contents of my bowl, shredding the soft chicken with a fork and spoon, slurping down every last drop of the broth. I left Unit 54 feeling full, warm and cosy, with my purse only a few pounds lighter.
In many food cultures, soup is synonymous with comfort, home and family. And there is something particular about a chicken soup that seems to fill in the gaps in our lives and make us feel happy and safe.
Words: Julie Ann Andreshak. Photos: Tom Devine