8 Southwark Street, SE1 1TL
Price for one: £4.90
Borough Market, while never traditionally on the traveller’s must-see list of London, seems to now exert a gravitational pull on a certain sort of European millennial tourist to the capital. On any given visit, parties of teenage and 20-something Germans, Spaniards, French and Italians pack the tight spaces between its stalls selling every sort of food and drink imaginable to eat there or take away. Crowds shuffle haltingly – it gets very packed at weekends – but spirits are high, drinking is early, Europe’s young mix and everyone’s happy until you think about it a bit more and feel sad about Brexit.
Absurdly popular on our Saturday lunchtime visit seems to be the stall selling sea urchins, which looks intriguing until you realise that the image of cosmopolitan Londoners eating sea urchins is precisely the reason vast swathes of the country voted to leave the EU. So we head to German Deli, which backs on to Southwark Cathedral in one of the four corners of the market.
It’s the stall arm of an operation which also has a warehouse shop in Hackney Wick and a store around the corner from Borough Market on Park Street, which is well worth a look. On our visit there’s a queue at the stall and it’s doing a decent trade amid vast competition. It speeds along though, thanks to having gratifyingly few options – Bratwurst or Frankfurter, with a choice of any or all of mustard, ketchup and Sauerkraut (oddly, the staff and signs say ‘cabbage’, as if these urbane gastronomes may wonder what this alien ‘Sauerkraut’ is).
I opt for the Bratwurst with Sauerkraut and mustard at £4.90, and the first impression is it’s more than a handful, a decent size and with the cabbage not scrimped on. In fact, there’s pretty much half a jar on there. Second impression is that it’s the real deal, hearty and citric, the bread fresh and soft and the Sauerkraut deliciously zippy, even if much of it lingers between my teeth for the rest of the day. In fact, it’s so good it’s wolfed down by the time Mrs Turnforthewurst gets back from getting her lunch – she went totally rogue and got a chicken pie from the Pieminster stall next door.
It may be pretty pedestrian by comparison with sea urchins, but if all you want is the kind of Wurst you’d be happy with standing on the terraces at a 3. Bundesliga game, it hits the spot. And I shall go there next time I’m near Borough Market and get another to congratulate myself on getting 446 words on what is, after all, a review of a sausage.