Market breakfast: My first visit to Birmingham’s cavernous wholesale market was a real treat. A 6am alarm clock was necessary to meet Lap at 6:45am (needless to say, I was late). Our first bleary-eyed stop was to the poultry supplier, who was laden with posh French corn-fed chicken and game. The chickens have a big yellow plug of fat, ideal for rendering some schmaltz.
The main spectacle at the market is the fish: particular highlights were spanking fresh mackerel, wild seabass, live lobsters and a stonking piece of halibut. The friendly stallholders are happy for you to pick them up to assess liveliness. I picked up two whole Loch Duart salmon for smoking for a bargainous £30 plus a bundle of razor clams. Lap was more adventurous and snagged some sea urchins which made for a lovely breakfast back at home – simply served on sourdough with a sprinkling of salt and olive oil.
I have been in Birmingham for 4 years and have often lamented the lack of decent places to buy fish – turns out I just haven’t been getting up early enough!