hello pork pie.

Did some interesting research this morning to try and figure out what are generally considered the worst London neighbourhoods in terms of violent crime. It didn't really start out as "research", I was just wondering about some of the unscheduled areas of town we were going to visit, and then one thing led to another.

Anyway, the winners are: Peckham/Deptford/New Cross in the southeast; Harlesden and much of Brent in the northwest; Chelsea around King St, and further out, Hounslow in the southwest; and Green Lanes/Seven Sisters/Hackney in the northeast, not so terribly far from Finsbury Park. Brixton showed up quite a bit, but having been there a couple times myself, I think that if you used common sense and avoided places like Angell Town Estate, you'd be alright.

Obviously, this is all totally broad-brush. I'm sure actual Londoners would disagree with some of this list, and of course, plenty of places have their own legendarily dangerous estates, especially after dark. I myself haven't seen anything remotely unsettling yet. I didn't use this site for my research but it provided an interestingly detailed view of the sitch.


Of probably more interest to the plural you is the other research I've been doing: unusual (for me) British grocery store finds. Among the booty so far: cute and tiny pork pies; freakishly large duck eggs; extremely unnatural potato chip flavors; horrifically black pickled walnuts; and a canned steak & kidney pie.

Today's exploration: the Pork & Pickle Pie from Pork Farms. Very cute, very dainty, very porky. With cheeky packaging.

Some more background here, but not too much. I can imagine that the pork pie was originally designed as a workman's lunch, portable and requiring no preparation, it seems to be intended to be eaten slightly cooler than room temperature, usually with some sort of pickle. As you can see, with this version of their pie, Pork Farms has gone the extra mile for you the consumer by building the pickle into the pie. Let's cut a mother open.

It reminded me of an especially lardy empanada (moist, flaky, dense) filled with a pork terrine. The pickle component was underpronounced, I probably would've added still more pickle to this if I hadn't been so hungry. I realize that it's hard to appreciate the size of these things from the photos thus far, so:

Look at how wrinkly my hand is! Please send moisturizer.

Anyway...repeatable? Taste-wise, yes, good, but not a knockout or anything, a bit safe on the seasoning, understandably. Dietarily? Ehh...maybe not. Each tiny pie is 330 calories of lardy goodness, with plenty of sat fat. An occasional treat, thus.

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