Ridley Road Market is located in Dalston in northeast London. The market sells fruit and vegetables, jewellery, household goods, fabric and clothing, meat and fish, and other items. The market has an ethnic feel and many of the items sold cater to the African, Caribbean, and Asian groups. The market consists of many stalls that line a long stretch of road.
Ridley Road Market
I visited the market earlier this year and took a few photographs. There were hats and brightly-coloured pieces of fabric for sale.
Some of the shops along the road sold fabric.
Other shops sold household goods: buckets, mops, brooms, batteries, kitchen goods, cleaning products, and anything you could think of.
There were eggs for sale.
Fish and seafood also proved to be popular. It also looked fairly fresh as well.
Of course, there were also vegetables and fruit for sale. Some of these were sold from wooden carts.
The butcher shops along the road proved to be the most unique. In the past, the market has been noted for having illegal meats (bushmeat) sold here. You could also buy any part of an animal here, and I have never seen this done anywhere else in England. There were many chickens hanging up, and they looked very chicken-like and retained feet and heads. Animal feet (pig's feet) was also for sale as well as a wide array of innards: liver, kidney, and even cow stomach. I have no idea what some of it even was.
Actually, the smell was revolting (to me) here as well. It smelled pungent. Visit with an open mind, particularly if you are a vegetarian and such things make you feel a little queasy. I tried to not think about it so much.
Chickens in Ridley Road Market
Fish and hooves
There were a lot of pieces of 'meat' that I could not even identify, and I tried to take a sneaky photograph os some of it without attracting attention to myself from the shop owners. The below photograph features tripe (the thin layers of meat on the right) and cow stomach (the sponge-y middle item). There were also small bags of liver/kidney and other assorted items. I only happened to discover what the cow stomach was by reading a news article and seeing a photograph of it in the newspaper a month or two ago.
I was chatting to my colleague about the market, and he mentioned that cow stomach is eaten in other countries and in his home country of Ghana. He has eaten it.
Cow stomach and tripe
In old times, people would have eaten these parts without thinking twice. Our society now wastes so much by not using every part of the animal. (Unless, of course, this is what sausages, processed meat, pet food, and fertilizer is made from.)
Ridley Market is the place to visit if you are looking for a London market that is a little quirkier and rawer. It does fit its location in Dalston. Though, if you are planning a visit, just ensure that you keep an open mind and keep aware of yourself and your belongings - and have fun!