When Mac Met Cheese… (at Camden Market)

Even though, if you read most of my posts, you will get the (correct) impression that I am relatively nocturnal, I do like my weekends and get bored if there’s no one about to play with.

One of my best friends, Anastasia, who has been out of London for a few months had just got back into town and we had made plans to go and mooch round Camden Market on Saturday afternoon. When I woke to see vast quantities of snow falling outside my window, I hesitated briefly but we decided to brave the weather and headed out anyway. I was sure it would be worth it.

Helena at "When Mac Meets Cheese", Camden MarketI haven’t actually been to Camden Market properly since I was a teenager despite it being just down the road from where I live now, but had repeatedly seen my favourite foodie types tweet about one place in particular that seemed essential venturing out into the snow for: When Mac Met Cheese. I LOVE mac and cheese and have been known to order it as a side almost anywhere it is on the menu (regardless of whether I’m eating a salad or a burger…). So far, Automat remains a firm favourite, but I’m always willing to try the competition and street food, particularly in London, is never to be underestimated.

 We wandered through the winding paths created by food stalls handing out free samples of bang bang chicken or pulled pork and other stalls selling glow in the dark t-shirts. Eventually, after trying to find the West Yard for about 20 minutes and having been give wrong directions three times, we found Sammy and his stall.  Thank goodness for that!!

Sammy greeted us with big smiles and enthusiasm and talked me though his menu. I decided to opt for the most traditional, the Mum’s Classic, whilst Joey went for a spicier option with jalapeños. Sammy asked me if I wanted any extras and I told him that I would go with his recommendation. He is the expert after all.

After whisking up some béchamel in a pan, throwing in big handfuls of grated cheese, macaroni, nutmeg, tomatoes and broccoli, we were good to go. This is honestly one of the best mac and cheeses I’ve ever had. Because it’s made in the pan instead of baked in the oven like you would probably get in most restaurants, it’s missing the crispy layer on top. But this is made up for by the fact that Sammy’s is the smoothest, creamiest, richest most indulgent stuff around.

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This cheesy deliciousness has got to be the ultimate comfort food, which was perfect for the freeze that has descended on London. We gratefully consumed every last tasty morsel as we giggled and wrapped our scarves tighter around us.

Before heading up to the pub to defrost with a glass (or two) of hot winter Pimms, Sammy had one more treat in store for us. Deep. Fried. Oreos. Yes, seriously! Anastasia enthusiastically told Sammy that she had never tried anything deep-fried that she didn’t like so bring it on. My god these are naughty! There is no other way to describe them other than pure, unadulterated, delicious filth and worth the trip alone.

After warming our hands and resting our feet for a bit, we wandered further into the market to see all the weird and wonderful offerings on display. I had forgotten how huge the place is! We spent hours wondering in and out of the stables looking at jewellery, and hats and bags and more food…

 When Mac Met CheeseThe whole thing was a perfect day out in my book and I will definitely be heading back to Camden for more mac and cheese soon. Let us know what your favourite market spots are!? We’d love to hear them. And remember… the best secrets are there to be shared!

 You can find Sammy at When Mac Met Cheese every Saturday and Sunday in the West Yard in Camden Lock. And at a fiver a portion, it’s a total bargain!




(View slideshow of images from the day)

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