Right now, Londoners can put a greater variety of stuff on our tables than in almost any other place or time in history. So don't settle for another Tesco quiche; join us as we make a grocery list of our culinary diversity. Happy foraging.
14 Bittacy Hill
Zebra and most other steaks £11.25/pound; burgers starting at £1.20 each
Can't find the time for an African safari? Never mind: most game parks don't let you eat the animals anyway, and deep down, we know that's what you really want. Forget the Land Rover and take the littlest branch of the Northern Line to Mill Hill East, where the friendly butchers at Highland Organics keep a well stocked freezer of savanna megaherbivores.
A South African partner supplies the shop with wildebeest and kudu, springbok burgers and croc tail, and a few immigrants from even farther afield such as bison and 'roo. They do most of their business during summer braai season, which is when we first encountered them whilst shopping for a casual little Feast of a Thousand Beasts.
On a more recent off-season visit, we decided to take a crack at zebra steaks: the only equid (to the best of our knowledge) currently sold as food in London. Like much of this large game it's about as lean as meat can be, very red and sweeter than beef. In the eating it's easy to feel a connection with our hominid ancestors, though H. habilis et al would probably have gone right for the fat deposits — marrow and brain — rather than the muscular haunches. Tastes can change a lot in 2.5 million years.
A world away from yesterday's domesticated behemoths, our zebra came in narrow strips of the sort we could well imagine dangling from between a lioness's teeth. For the signature dish pictured above, we simply grilled the steaks in a buttered skillet along with slices of halloumi cheese. We also tried out some 'bokburgers, which were quite good but ultimately just tasted like burgers (they must certainly be blended with mince from other beasts, as there's probably about half a gram of fat in an entire springbok.) For maximum enjoyment, we suggest pairing with your favourite nature documentary and growling a lot.