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Eccles cake

Two pieces of eccles cake from St. John restaurant in London, England.

What: Dating to the late 18th century and a town called Eccles in Manchester, Eccles cakes are round sweet currant-filled cakes made with buttery pastry, usually topped with coarse sugar. Sweet and slightly oozy inside, they make a delicious treat at tea time or for breakfast.

Where: Our favorite source for historic artisanal breads is The Flour Station, a wholesaler found in the Jubilee Market area of Borough Market (8 Southwark St., map), among other markets and shops.

When: The Flour Station is at Borough Market Thurs, 11am-5pm; Fri, noon-6pm; Sat, 8am-5pm.

Order: A sugary, buttery Eccles cake (£2.50), wrapped in crisp, flaky, yielding pastry and filled with sweet currants. While you’re here, don’t miss trying a Chelsea bun and some other historic British breads, like English muffins, cobs, and bloomers.

Alternatively: It’s known to be not as traditionally crafted, but the Eccles cake at nose-to-tail-dining mecca St. John (26 St. John St., map), in the East End neighborhood of Clerkenwell, is said to be crazy-good (no, there’s no pork in it). Try it for elevenses at the bar or see if it’s available for dessert, with Lancashire cheese.


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