HOME > Chowhound > U.K./Ireland >
What's your latest food quest? Share your adventure

New to London and seeking rapini!

Janna in London Oct 11, 2006 09:02 PM

Can anyone out there suggest a greengrocer or farmers' market or some retailer that carries rapini (also known as broccoli rabe or broccolil rape). I've asked at one farmers' market and received blank stares, and I've checked with one italian food distributor (Portobello) and obviously the usual suspects (Sainsbury, Waitrose, local veg vendor). I'd be grateful for any suggestions. Thanks!

  1. d
    DavidT Oct 12, 2006 08:09 PM

    You might want to stop by a few Italian restaurants (especially the one that have broccoli rabe on the menu!) and ask in the kitchen who their supplier is.

    1. howler Oct 12, 2006 11:28 PM

      call up mechanicou bros in holland park and they'll get you some. go there anyway, they sometimes have amazing stuff.

      3 Replies
      1. re: howler
        Janna in London Oct 13, 2006 09:05 PM

        Thanks for the suggestion - I've been meaning to track down some places that are great for produce in general (other than my local farmers' market), so I'll start with Mechanicou Bros. If that fails, I'll try the slightly more intimidating approach suggested by DavidT of visiting some kitchens.

        1. re: Janna in London
          balex Oct 15, 2006 10:41 AM

          Go to mechanicou brothers: they are excellent. Italian vegetable names are a bit different in England, from in America: this is more likely to be called "cime di rapa" I think. eg they call "cimone" "romanesco", and so on. Best to go there and point, rather than try to figure which regional name is appropriate. They often have close subsitutes for this like cicoria.

          1. re: balex
            Janna in London Oct 16, 2006 11:29 AM

            Thanks, I did make it to Michanicou Brothers on the weekend, and they were great - I'm grateful for the introduction to the store despite walking away rapini-less. While they didn't have any in stock, assured me that there should be some in by later this week. Meanwhile, I asked the really helpful gent what they called it there - and he said what sounded to my Canadian ears like "ra-pah". I asked him to spell it: R-A-P-E and he commented "well, we can't exactly call it 'rape', can we?" (He has a point - don't want to be wandering around a new city asking for that!) Don't know if that name will work everywhere but I'll be giving it a shot at grocers closer to home.

      2. c
        clb Oct 15, 2006 07:04 PM

        There was some at La Fromagerie in Marylebone earlier in the week.

        Show Hidden Posts