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Oct 11, 2006 09:02 PM

New to London and seeking rapini!

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!

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  1. 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. 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

        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

          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

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