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75. Lahmacuns

This Turkish delicacy is the takeaway du choix for white Brits in the know: a flavoursome meaty snack best consumed post-midnight after a drink or seven. Lahmacuns are cheap (an average of £1.60), reasonably healthy, and recherché: all things that white Brits seek in a food, even at 4am.

What sets a lahmacun (or ‘lammy’) apart from the common kebab or fried chicken is that, although easily found in the Dalston area, it is not readily available in all fast food shops. This ‘Turkish pizza’ is described by white Brits as “the hidden secret of kebab shops, really authentic” due to its reduced cost and foreign-sounding name. It is also a prime example of white Brits co-opting a traditionally working-class product as a way to boost their own street cred.

If a white Brit wants to impress the kebab shop owner, and all their friends, they will know that lahmacun is pronounced ‘lah-ma-joon’. For the full experience, order it with salad and both chilli and garlic sauce. Thanks to lahmacuns, white Brits are able to show off their obscure London knowhow and knowledge of different cultures, granting them a modicum of dignity even whilst their cheap takeaway food trickles down their chins on the nightbus home.

The vegetarian alternative, of course, is the classic hoummus and falafel wrap. However, seeing as omnivorous white Brits tend to feel bad when eating meat, the small amount of mince in a lahmacun is another point in its favour: enough to give it flavour, but insubstantial enough to lessen the guilt.

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On Saturday mornings, white Brits congregate as one at Broadway Market near London Fields (Borough Market is seen as dated). What a staid and bourgeois thing to do, you may think. But, in fairness, who doesn’t love delicious food? And it’s also a great way to nurse a hangover. No matter what the white Brit is craving, whether it be Vietnamese food, expensive cheese, hand-made pasta, vegan delicacies, wasabi-smeared tuna steaks or smoked salmon on sourdough, Broadway will provide. Many happy hours are spent trying the tasters and then taking a stroll in London Fields, eventually ending up in the Pub on the Park. Broadway Market also offers vintage clothes, boutique lingerie, and second-hand books. Entertainment is also provided in the form of quirky local characters playing music.

When Broadway Market is closed or out of reach, white Brits can buy food at Waitrose (also delivered directly to white British doors in the form of an ‘Ocado shop’), or, at a stretch, Marks & Spencer. Overpriced, healthy, organic, Fair Trade and continental-themed, Waitrose food ticks all the white boxes. Though a white Brit will never concede it, another bonus is that these stores allow the astute shopper to avoid the crowds who can be found in Iceland or Lidl.

At the same time, they will be staunchly loyal to their local cornershop. However, this is mainly used for house supplies and beer: the only food that white Brits will buy from there will be for comedy value, like tins of spam, odd-looking desserts calling Puding, or soups with funny names. These will inevitably be laughed at and thrown away.

N.B. You must not openly profess your love of Broadway Market, as white Brits like to pretend they hate it. You must always say your favourite market in Hackney is Ridley Road (even if you have only shopped there once), as it is cheap and therefore has superior street cred.

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