17 | May | 12

Richard Johnson

A Bit Of A Performance

There’s an old saying in streetfood — your flash is your cash. And at Churros Bros (the finest purveyors of crispy batter fingers in London) they like to put on a bit of a show for the audience.

One family member does the frying, one does the serving and one works the dough table. “But when Dad is dough boy, you can’t go near his station” says bossman George Rhodes. “He’s a Yorkshireman, so he doesn’t like talking to people. You see customers trying to engage him in conversation, and he’s like ‘Ooh eck, pay over there’.”

But a new generation of streetfood traders are taking the theatre of what they do to a whole new level. The Mussel Men, for instance, dress as circus strongmen in striped vests and tights. They have hourly contests, with natural feats of strength – and give the crowd the chance to win some mussels. What The Dickens don bowler hats and starched collars, and ride round on a tricycle selling devilled kidneys. Read about how your flash is your cash in my monthly Guardian column here.