Brixton market features in Vice film on secretive trade in illegal mutton meat

A still from the film on the illegal trade in 'smokies' - charred mutton meat.
A woman buys legal meat from a Brixton butcher in a still from the film on the illegal trade in ‘smokies’ – charred mutton meat, by Vice Food channel ‘MUNCHIES’.

Brixton Market features in a new documentary about consumption of an outlawed meat product.

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In episode one of a new series from Vice’s food channel, MUNCHIES, Ben Ferguson looks at the UK’s smokies trade – an illegal and underground market for specially prepared meat deemed unfit for human consumption by the Government, but beloved by West African communities who have settled in Brixton and across the country.

During the film, which begins in Brixton’s bustling market area, one meat trader tells Ferguson: “Every second customer asks for it [Smokies]. If it were legal we could sell about 60 per week.” He goes on to say that he used to sell it – but no longer does.

Despite being outlawed in the UK in 1987 on the grounds that butchering unsterilised carcasses can spread deadly bacteria, demand for smokies has not waned and is forcing many middle class families into back alley trades to preserve their culinary traditions.

What is your take on smokies? Do you eat them? Do you believe the trade should be legalised? Let us know

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