British Sausage Week: Signature sausages

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 31st October 2014

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Bisto logo   British Sausage Week is an annual celebration of the taste, quality and diversity of the traditional British Banger. From sausage dishes from around the world to the quality of British sausage meat means we have lots to shout – but how do you like your sausage?  Just like snowflakes, no two types of sausage are the same. The same goes for their histories. Take a look at our list of some of Britain’s most popular regional sausages and how their counties created them, compiled here in honour of British Sausage Week:   Cumberland Sausage (Cumbria)Cumberland Sausage image credit BBC (signature sausages piece) Famed for its flat spiral shape, the traditional Cumberland sausage is chunky and flavoured with black pepper. The key is that after the sausage casing is filled it remains unlinked, leaving a single long sausage to be curled into that signature coil. It is speculated that the sausage was first created by German miners who travelled to Cumbria in the 16th Century and wanted sausages similar to those they ate at home. The sausage derived its name from the Cumberland pig, bred to thrive in Cumbria’s damp climate by local butchers. The Cumberland sausage has since become a distinct speciality of Cumbria; so distinct that in 2011 it was awarded Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status, meaning that only products made to exacting traditional standards can be sold as authentic Cumberland sausages.   Gloucester Sausages image credit Punchline Gloucester Magazine (signature sausages piece)Gloucester Sausage (Gloucestershire) The Gloucester Sausage is characterised by its tender meat, traditionally Gloucester Old Spot pork, which is seasoned with sage. The Old Spot pig originates from Berkeley Vale in Gloucestershire, believed to be a product of the Berkeley and the Gloucester pig. Gloucester has long been known for its cheese-making and apple orchards, and Old Spots feed on the by-products of these – notably fallen apples – giving them beneficial protein and increasing the quality of their famously juicy pork. Folk stories tell that the pigs’ black spots are actually bruises from apples falling in Gloucestershire’s orchards.   Lincolnshire Sausage Meaty in texture, the Lincolnshire sausage is defined by its coarsely cut pork and generous sage seasoning. Often, ice or water is used to lower the temperature of the meat, resulting in the sausage’s unusual open texture.Lincolnshire sausages image credit the Guardian (signature sausages piece) The Lincolnshire sausage’s herby taste comes from the sage, which Lincolnshire soil can grow in abundance thanks to the county’s comparatively low annual rainfall level and sage’s preference for drier conditions. The sausage is such a prominent part of the county’s history that it is celebrated annually at the Lincolnshire Sausage Festival in Lincoln, where last year over 25,000 Lincolnshire Sausages were bought.   Oxford Sausage (Oxfordshire) Oxford Sausage image credit BBC (signature sausages piece)Continuing the refined reputation of its namesake city, the Oxford Sausage incorporates pork with veal and is richly spiced with sage, savory, marjoram and lemon. Originally skinless, crescent-shaped and known as an Oxford Skate, Oxfordshire’s signature sausage has fallen in and out of favour since the 18th Century. However, with independent local producers gaining more momentum, a reworked version of the sausage is becoming increasingly popular.   Square Slicing Sausage (Lorne) Not your conventional fare, the Square Slicing Sausage of Lorne, Scotland, consists of a mixture of ground beef and pork fashioned into a rectangular block. It is cut into convenient square slices and served, traditionally, alongside a cooked breakfast or within a sandwich.Square Lorne Sausage image credit the Guardian (signature sausages piece) The exact origin of Lorne’s sausage is debated. Though many believe that it is named for its possible region of origin, others argue that it is named after Tommy Lorne (1890 - 1935), a Scottish comedian who ritually ate sausage sandwiches between acts. Either way, the eminence of the Square Slicing Sausage in Scottish culture cannot be denied, and local butchers are fighting for PGI status.   Manchester Sausage (Greater Manchester) Manchester sausage - Credit to Mettrick Butchers, ManchesterGreater Manchester’s signature pork sausage is flavoursome; traditionally loaded with ginger, sage, white pepper, mace, nutmeg and cloves. While many other regional sausages came into being with the help of specifically local produce, for example Lincolnshire’s sage and Gloucestershire’s Old Spots, the Manchester Sausage developed following the influx of herbs and spices imported to the UK during the Elizabethan era.   Newmarket Sausage (Suffolk) The first rule of the traditional Newmarket Sausage is to leave out the offal; it must be made with cuts of belly or shoulder.Newmarket Sausage (signature sausages piece) Newmarket, a town in Suffolk, has played host to horseracing since the 17th Century. Pigs were traditionally kept in the horseracing stables as they grazed on the stable scraps that would otherwise clutter the racetrack. Butchers had begun to produce the sausage before the early 20th Century, and horseracing aficionados adopted it as a favourite snack. The rest, of course, is history. Today, Newmarket Sausages are produced in two varieties by two different family butchers and in 2012 the sausage was awarded PGI status.   Glamorgan Sausage OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHailing from Glamorgan, Wales, this sausage is a little different. Its filling consists of cheese – traditionally Caerphilly – and sautéed leek. This vegetarian mixture is rolled in breadcrumbs and fried. Because of their lack of meat, Glamorgan Sausages (or Selsig Morgannwyg) have often been referred to as “the poor man’s sausage”. They were originally made with Glamorgan cheese, a product of the Glamorgan cow’s milk, but since few such cows remain today there is not enough of their milk produced to justify using it in cheese. Caerphilly has since been introduced as a replacement, as it is similarly hard and white. Though we know the sausage has been around since the 1800s, it found even more favour during World War II’s meat rationing.   Marylebone Sausage (Greater London) Marylebone sausage - credit to Butchershook   This traditional sausage, a product of London’s butchers, is usually flavoured with mace, ginger and sage. Following the advent of cheaper sausages with low meat percentages and high amounts of filler, many of London’s butchers continue to create sausages from old recipes that utilise quality cuts of pork, the Marylebone sausage included.   Tomato Sausage (The Midlands) Tomato sausage - Credit to Cranstons   Popular in the Midlands, this sausage has a smooth texture, and is a winner with children in particular. The pork is mixed with tomato, which lends the sausage a sweet flavour and reddish orange hue. By Julia Watts Anything about sausages that you want to share or are you creating a new sausage dish in honour of the week? Let us know over on Twitter and Facebook pages.   To celebrate British Sausage Week, running 3rd - 9th of November, Bisto is launching a competition that will give chefs the opportunity to win £500 worth of high street vouchers and a full set of professional kitchen knives. To be in with a chance of winning these exciting prizes, simply download our brand new online recipe guide, which showcases the versatility of Bisto and the traditional British banger simply click the link for more details http://ow.ly/CTXG5

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 31st October 2014

British Sausage Week: Signature sausages